Have you heard of maca powder?
Chances are if you’ve tried it, you’re already obsessed with the stuff. Easy for adding to smoothies and raw healthy treats, maca is packed with nutrients and health benefits, as well as some natural medicinal properties. Because maca is such an incredible superfood, I thought I would devote a post to it and share some recipes with you in the future.
Here’s the skinny:
Maca is a root vegetable related to radishes and is native to Peru. While I’ve never seen a fresh maca root, it is easy to find in powder form. I’ve been adding maca to my smoothies for a couple of years now. It adds a rich, nutty, and creamy flavor – kind of similar to the flavor vanilla protein powder. You can get maca powder from many natural food stores, but I buy mine online. I’ve tried numerous brands, and have recently become obsessed with Giddy Yoyo’s maca powder .
Let’s dive into the wonderful world of maca and discover 9 reasons why it is so awesome!
Aphrodisiac // Hell yeah! Looking to get a little jazzy behind closed doors? Maca it up, sons and sisters! Dubbed Peruvian “ginseng,” maca powder has been used for thousands of years as a natural aphrodisiac, and has even been used to naturally treat Erectile Dysfunction.
Hormone & Mood Balance // Consuming small amounts (no more than 1 tablespoon) of maca each day can help balance out your hormones. This leveling out of hormones can help ease depression, thereby boosting your mood, energy level, and focus, while lowering your anxiety.
Fertility // The black form of maca has been linked to increasing sperm count in men. The fact that maca helps to regulate hormone levels can increase fertility in women.
Vitamin & Mineral Rich // Full of Vitamins B, C, and E, maca powder is a great source for antioxidants and keeping your immune system healthy. It also contains calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous.
Medicinal Properties // Used to treat osteoporosis, stomach cancer, depression, leukemia, and tuberculosis, maca is used in the naturopathic medical industry worldwide.
Energy Boosting // A popular alternative to coffee, maca is known for elevating your energy level and also increasing your stamina. Put this in your afternoon pick-me-up smoothie and have energy for a jog after work!
Stress Relief // Similar to its mood and energy-boosting characteristics, maca helps you kick back, chill the eff out, and unwind. My personal side note: since going for a little roll in the hay always loosens you up, the aphrodisiac quality to maca also helps in the stress relief department.
Clear Skin // For those with mild acne and/or skin irritation, maca may be a natural remedy. The nutrient quality and hormone balancing characteristics of maca help keep your skin healthy, vibrant, and clear.
Muscle Building // Both men and women can enjoy the benefits of maca powder, both from a sexuality standpoint and from a fitness angle, as it has been linked to aiding in the development of muscle. Just ask your local body builders – they’ll tell you!
Tips on cooking with maca:
- Leave it raw. Don’t try to cook maca into anything, as once it is heated, it no longer holds the same health benefits.
- Don’t over-maca. Because maca effects your hormone levels, it is not advised to go too crazy with it. If you’re new to maca, start by adding a very small amount (1 teaspoon) to your smoothies, then work your way up to about a tablespoon. It is not recommended to consume more than 1 tablespoon of maca powder per day. Additionally, if you add too much maca to a smoothie, it can result in a bit of a chalky texture.
- Get creative! If you enjoy making energy balls or homemade Lara bars, add maca to your recipes for an even healthier treat!
Cautions: If your family has a history of testicular or ovarian cancer, or if you’re breast feeding, consult your doctor before adding maca to your diet.
Stay tuned for recipes using maca! If you’re raring to inject maca into your life, you can purchase it online here. In the meantime, here are a couple of recipes incorporating maca from around the web:
Energy-Boosting Maca Truffles from Mind Body Green
Almond Butter Maca Madness Smoothie from Blissful Basil
Almond Cacao Cookies with Salted Maca Caramel from This Rawsome Vegan Life
5 Minute Maca Energy Bites from My Whole Food Life