The journey to better health and wellness can sometimes seem like an endless pursuit...
The older we get the more issues it seems we have available to address, correct, maintain... you know... lack of energy, tired, weight gain, weight loss, trouble sleeping, stress management...the list can go on and on!
And for as many potential issues as we may (or may not) be encountering, it seems we have a dizzying array of options out there to help, cure, fix in a week, etc! It can be so confusing to know which are legitimate and which are just all hype!?!
But with all that said, I've recently incorporated a new ingredient into my current wellness regimen of daily supplements that I've actually become really impressed with! (And as a wellness coach that is always researching and reviewing new products, I'm not always so easily impressed ;) )
So...as the title above says... MACA!
Maybe you've already heard of it, but have you tried it yet? ;)
I always love it when I can find a superfood that is so versatile and beneficial. I've been taking it for a little while now and believe I am feeling the benefits in my energy and mood but after reading and learning more, I felt this would be one sharing more about!
So, here are some of the TOP reasons MACA may be the Superfood you're missing in your life! ;)
First, of all, What is Maca?
Maca is a root plant that grows in central Peru in the high plateaus of the Andes Mountains. It has been cultivated as a vegetable crop in this area for at least 3000 years. Maca is a relative of the radish and has an odor similar to butterscotch. Its root is used to make medicine.
So what's so great about Maca for us then?
1- Its a Nutritional Powerhouse!
Maca root powder is extremely nutritious, and is a great source of several important vitamins and minerals.
One ounce (28 grams) of maca root powder contains:
- Calories: 91
- Carbs: 20 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Vitamin C: 133% of the RDI
- Copper: 85% of the RDI
- Iron: 23% of the RDI
- Potassium: 16% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 15% of the RDI
- Manganese: 10% of the RDI
Maca root is a good source of carbs and protein, is low in fat and contains a fair amount of fiber. It's also high in some essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin c and copper. Maca is also a natural antioxidant and boots glutathione levels in the body!
2- Women's (and Men's) Hormone Health- the maca root is said to be able to balance and regulate hormones (without containing any hormones itself) which can help to improve fertility, pms, menopause, PCOS and even libido! There are so many articles and studies on all of this that I have been reading over the past few weeks and honestly its too much for a single blog post but I'll include a few links here so that you can keep reading more about this.
4- Improves Your Energy and Mood- Maca has shown to be able to enhance your mood and energy levels and this is the one area I think I can feel the most. It's been associated with reduced anxiety and symptoms of depression, particularly in menopausal women. Maca contains plant compounds called flavonoids, which have been suggested to be at least partly responsible for these psychological benefits.
5- Its an Adaptogen! ---> What in the World is an Adaptogen, you may ask? <--- Click here to read all about them! And maca is an amazing example of one!
For anyone with stress or anxiety, maca and other adaptogens can prove to be your best friend! Just like with ashwagandha, ginseng or wolfberry, the maca root is one of the rare plants that can be classified as an ‘adaptogen’. Which means it can directly help to balance your hormones and help your body adapt to sickness and stress. Your endocrine (hormone) system is in the front line when it comes to handling the effects of stress on your body. Read more about how maca and other key adaptogens help your body handle stress and normalize here.
Ok, so now that you can see how awesome Maca is...how do we use it, eat it...what do we DO with it anyways??
Maca is super easy to add to your diet.
It can be taken as a supplement or added to smoothies, protein shakes, cream of wheat or oatmeal, baked goods, protein bars and more.
How Much? The dosage of maca root powder used in studies generally recommends around 1 teaspoon per day.
You can usually find maca in grocery stores, health food stores and online such as on Amazon with thousands of helpful reviews.
It is available in powder form, 500-mg capsules or as a liquid extract.
While yellow maca is the most commonly available type, darker types like red and black may possess different biological properties.
On most of the sites and articles that I've read about maca it is recommended to look for gelatinized maca. Gelatinized maca powder is different than regular maca powder because it undergoes a gelatinization process to remove the starch from the root, making it more easily digestible for maximum nutrient absorption.
Have you tried maca yet? I'd love to hear why you use it and what you think about it in the comments below! How do you use it and how has it helped you?
Here's a couple fun recipes for you to try your maca with too!
Chocolate Maca Superfood Protein Shake:
1 tsp Maca
2 scoops Chocolate IsaLean protein powder
1 scoop IsaGreens
1 frozen banana
1 tsp Chia Seeds (optional)
1 cup water
1 cup ice
Blend and Enjoy!
Blend dates in a food processor or blender to create a paste, then add the rest of the ingredients, roll into balls and refrigerate. Enjoy!
Related/Recent posts you may find interesting:
- What in the World are Adaptogens, Anyways? The Happy Juice Secret Weapon to fighting stress and improving Energy!
- Bars, Balls and Bites! Top Protein Balls Recipes to keep you Energetic, Fit and Healthy
- Top 7 Ways to Beat the Flu Naturally! (Without getting the Flu Shot!!)
- The Skinny on Weight Loss Challenges: What You Really Should be Looking For!