If you’re a health-nut who has been keeping their eyes and ears open for the latest nutrition and supplement trends, you probably would have come across a little gem called Maca Powder. If this is the first time you are hearing about this Peruvian mountain-born superfood, then I’ll be very glad to briefly introduce you to one-another.
Used throughout history for its many benefits like balancing hormones and improving libido, this natural supplement is perfect for those tackling hormone-related issues like PMS and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). However, it can be just as successfully used by those wishing to improve their overall health, increase energy levels and mood.
Keep reading to find out just what Maca Powder is, what it does and how to use it.
What is Maca powder?
Maca root, also known as Lepidium meyenii or Peruvian ginseng, is an edible plant which belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables (like sister cauliflower and brother broccoli). It is native to the high Andes mountains of Peru and has a long and proud history of both culinary and medicinal uses in that region.
Maca root is usually dried and ground up to a powder which can then be added and consumed with any food. It’s worth noting that the supplement should be eaten in its raw form, as we wouldn’t want the heat to take away all of the precious benefits that this plant can provide.
Maca powder benefits
So, what exactly are the benefits of Maca powder? There are many…
Rich in vitamins and minerals
Maca root is a good source of carbs and fiber and is low in fat. It’s also rich in vitamin C, copper, iron, as well as potassium, vitamin B6 and manganese. These vitamins and minerals are essential for sustaining overall health.
Research shows that after at least six weeks of Maca ingestion, sexual desire is increased in both men and women. So if you’re looking to improve your love life, this natural aphrodisiac might just be the hit you need!
Help with infertility
Related to the libido-boosting qualities of Maca, this supplement can also increase men’s fertility by improving both the quality and quantity of semen.
May help relieve menopause symptoms
This Peruvian plant has been shown to aid hormonal regulation, which in turn can alleviate hormone-related menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness and sleep problems.
A natural mood-booster
Compounds called flavonoids contained in Maca are associated with reduced signs of anxiety and depression. Maca powder helps balance cortisol levels (a high-stress hormone), leaving you feeling de-stressed and happier.
Maca has been lovingly accepted into the athlete and bodybuilder community because of its energy and stamina-boosting qualities. Regular use of this supplement can, therefore, leave you feeling more energized and improve exercise performance.
Improved brain function
For centuries, Peruvian natives have been using Maca to improve children’s school performance. This tradition is now supported by modern research, linking this plant to improved cognitive function and memory.
Possible side-effects of Maca powder
Although Maca is generally considered safe to consume, there are a few conditions in which it’s to be used more cautiously:
Maca contains substances called goitrogens, which may interfere with the normal function of the thyroid glands. If you are already experiencing impaired thyroid function, make sure to discuss the use of Maca with your doctor to avoid any risk of adverse effects.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
There is currently a shortage of information on Maca safety for pregnant and breastfeeding women, so if you are a (soon-to-be) mama, make sure to have a chat with your doctor before using this supplement.
How to use Maca powder?
Maca powder has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor which most people find enjoyable to eat. While it’s not something you’ll want to eat straight out-of-the-box by the spoonful (and it’s not recommended to do so anyway), sprinkling it on top of some oatmeal, fruit, salads, or adding it to a smoothie will give your body a boost without upsetting the taste buds!
However, if you’re really not a fan of the taste, lucky for you, Maca Powder is also available in capsule form.
The recommended starting dose of Maca is about 1/2 teaspoon daily for general health, but if you are using the supplement for therapeutic purposes, the amount can be increased to 1-3 teaspoons but should be done so very gradually.