I’m sure you’ve heard of maca powder, but have you ever discovered the power and true potential of this incredible root?
I love using maca powder in my smoothies, or taking it in tincture form. It is incredibly versatile and has been deemed as one of the most powerful superfoods in the world!
Maca is the highest altitude crop in the world. It grows around 4300 meters in the Peruvian Andes of South America. Maca’s use goes back to around 3800 B.C., when the indigenous peoples of Peru cultivated and ate it for its nutritional and medicinal value.
It is incredibly high in beneficial amino acids, carbohydrates, and minerals like calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, and vitamins C, E, B1, B2 and B12.
My favourite maca brand is by that sold by The Maca Team. They sell select Peruvian maca in its true raw form, which makes it highly absorbable by the body. They also sell gelatinized maca which is easier on those with a sensitive digestive tract (this stuff is boiled down and pressurized to dissolve the starch content, however, so the gelatinized form is not raw – but still a great option for those suffering from digestive distress).
The Maca Team sells exclusively organic products, working with farming co-ops in Peru that are against the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. They grow traditionally, which means that the land is allowed regular rest and is fertilized naturally.
They also have a select variety of different maca powders, which is one thing I really love about the company. Here are the different kinds you have an option of purchasing:
– Raw red maca: for prostate support, women’s fertility and libido, improvement in bone density. Sweeter and good for beginners!
– Raw black maca: for men wishing to increase their fertility, men and women wishing to boost their libido, athletes wanting to gain strength and stamina, and anyone looking to improve memory, concentration and focus skills.
– Raw yellow maca: the most common maca powder, great for beginners and for increasing energy, balancing hormones, improving skin health, and elevating your mood.
– Raw premium maca: the most complete and potent all-around maca available – contains 30% red, 30% black and 40% yellow coloured maca roots. Strongest tasting and more concentrated and potent than single coloured maca powders.
Health Benefits of Maca Powder
As for the health benefits of maca, check out those listed below!
1. Increased Energy
Maca has positive effects on energy, stamina and mood, which results in lower levels of anxiety and depression. It helps stabilize blood sugar levels (which decreases energy spikes and dips), and improves adrenal health, which combined help regulate mood and energy throughout the day.
2. Increased Stamina & Athletic Endurance
It has been said that Incan warriors consumed Maca before battle to increase their prowess. It helps to build muscle (thanks to the high quality amino acids), and studies have found it to improve stamina in distance racing.
3. Stress Relief
Maca has been traditionally used for helping relax and energize participants before long dance ceremonies. It’s positive effects on mood reduce perceived anxiety and stress.
4. Increased Libido
Maca is an incredibly potent aphrodisiac. It increases sperm production, boosts fertility and is a natural depressant. One study found that maca root is an effective supplement for women who experience sexual dysfunction as a result of taking SSRIs.
5. Balances Hormones
The presence of high quality amino acids in maca serve as building blocks of hormones in the body. Maca supports the endocrine system, and so it naturally has a positive effect on your adrenal hormones. Maca is so effective that it can actually repair exhausted adrenal glands.
6. Regulates Thyroid Function
Maca nourishes the thyroid gland. According to Dr. Viana Muller, who studied women with under-active thyroids, maca powder helped reduce these women’s use of thyroid medication, with some cases involving a complete termination of thyroid medication after using maca for just 2-3 months.
7. Improved Fertility
Maca affects key hormones in both women and men without containing hormones itself. By helping balance estrogen and progesterone levels in the body, it ensures a woman can carry a successful pregnancy and reduces the wait time for becoming pregnant. In regards to men, studies have shown that maca can increase sperm health and function, improving their ability to fertilize eggs upon conception.
8. Reduces Depression
Maca is great for improving overall mood and energy levels, which are important when trying to battle bouts of depression. Researchers from a hospital in Australia studied one group of women for 12 weeks – one group was given 3.5 grams of maca powder per day, while the other group was given a placebo. The results showed that those in the maca powder group had a significant reduction in scores in the areas of psychological symptoms, including those for anxiety and depression.
9. PMS, Menopause and Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Maca helps control estrogen levels in the body and so it is said to help improve symptoms of PMS, PCOS and menopause. By balancing estrogen levels in the body, it equalizes with the amount of progesterone produced, which thereby increases reproductive health and fertility and decreases symptoms related to PCOS.
10. Enhances Memory and Learning
Maca also regulates the hypothalamus, which allows the pituitary gland to function properly. A healthy pituitary gland helps balance focus and energy, which thereby enables people to concentrate better and improve their learning ability. The black variety of maca powder is most beneficial in learning and memory.