April 26, 2018 · Written by Foodtolive Team
Maca Powder: Benefits, Nutrition And Uses
Whether you are a health buff or someone who advocates healthy living, you might have heard about maca. It has been used traditionally because of its medicinal properties and nutritional qualities for thousands of years. Nature has gifted us with this food that is revered today as a superfood because of its key nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Although it has been around for thousands of years, maca’s existence is the newest remedies that hit the health communities. So, what’s the buzz about maca? Let’s get to know more about it and take a good look at its benefits, nutrition and uses.
Maca whose scientific name is Lepidium meyenii is a cruciferous vegetable that is native to Andes mountain of Peru which is also referred to as Peruvian ginseng. Its appearance can be similar to radish or turnips with green tops. The color of its roots ranges from yellow, purple to black. This pungent veggie root has a pleasant taste to it that usually comes in powdered form.
Despite maca’s long-standing reputation in the Peruvian country, it was only in the past 20 years that it gained popularity around the globe because of the many health benefits it provides.
- It normalizes menopause symptoms for women – Research shows that maca’s high nutrient density and phytochemical content is responsible for easing out menopause symptoms in women such as hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety and depression. It has been used extensively as a hormonal balancer.
- Improve female sexual health – There are many factors involve in female sexual dysfunctions like a woman’s age, lifestyle and medical and nutritional status as the main component. Multiple studies reveal that maca can help in boosting female sex drive and significantly improves on sexual dysfunctions even to post-menopausal women.
- Supports mood and energy – Regular use of maca powder reports an increase in stamina that makes them feel awake, refreshed, driven and energized. It also boosts energy level without the jittery feeling that you get from high caffeine level. Maca’s ability to maintain positive energy results in enhancing moods as well that prevents depression.
- Boost fertility – It is a common concern for both man and women. Taking maca’s supplement for eight weeks shows an improvement in sexual desire for men and helps in improving the motility and quality of the sperm which is a factor in male fertility. Likewise, maca’s ability to increase in serum luteinizing hormone in the pituitary gland helps in women’s fertility as well.
- Helps the body to adapt to stressors – Maca is a natural adaptogen that helps the body adapt to its stressors and eventually reduces the stress and anxiety that are often associated to a busy schedule, job-related work and chronic illnesses.
Maca is an excellent source of protein, minerals, vitamins, fiber and essential fatty acids. It includes vitamin C, copper, and iron. It also contains amino acids and plenty of phytonutrients. It is also low in calories. Here is the nutrition profile of maca.
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- Calories – 91
- Carbohydrates – 20 grams
- Fat – 1 gram
- Protein – 14g per 100g with amino acids
- Iron – 4.1 milligrams 23% of DV
- Fiber – 7g per 100g
- Vitamin C – 7.8 milligrams 133% of DV
- Copper – 1.7 milligrams 84% of DV
maca is available in powdered form after harvesting and grounded down. It has a slightly nutty flavor with a trace of butterscotch taste. You can easily mix maca’s powder to your favorite food or smoothies and you don’t need so much of it to achieve the desired taste. Here are some tips on how to use maca powder.
- You can mix the powder in your breakfast oats, granola, baked good, soups, desserts, cereals, and to your favorite smoothies.
- When using maca powder, you can start with 1 tablespoon and gradually increase it up to 3 tablespoons.
- It is not advisable to microwave the maca powder as the heating process will diminish most of its nutrients.
- Use maca powder variety that is raw and organic.
Where to buy maca powder? Due to its growing popularity, maca powder can be bought in any health stores, pharmacies and online retailers. Just make sure that it is a 100% pure maca powder. Read the label and buy from a reputable retailer.
With all the good things that we can get from maca, why not give it a try. Level up your nutritious diet by adding maca in your food coupled with a healthy lifestyle, you will surely gain all its health benefits.