Maca is a root from Peru that resembles a potato and offers a big energy boost for those who feel tired and unenergetic. Unlike coffee, maca root offers energy in a non-caffeinated way that truly supports the body. It contains high amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and all of the essential amino acids. It is rich in B-vitamins, which are the energy vitamins, and is an excellent vegetarian source of B-12.
Maca root helps balance hormones by stimulating and nourishing the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which are the “master glands” of the body. Hormones regulate mood, growth, sexual development and tissue function. They also play a role in preventing many diseases, like cancer and depression. Maca has a light, nutty flavor that can be mixed in soups before serving, or added to smoothies. Don’t add it to anything that’s very hot because it will lose all its benefits.
It’s best to purchase maca root in a raw, organic powder form. It’s recommended to start with a ½ teaspoon a day and work up to a teaspoon or two a day over the course of a few weeks. If you’re taking it daily, it’s best to take a day off each week. Taking too much can lead to adverse effects and throw your hormones out of whack. If you experience this, you should take less or wean yourself off completely. Please be aware that other than the nutritional benefits provided by the vitamins and minerals, the other benefits are anecdotal, as maca has not been formally studied.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun