Maca the wonder root: better stamina, balanced hormones

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I have been cooking quite a bit with maca root recently, going beyond the daily habit of whacking it (and everythubg else) on my breakfast or in a smoothie. While it’s a brilliant natural superfood and source of essential nutrients it also has a lovely malty taste which goes so well with spices and nuts. See my next post on raw maca, ginger and goji macaroons to taste for yourself how delicious it can be: once you pop you can’t stop.

Known as the Peruvian ginseng, maca is thought to have been taken by Incan warriors to improve their stamina and strength (yes please!) and is today taken by many high performing athletes for the same benefits, without chemical compounds or their side effects. It is grown high up in the Andes on their glaciated slopes where no other plants can thrive (truly, it is super) and is harvested and pulverised raw for maximum nutrient density. As with everything from afar, always be sure to buy organic and Fair Trade. I get mine from Naturya who are great.

One reason it is so powerful is the variety and density of its minerals: calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, silica and zinc are all packed in to the unbecoming root. It is also a natural adaptogen, able to balance the hormones in areas of the body that need help most, making it a complex alternative aid to those whose bodies are under physical strain, while its high iron and B-vitamin content provides a double attack on fatigue and tiredness.

For us gals, maca is a particular friend: its hormone-balancing plant sterols and prostaglandins regulate the endocrine system and help our oestrogen levels to get back on track when in flux. In a day and age where environmental oestrogen abounds, this is vital for both men and women for a balanced body, while the same properties have been show to dramatically reduce PMT and menopausal symptoms. There is lots of accessible research on this online if you want to delve a little deeper.

Oh, and it is also known to increase another certain type of stamina, earning a name as a potent natural aphrodisiac.
That got your attention didn’t it?
One more reason to throw it on your porridge.

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