Maca Powder - "The Food Of The Gods"
For centuries, Maca Powder has been referred to as “The Food of the Gods, Nature’s Viagra, and Peruvian Ginseng”. Grown in the glaciated slopes of the Peruvian Andes, it is the highest growing food plant in the world.
WHAT IS MACA?
Maca powder is derived from a humble root vegetable that belongs to the radish and turnip family. It is a native Peruvian plant that grows in the Andes, dating back to approximately 3800 B.C. and has four different root colours, Yellow, Red, Purple and Black - each with their own nutritional profiles.
The ancient Maya civilisation consumed Maca powder for its many health benefits and it has been cultivated and used for everything from enhancing fertility to boosting the immune system to increasing libido, but more recently more and more people are adding it to their morning smoothies to boost the nutrition and give it an added kick – a kick in the form of the non-caffeinated burst of energy it gives you.
As a nutritional powerhouse, dried maca root contains more than 60 different nutrients, is rich in antioxidants, has 13-16% protein and a high proportion of Omega 3 and 19 essential amino acids. What makes it unique is that like the Chinese herb ginseng, it is also an adaptogen. Meaning it has the ability to raise your body’s resistance to diseases through physiological health and emotional health improvements by boosting strength, energy and vitality – making it ideal for hectic lifestyles of today. In short, it satisfies your body and makes you feel good!
One serving of a tablespoon has more than 20 amino acids, including eight essential amino acids, or the ones we have to get from our diet because the body cannot produce them, making it a great way to add some extra nutrients into your diet easily. Amino acids are particularly important, because they help your body grow, break down food, and repair tissue.
"The Food Of The Gods"
There are many mysteries still surrounding the ancient Maya civilisation. They left behind extraordinary architecture and symbolic artwork, as well as their studies and findings about the world. To this day, we still take advice from their advanced intelligence and implement them into modern-day, such as their impressive knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, and foods that benefit our health, like Maca. In common with the rest of Mesoamerica, the Maya believed in a supernatural realm inhabited by an array of powerful deities who needed to be placated with ceremonial offerings and ritual practices, and through study of this ancient worship, we've come to know Maca powder as "The Food Of The Gods".
When the Spanish came to the Americas and tried to settle in the Andes, they found that the high altitude and poor soil made a lot of the colonisers impotent. The native Mayans got around this problem by taking Maca in large doses. It has been predicted that Mayans used to load their warriors up on Maca to give them extra vigour for battles.
When the Spanish found out about Maca’s benefits, they started shipping it back to Spain by the boatload (literally). At one point, it was considered more valuable than gold.
Maca is often touted as a 'superfood' because of its strong nutritional profile. It contributes certain minerals including potassium and calcium, as well as some B vitamins including B3 (niacin).
Maca powder is also a good vegan source of iron, with just one 5g teaspoon providing almost 10% of the RDA for men and women over 50 years old, and 5% RDA for women aged 19-50 years old.
One teaspoon (5g) of maca powder also contains about 20% of the RDA of copper for adults. Copper is needed to help trigger the release of iron to form haemoglobin which carries oxygen around the body, as well as being involved in the production of both red and white blood cells.
10 Benefits of Maca Powder
1. Increasing libido
The most well-known benefit of maca root is its potential to increase libido. There is some scientific evidence to support this claim.
2. Reducing erectile dysfunction
Maca root could also have benefits for people with erectile dysfunction (ED). A small study in 2009 looked at the effect of consuming 2.4g of maca root per day for 12 weeks on participants' perception of their general and sexual well-being.
3. Boosting energy and endurance
Some athletes and bodybuilders use maca root as a supplement to increase energy and performance. Some evidence exists to support this.
4. Increasing fertility
Another widespread use of maca root is to increase fertility, particularly in men.
5. Improving mood
6. Reducing blood pressure
7. Reducing sun damage
An older study in an animal model found that maca might help protect the skin from UV rays. Another animal study in 2011 found that extracts from maca leaves might help prevent the formation of sunburn cells.
8. Fighting free radicals
Maca root also promotes natural antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase.
9. Reducing menopause symptoms
Some proponents of maca root believe it may help balance levels of the hormone estrogen. During perimenopause, the stage before a woman reaches menopause, estrogen levels fluctuate and cause a variety of symptoms.
10. Improving learning and memory
There is some evidence to suggest that maca can improve learning and memory. For example, a 2011 study found that maca could improve memory in mice.
Now that you've got an idea about the amazing power of Maca powder, you'll be happy to learn its in our super crazy Organic Agave#9 Bamaca Energy Gel! The name 'Bamaca' comes from two of its main ingredients: 'Banana' and (you guessed it) 'Maca'. We also add a little dash of Organic Lemon Powder in there to add to the flavour, and reduce the sweetness of the organic agave syrup.
Not only is it crazy tasting and packed full of health benefits, we use all four Maca Roots (Red, Yellow, Purple and Black) to give you the ultimate organic energy boosting Energy Gel! It has a strong taste of earthy, nutty Maca, combined with sweet Agave Syrup, Wild Banana and Organic Lemon.
If you want something a little different and fancy exploring the benefits of the food of the gods, we highly recommend giving the mighty superfood Maca powder a try!