The magic of Maca
A member of the cruciferous family, Maca is a vegetable that has been cultivated as a root crop for around 2,000 years. It grows wild in Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina and in the Peruvian Andes. Traditionally, Maca was used to reduce stress, for increasing fertility and as an aphrodisiac.
Maca has gained popularity for its varied nutrient profile, including numerous beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids, amino acids and unique plant nutrients called sterols. The root is rich in B-vitamins, which are the energy vitamins and it is also a source of fibre. What’s more, Maca contains bioavailable calcium and magnesium.
A study by Gonzales et al (2003) investigated the effects of Maca compared with placebo at 4, 5 and 12 weeks of treatment. The results demonstrated an increase in sexual desire in subjects at 8 and 12 weeks of treatment. The authors specified that further research would need to be conducted to determine the mechanism of action of Maca.
Maca is available in both powder or supplement form and has a mild, nutty flavour. Add the powder in smoothies or raw food dishes and enjoy the effects of this ancient super food today!
Gonzales, G, Cordova, A, Vega, K, Villena, A 2003, ‘Effect of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a root with aphrodisiac and fertility-enhancing properties, on serum reproductive hormone levels in adult healthy men’, Journal of Endocrinology, vol.176, pp.163-168