Maca root from Peru is often touted as the "Superfood of the Andes" for good reason. Amazingly, a single maca root contains almost 60 different phytonutrients! This compares favorably with other powerful antioxidant foods such as garlic and onions. All these phytochemicals, combined with maca's full array of vitamins, makes the maca root one of the most powerful medicinal plants on earth.
Maca root grows in the mountains of Peru at altitudes of 7,000-12,000 feet and higher; it's the highest-altitude-growing plant in the world. Maca has been used by the native Peruvians as early as the mid 15th century.
Maca root contains significant amounts of amino acids, carbohydrates, and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E. It also contains over 20 beneficial fatty acids, both saturated and unsaturated, including the well-known omega 3 linolenic acid and omega 9 oleic acid.
Maca root is so nutritious because it absorbs almost all the nutrients contained by the soil in which it is grown.
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Here are some of the more abundant maca nutrients, and a brief summary for each one:
Vitamin B1 helps the body's cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system.
Vitamin B2 works in concert with the other B vitamins. It's important for body growth and red cell production, and also helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates.
Vitamin C: As the "hub" of the antioxidant network, this vitamin ensures that your cells provide you with lots of energy, and it keeps your immune system strong as well.
Alkaloids are responsible for activating hormone regulators located in the brain that in turn regulate the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.
Proteins: Maca powder is rich in bio-available proteins, with an average of 11 percent, by weight.
Fiber: Maca powder is loaded with cellulose and lignin, which stimulate intestinal operations.
Fatty Acids: Helps reduce inflammation all through your body.
Calcium: Maca powder has higher concentrations of calcium than milk.
Iron: Increased iron intake is important during excessive menstrual cycles. Deficiency results in anemia, poor growth or difficult pregnancies.
Manganese: Helps keep your bones strong, promotes a healthy thyroid, and helps your body synthesize fats.
Silicon: Helps the connective tissues, including the aorta, trachea, tendons, bones, and skin.
Magnesium: Essential for protein synthesis, and activities of muscles and nerves. Deficiency of magnesium can cause changes in heart and skeletal muscles.
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