Maca is nutritionally dense & considered a super food by some. It contains high amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes & all of the essential amino acids. Maca root is rich in the b-vitamins, which are the energy vitamins. It also contains high levels of bioavailable calcium & magnesium.
The great thing about maca that I am really impressed with is the fact that it helps to balance our hormones. Due to an over abundance of environmental estrogens, most people's hormones are a bit out of whack. Maca stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus & pituitary glands which are the "master glands" of the body. These glands actually regulate the other glands, so when in balance they can bring balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian & testicular glands!!
Instead of providing actual hormones to the body, maca works as an adaptogen which means that it responds to whatever the body needs at any given moment. If you are producing too much of a particular hormone, maca will regulate the production downward. However if you are producing too little, it will regular the production upwards.
Hormones regulate many things including mood, growth, sexual development, tissue function...but they also play a pivitol role in many diseases, like cancer & depression. It has shown to be beneficial for hormonal problems such as PMS, menopause, hot flashes, libido problems & sexual functions. It has been nicknamed "nature's Viagra".
You can sprinkle it over your food, you can add it to smoothies, it's great on bananas or you can also take it in capsule form. Recommended amounts are 1/2 tsp/day & work yourself up to 1 tsp/day over the course of a week...or...900 mg/day. If you are taking it daily, it's best to take a day off from it weekly.
Maca is a food staple in Peru & as of latest research, there are no known effects of toxicity. However we are all different & some may experience adverse effects when they start taking it. If you are pregnant or nursing, one should avoid it. If you are allergic to veggies like broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, etc. you should avoid it. If you are taking anticoagulants or birth control, stimulants or have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or cancer of the breast or prostate, you should avoid taking it.