Let’s talk about Maca
So you’ve heard about Maca, the supposed superfood with benefits ranging from everything to increased energy to a libido boost and you want to know if it lives up to the hype? Then you’ve come to the right place. Maca has recently seen a huge surge in popularity, and you can now find it in smoothies, coffees, cakes and even beauty products. But traditionally it’s been used by Peruvians and other cultures in the Andes Mountains for more than 3,000 years.
What Is Maca?
First of all, what is Maca? Maca is a root vegetable grown and farmed in the frigid temps and high altitudes of the Andes mountain range in Peru. This root, belonging to the mustard plant family, has been used medicinally in this area throughout history to treat infertility, poor memory and increase energy. It is also used as a food supplement. A cruciferous vegetable, related to broccoli, kale and cauliflower, maca root is dried, processed and usually consumed in powder form, though you can also find it in capsules. Maca has a nutty, almost butterscotch-like taste that lends itself well to sweet items like smoothies, granola and yogurt, oatmeal, homemade energy bars or even your morning coffee.
What are the Health Benefits?
Here’s the thing: there are a ton of supposed health benefits from supplementing with maca. The issue is that most of the research that has been done regarding maca, are either small research studies, done on animals and/or have been backed by companies that produce and sell maca. So you can see where issues might arise. That being said, here are some of the health claims:
- Increased Energy
- Increased Libido and Sexual Desire
- Enhance Fertility
- Relieve Symptoms of Menopause like hot flashes, mood swings and insomnia
- Helps Build Muscle and Increase Exercise Performance and Endurance
- Enhance mood, Relieve Anxiety
- Black Maca Root is great for Men!
- Red Maca is great for Women!
What are the Nutritional Benefits of Maca?
While the health claims are a little bit dubious and still need more research, the undisputed fact is that maca is a nutritional powerhouse. Low in fat, a good source of healthy carbohydrates and a significant fiber content helps maca cement its role as a Superfood. Maca is rich in Vitamin C, copper, iron, potassium, calcium, amino acids, and other vitamins and minerals. Yilkes! Maca helps regulate digestion, can decrease inflammation in the body, can help keep your metabolism functioning optimally, promote health at the cellular level, and may even help you lose weight.
So, supplementing with maca is definitely good for your nutrition, and honestly, if you see or notice any of the above health benefits, it’s kind of like a bonus!
Maca Benefits for Skin and Hair
Those nutritional benefits I mentioned above help maca to translate well to your beauty routine. Shiny hair, stronger nails, and that high Vitamin C content to help your skin really glow - not to mention aid in collagen production. Supplementing with maca can also help regulate your hormones, something escpially helpful for those who deal with hormonal breakouts.
Ready to Try Maca?
If you’re interested in supplementing with maca, make sure you choose a reputable brand, preferably organic, that lists only one ingredient on its label: maca root powder. If you want to try maca for any of it’s supposed health benefits, it is a good idea to take notes or keep a journal on how you are feeling in the week (maybe even two) before you start the supplements, as well as how you feel once you start. For example, if you want to start taking maca to boost your energy levels, take a few moments every morning, afternoon and night, to notice your energy - maybe on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10, and write down how you feel. Then do the same once you start taking maca, before and after the supplement note your energy levels (or whichever health benefit you’re shooting for) in your journal, 1 hour after, two hours after, etc. Also take note of how you are taking it: in a smoothie, in coffee, with food, etc. This will better help you determine if you are genuinely seeing positive effects from supplementing with maca.
Try Our Maca + Ashwagandha Powder Mix HERE