What is Maca Powder? Benefits and where to find it
Although Maca roots have been cultivated in Peru for centuries, most people outside Central America only learned about them recently. Super foodies and nutritionists are to thanks for this. They constantly tout maca powder benefits on TV, magazines and the blogs all the time. But is maca as nutritious and helpful as they say?
Maca: the healthy powder?
Maca is a plant cultivated for its roots in the high plateaus of Peru. Ancient Peruvians believed maca roots could treat anemia, enhance athletic performance, solve menstrual problems and improve fertility.
When not being consumed raw, maca roots are roasted or prepared as a soup. More recently, the roots have been processed into various products, including powder, capsule, and tea. The most components of maca are carbohydrates, minerals like calcium, amino acids, and vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E.
While some of the proclaimed maca powder are disputed, others are medically proven. The powder, for instance, improves sex hormones by modulating the endocrine system. By giving signals to all the glands involved in stimulating sexual arousal, fertility and the nervous system, maca powder ensures your sexual health is always in check.
Nutritional Facts about Maca Powder
Maca is full of nutrients. One ounce of grounded maca root provides the following to your body:
- 91 calories
- 4 grams of proteins
- 20 grams of carbs
- 2 Grams of fiber
- Vitamin C
- Iron, copper
- Vitamin B6
Because it's purely organic, there are no limits on how to consume maca. Drizzle some in your smoothie or add it to your flour as you bake muffins. There is no wrong way to consume Maca. But if you are not good with recipes though, here’s a start.
Strawberry Maca Shake
- Half a cup of fresh strawberries
- 4 Medjool dates, seedless
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla
- ½ teaspoon of maca powder
- One cup of almond milk
- ½ cup of ice
- A pinch of salt
Mix all the ingredients and blend them to produce a super shake. If it’s not thick enough, add some more frozen berries. If it’s overly thick, add ice. You can also add one banana to introduce a second flavor.
Maca Latte Recipe
Yet another beverage gives you a chance to experience the rich benefits of maca. It’s naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup and only takes five minutes to prepare.
- One teaspoon of vanilla extract
- One tablespoon of Maca powder
- Half a cup of coconut milk
- One cup of almond milk
- A pinch of cayenne powder and black pepper
- One tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
Mix all the ingredients and whisk them over a medium heating saucepan. Continue whisking as the content becomes warm. Serve with pancakes or take them alone.
Oatmeal Maca plus Guarana
Tasty, satisfying and nutritious: what more do you want in breakfast? If you prioritize health in all your meals, this is a great recipe to prepare once in a while.
- 5 tablespoons of oatmeal
- One cup of coconut milk
- One tablespoon of guarana powder
- One kiwi and one banana
- An eight of a pineapple
- One tablespoon of goji berries
- Two cables spoons of cacao powder
- Two tablespoons of maca powder
Place oatmeal in a pan and heat it up. Stir a little bit and add the fruits chopped into pieces. Mix guarana with maca, stir them before adding the rest of the ingredients. Serve your breakfast.
Best Maca Powder Buying Guide
There are main types of Maca: red, black and yellow. Most powders are grounded from yellowish Maca because it’s the most common type. Black Maca is linked to brain health while red maca helps with prostate problems. Below are some of the main brands with different types of Maca powder.
Raw Red Maca Powder by the Maca Team
This product comes in a shiny 2.2-pounds sachet of Peruvian sourced Maca. The packet includes a label all of its ingredients and how to use it. There are no additives included for the $45 top-rated item. Most customers who've used the product claim to have experienced improvements in their libido levels, bodily energy, and moods.
Gelatinized Black Maca Capsules by the Maca Team
Priced at $27, this product packs 200 pre-cooked capsules so that you consume them like medicine, 2-3 every day. They are black/grey in color and attract positive reviews for their impact on the muscles. The capsules are also advised for promoting libido, mental focus and enhance male fertility.
Nuna Native Maca Powder—Yellow
This package is suited for people who want to try a little bit of the product before investing more. The powder comes in a sachet containing 8 ounces of the product. It is properly packed and looks authentic with a picture of a Peruvian farmer harvesting the plant. It costs $15 for 45 servings.
Gelatinized Red Maca powder by the Maca team
One pound in size and aimed at women, this sachet of Red maca is one of the best sellers on Amazon. While it costs $28, the price isn't its selling point. Its divine smell, ability to blend with smoothies and great support from women makes it worth checking out.
Benefits of Maca Powder
Maca helps increase libido in both men and women, and there is scientific evidence to prove this. Three separate studies done between 2000 and 2015 showed that people who consumed at least three grams of the powder noticed improvements in their libido levels than those who didn’t.
For women who experience sexual dysfunction and after hitting menopause, maca is believed to help. Besides improving sexual desires, the powder also helps women with anxiety and depression issues.
Couples who struggle with fertility problems should give maca a try. In one study, men who consumed at least 1.5 grams of the powder for six weeks experienced a boost in their sperm count. In women, the powder helps normalize their monthly cycle to make it easier to conceive a baby.
Taking one tablespoon of maca powder every day gives your body all the nutrients it requires. From carbs to fiber, protein to vitamins, maca is a superfood with everything you need and nothing you don't require. Of course, most people take the powder for sexual health-related purposes
Can Improve your Mood
One of the main reasons Peruvians say they consume maca root powder is to improve their mood after stressful days. The powder achieves this by stimulating certain glands in your body that relaxes and helps you cope with stress or depression.
May enhance Sports Performance
Maca powder works as a supplement for bodybuilders and athletes. Thanks to its multiple, nutrients, the powder helps you build muscles and strengthen your muscles. In one study done on professional cyclists, those who consumed maca supplements within a 14-day period finished a 25-mile ride faster than all other cyclists.
Protection against Sun Rays
Although more research is needed, there is evidence that links maca powder to improved skin. So far, studies done in this area involves applying maca extracts on the skin. Powder consumed orally can’t protect you against UV rays.
Is Maca Powder for me?
If you are a man or a woman who values their health, maca is for you. Both men and women benefit from the powder in countless ways. It’s not flavorful, but it’s also not bitter. Again, you can always add sweeteners like honey to make it sweeter.
Post-menopausal women tend to benefit the most from maca since it reduces the symptoms that come with hitting that age. However, men can also boost their libido, improve fertility and lower prostate cancer risks by using the same product.
Younger men and women with mild libido dysfunctional issues should probably also try the powder. Additionally, the roots have nutritional value. They make you stronger, helps build your muscles and have almost no side effects.
Taking Maca Powder for Hormonal Boost
One of the best features of the maca plant is its ability to adapt to tough environmental conditions. Even better, it passes these features to humans, helping you deal with stress and hormonal imbalances appropriately.
For women who would want to boost or lower their estrogen levels naturally, maca is the best solution. The benefit also works for men. Another point worth noting is that the powder does not promote any hormones of its own but only regulates what’s in your body.
Maca Root vs. Ginseng
The main difference between these two plants is that one is cultivated in Peru while the other one comes from Asia and North America. Both plants are purported to help with low libido and improving fertility.
Both roots also aid with mental development, but this benefit is attributed more to Ginseng than to Maca. Ginseng also reduces inflammation; something Maca is not believed to solve. On the other hand, the Peruvian root helps women deal with the effects of menopause.
Side Effects of Maca Root Powder
Like most organic edibles, maca is safe to most people who use it. However, the powder has had effects on people that are sensitive to hormonal regulating products. To be specific, the powder might affect you if you have breast, ovarian or uterine cancer or fibroids.
Maca is often referred to as the Peruvian Ginseng, but it’s a unique root. Unlike Ginseng, Maca works mainly to improve fertility and libido issues. It also helps with stress management, helps build muscles and brain development. It is vegan-friendly, cost-effective and causes few if any side effects to most people.