Maca the powerhouse root vegetable which is grown high up in the Andean mountains of Peru and Bolivia is essential for athletes training today. It has been around for thousands of years and is a traditional food plant of South American and the Inca Warriors loved it as a nutrient-rich endurance food. It has 19 rich amino acids, essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 9, fibre, complex carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals. Maca is a energy booster and supports every system of the body as well as being natural and safe to use. Key nutrients contained in Maca are rich essential minerals - iron, manganese, zinc, copper, silica, sodium. calcium, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium. High in the vitamin C, E. B12. B1 and B2. Athletes love Maca for its strength enhancing properties, the extra energy and stamina it provides and also gives clarity to the mind, improves libido and sexual functions for both men and women. It is a very potent hormone regulator but does not contain hormones at all.Important research shows Maca works better for hormone replacement therapy. It also is great for helping with adrenal function and getting the thyroid working properly again.
Dr. Gloria Chacon de Popovici, a Peruvian doctor, has been studying maca root’s properties since the 1960’s. Her research has identified maca’s specific stimulating effect on the pituitary gland. This discovery has huge implications for women currently relying on hormone replacement drug therapy (HRT) to regulate menopausal symptoms.Taking maca root during peri-menopause helps keep the endocrine system in balance and facilitates a smooth transition into menopause. Clinical case studies show maca root's beneficial effect on a range of menopausal symptoms including vaginal dryness, hot flushes, breast tenderness, insomnia, mood swings, flooding or reduced flow and PMS. Because maca itself does not contain any hormones, its endocrine action is synergistic with the body’s natural functioning, unlike conventional hormone drug therapy which can dangerously affect women’s long term health. HRT causes the ovaries to atrophy whereas maca has been proven effective even for women who have had radical hysterectomies. By stimulating adrenal production of the reproductive hormones, maca increases post menopausal secretion to levels adequate for maintaining healthy function and minimising common symptoms of menopausal hormone imbalance.
Osteoporosis is the condition of weak and porous bones associated with post-menopausal Western women, and often treated with HRT. Red maca root has been compared with HRT in animal studies and found to be superior in its beneficial effect on osteoporotic bones. Its hormone regulating effect combined with high levels of bioavailable calcium and magnesium give maca root the advantage over conventional drug treatment.
Dr Chacon's research revealed that alkaloids contained in maca root act on the hypothalamus-pituitary axis, the master glands of the endocrine system, in a gender-appropriate regulation of function. Fertility increases in both sexes, with improved sperm production in males and egg maturity in females - important factors in preconception health.
Women taking maca for relief of menopausal symptoms reported improvement in their hypothyroid condition. Some were able to reduce their thyroid drug gradually until stabilising at 50% of their former dosage. A few stopped their medication altogether after 2-3 months on maca root. Only cooked maca (the red variety for its iodine content) is recommended for thyroid imbalance, as raw maca contains goitrogens which inhibit iodine uptake.
Research is now focussed on red maca's estrogen-related effects on breast and uterine health.
What other health conditions can maca assist?
Science is now verifying properties of maca root known by Peruvians for centuries. Various symptoms of sexual dysfunction in both men and women can be addressed with maca. Several clinical trials show improved sperm production, motility and semen volume in men and heightened libido in both sexes. It assists erectile tissue response in men and can also enhance mood and decrease anxiety, both factors having a positive effect on sexual desire. This is why maca root is sometimes referred to as "nature's Viagra".
Some of the SSRI antidepressants cause sexual dysfunction and one pilot study showed positive outcomes with maca root alleviating this drug-induced effect.
Red maca root has been shown in animal studies to reduce prostate enlargement.
As an adrenal agent maca supports and nourishes fatigued adrenal glands and can help relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. The commonly experienced “brain fog” associated with such conditions responds well to maca root.
Through as yet unexplained mechanisms involving complex interactions within the endocrine system, uterine fibroids in women taking maca root have dissolved within two to three months.
Animal studies using topical applications of maca root have shown its effectiveness in protecting against damage from ultraviolet sunlight.
There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence of maca's beneficial properties, including as a memory enhancer, energiser, anti-arthritic, immune booster and a tonic for stress and attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Big Manly Beach Diet has a shot of Maca which will give you that energy boost you need naturally and could help in other areas!