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Maca, a root that belongs to the radish family, is most commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called “Peruvian ginseng.” Maca’s benefits have been long valued, and has recently been popularized as a supplement and food ingredient. There are no serious known side effects of maca, but like any other supplement it shouldn’t be taken in large amounts.
Maca is rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E. It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.
2. Sexual function:
Maca has long been used to promote sexual function of both men and women. It’s thought to boost libido and increase endurance. It has also been used to balance the hormones and increase fertility. Note the these benefits are anecdotal.
3. Women’s health and mood:
Maca has been used to relieve menstrual issues and the side effects of going through menopause. Some women have used it to alleviate cramps, body pain, hot flashes, anxiety, mood swings, and depression. Like the benefits of #2 above, these are anecdotal and shouldn’t be used in place of consulting with a practitioner. If you are pregnant or lactating you should avoid taking maca.
Some have experienced an increase in energy level within days of beginning to use maca. It is also known for increasing stamina. Many athletes take maca for peak performance. If you find yourself tired much of the time, experiment with maca to see if it helps. Just a small amount could be exactly what you need for a boost!
An increase in mental energy and focus has been reported by users of maca, as well.
5. General health:
Maca helps your overall health in a number of ways. It supplies iron and helps restore red blood cells, which aids in avoiding anemia and cardiovascular diseases. The nutrients in maca may help to keep bones and teeth healthy and help heal wounds more quickly. When used in conjunction with a good workout regime, supplementing with maca may help to increase in muscle mass.
Be very cautious if you have a cancer related to hormones, like testicular and ovarian, among others. If you have liver issues or high blood pressure you should ask your doctor before taking maca.
Many people take maca for skin issues, as for some people it helps to clear acne and blemishes. Another benefit that some users have experienced is that it decreases skin sensitivity. In hot or cold weather, maca may help skin withstand extreme temperatures.
7. Mood balance:
If you find yourself overcome with anxiety, stress, depression or mood swings, maca may help alleviate these symptoms, though the evidence for this is anecdotal.
Five Easy and Tasty Ways to Use Maca Powder in Food :
Maca powder, a superfood that’s derived from a root native to Peru, has numerous health benefits. Maca is best used without cooking or baking it. The easiest way to use maca powder is to add anything from a teaspoon to a tablespoon to smoothies or protein shakes. The malty flavor works particularly well with chocolatey flavors, as in this Mocha Maca Banana Smoothie, shown above; but it also goes well with fruitier flavors, as in Strawberry-Vanilla Maca Smoothie.
Maca powder is also a good addition to energy balls or no-bake sweets.These No-Bake Vegan Maca-Roons are filled with all manner of nutrient-dense goodies, including maca, nuts, nut better, dates, and coconut. Try adding a couple of tablespoons or so to other no-bake treats like Unbaked Fudgy Brownies or Gena Hamshaw’s Unbaked Fig Bars.
If you’re into juicing, maca can be a good addition, as in this Carrot Maca Juice by Julie Morris. It’s a mellow combination of nutritious carrots, energizing maca powder, and tasty cashews. The idea is to blend some maca, about a tablespoon or so, into 16 ounces of fresh juice.
Another easy way to use maca is to sprinkle it onto your hot or cold cereals. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons in this case, otherwise the flavor may overwhelm your cereal.
When the weather is warmer and you’re making your easy banana-based soft-serve “ice cream” simply add a tablespoon or two to the food processor when you’re blending up the frozen bananas.