Nutritional Makeup of Maca

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Posted by aboutmaca | Posted in 4. Nutritional Makeup of Maca | Posted on 10-05-2011

Dried Maca is approximately 60% carbohydrates (starches and sugars), 9% fiber, and slightly more than 10% protein. It has a higher lipid (fat) content than other root crops (2.2%), of which linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid are the primary fatty acids, respectively.

Maca is also a rich source of plant sterols, including sitosterol, campestrol, ergosterol, brassicasterol, and ergostadienol. From a mineral standpoint, Maca exceeds both potatoes and carrots in value, and is a source of iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iodine. (8)

A chemical analysis conducted in 1981 showed the presence of biologically active aromatic isothiocyanates (a common chemical found in the mustard family of plants and shown to be a wood preservative and insecticide). Chemical research shows Maca root contains a chemical called p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which has reputed aphrodisiac properties. At least four alkaloids are also present but have not yet been quantified. Fresh Maca root contains about 1% glucosinolates-plant chemicals found in many plants in the family Brassicaceae (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables). While no novel glucosinolates have been reported in Maca yet, several of the chemicals found in this group of known plant chemicals are documented to be cancer-preventive.

Maca’s main plant chemicals include: alkaloids, amino acids, beta-ecdysone, calcium, carbohydrates, fatty acids, glucosinolates, iron, magnesium, p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, phosphorus, potassium, protein, saponins, sitosterols, stigmasterol, tannins, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc. (9)

Nutritional Profile of Dried Maca Root
(Average 10 gram serving)
               
Component Amount   Amino Acids Amount   Minerals Amount
               
Protein 1-1.4 g   Alanine 63.1 mg   Calcium 25 mg
Carbohydrates 6-7.5 g   Arginine 99.4 mg   Copper 0.6 mg
Fats (lipids) 220 mg   Aspartic acid 91.7 mg   Iron 1.5 mg
Fiber 850 mg   Glutamic acid 156.5 mg   Iodine 52 mcg
Ash 490 mg   Glycine 68.3 mg   Manganese 80 mcg
Sterols 5-10 mg   Histidine 41.9 mg   Potassium 205 mg
Calories 32.5   HO-Proline 26.0 mg   Sodium 1.9 mg
      Isoleucine 47.4 mg   Zinc 380 mcg
      Leucine 91.0 mg      
Vitamins Amount   Lysine 54.5 mb   Fats/Lipids Amount
      Methionine 28.0 mg      
B2 39 mcg   Phenylalanine 55.3 mg   Linoleic 72 mcg
B6 114 mcg   Proline 0.5 mg   Palmitic 52 mcg
C 28.6 mg   Sarcosine 0.7 mg   Oleic 24.5 mcg
Niacin 565 mcg   Serine 50.4 mg      
      Threonine 33.1 mg      
      Tryptophan 4.9 mg      
      Tyrosine 30.6 mg      
      Valine 79.3 mg