Maca: The Superfood with Amazing Health Benefits
Scientific name: Lepidium meyenii
Why is Maca so special?
Maca is a root vegetable that grows in the central Andes of Peru between 4000 and 4500 m altitude, far away from environmental contaminants. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, making it one of nature’s superfoods. Maca is high in Vitamin C, B6, Iron, Calcium, Riboflavin, and Potassium, and offers many health benefits. It is often referred to as Peruvian ginseng.
Maca: Nature’s Answer to Energy, Hormones, and More
Maca is used for various purposes in traditional herbal medicine, including:
- Enhancing energy levels
- Building muscle mass and increasing stamina
- Potentially balancing hormones due to its amino acid profile, with maca root supplementation might help to improvements in symptoms of hormone imbalance in women, such as hot flashes and night sweats1
- Supporting mental clarity and focus
- Reducing tiredness and fatigue
- Boosting the immune system
- Acting as an aphrodisiac, potentially increasing sexual desire and function
- Regulating the female reproductive system
- Helping men increase sperm count and motility.
The Science Behind Maca’s Benefits: What You Need to Know
Experimental scientific evidence showed that Maca has nutritional, energizer, and fertility-enhancer properties. It acts on sexual dysfunctions, osteoporosis, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), memory and learning, and protects the skin against ultraviolet radiation. Clinical trials showed the efficacy of Maca on sexual dysfunctions and increasing sperm count and motility.2
Maca grows in four different color ranges, each of which has unique properties and works better for certain purposes. Black Maca shows the best results on spermatogenesis, memory, and fatigue, while red Maca is the variety that reverses benign prostatic hyperplasia and experimentally induced osteoporosis. Additionally, Maca reduces glucose levels, and its consumption is related to the lowering of blood pressure and an improved health score.3
Maca is a plant with great potential as an adaptogen and appears to be promising as a functional food in the prevention of several diseases.
How to Use Maca for Optimal Health: Tips and Recipes
The taste of Maca is sweet with nutty flavors. You can add 1 teaspoon of Maca powder to yogurt, smoothies, or hot cacao drinks. You can also replace caffeine in the morning with a Maca smoothie, which will boost your energy levels and reduce fatigue and tiredness.
Hot Chocolate – Maca
- ½ cup vegan milk (oat milk is my preference)
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp maca powder
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of chili pepper flakes
- Optional sweetener: coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup (to your taste)
- Warm up the milk mixed with the water.
- Add all the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Sprinkle cinnamon powder on top.
Who said that herbal medicine can’t be delicious?!