Indigenous cultures and societies have a long well documented history of natural healing and deep insight into foods and taproots that heal both the body and the digestive track; and the ancient peoples of Peru are no exception. The Holistic Nutrition of Peru includes the standard foods that you and I may be aware of, and some that may not be aware of.
For over 2000 years Maca root (Lepedium Meyenii) has been cultivated and eaten both as a food and as a medicine for optimum health and vitality. Optimum health and energy were (and still are) needed in the Peruvian lands as tribesmen and tribeswomen would often travel long distances in a day for various reasons. Related to the potato family the Maca taproot has many benefits that affect the body, and a major benefit is its treatment for Anemia. As you may know, Anemia; or the lowered ability for the blood to carry oxygen and low red blood cell count, often leaves those who suffer from Anemia with feelings of tiredness, fatigue and sluggishness on a regular basis. Due to the high Iron content in the Maca itself it serves as an excellent plant based, Vegan source of Iron and Magnesium which is essential for combating the effects of chronic Anemia.
The phytochemical and nutrient content of the Maca root is as follows: Saponin and tannins, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E. Yes you heard right, Maca contains Vitamin B12 which is so essential to treating and resolving sporadic or chronic Anemia. The fact that Maca taproot contains significant amounts of B12 should lay the “Can only get B12 from animal protein sources” to rest. It must be noted that we are talking about the natural B12 and not the synthetic version of B12 known as Cyanocobalamin; so you are getting the all-natural version of B12 when you consume Maca taproot.
In addition to being an excellent treatment for Anemia there are other benefits for the body that the peoples of Peru knew of; and it has also been tested and verified by science:
– Increases energy due to its Amino Acid and B12 content.
– Addresses fertility issues.
– Treatment for symptoms related to menopause.
– A treatment for male impotence and premature ejaculation.
– A key treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome.
The thing that is key to understand is that many indigenous peoples, including the ancient Peruvians had knowledge of the fact that Food is Medicine; this is not an overstatement. The more you eat and live from the Earth and keep it as less processed as possible, your body responds and adjusts itself to heal and counteract harmful toxins and the ill effects of living in the 21st century. If you have been looking for a high plant based Iron and B12 source, then consider adding Maca taproot to your eating plan from time to time.
The Mighty Maca Root Smoothie:
– 1 to 2 tablespoons of Maca root powder.
– Almond milk.
– 1 quartered avocado (meaning a half of an avocado that has been cut in half again.)
– 1 banana.
– handful of cashews.
– Agave nectar.
-Blend and enjoy!
While the many benefits of Maca have been noted here it has been shown to raise blood pressure in those who have heart disease. So if you find yourself in this category you may want to consult with your primary care physician in order to be on the same understanding as to avoid any complications. To your health.
-Daud Scott – CHNP.