It might resemble a humble turnip, but maca packs a powerful punch when it comes to nutrition. Hormone balancing and detoxifying, maca can enhance your health, boost your energy, and fire up your libido. The fact it also happens to taste delicious is just the icing on the cake.
4 Reasons You Need Maca in Your Life
1. Maca is Nutrient Dense
When it comes to superfoods, it’s all about nutrient density: how many vitamins and minerals you can get from every serving. Maca doesn’t disappoint, boasting an impressive array of nutrients, including:
- Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulphur
- Omegas 3, 6 and 9
- Vitamins B1, B2, C and E
- Healthy protein (18 amino acids)
- 6 sterols (compounds that form cell membranes and act as chemical messengers)
- Phytonutrients, including:
Saponins: support the immune system, fight cancer cells, and help to increase your body’s capacity to absorb nutrients
Tannins: fight the growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses, and protect cells from free-radical damage
Alkaloids: while these compounds’ function is not yet fully understood, some believe alkaloids to be the source of maca’s libido-enhancing potency
2. Maca Adapts to Your Body
Maca is an adaptogen, which means it adapts to your body’s unique needs. Maca acts like a clever entity, balancing the body’s physiological processes to calm stress, balance hormones, stabilize your nervous system, and strengthen your immunity.
Maca’s adaptogenic properties help increase:
- Focus and memory
- Strength and stamina
- Hormone production
3. Maca Balances Your Hormones and Fires Up Your Libido
Hormones have a role in just about every function in your body. But fast-paced, high-stress lifestyles, chaotic dieting and irregular sleeping habits can all send your hormones in a spin. And if they’re out of balance, this affects your mood, your weight, your libido and your food cravings.
Maca’s adaptogenic properties rebalance your hormones, helping in turn to reduce mood-swings and stabilise weight. Maca also supports the endocrine system to produce sex hormones (testosterone in men and estrogen in women), which turns up the heat in the bedroom—some even call it Nature’s Viagra, because it’s been known to help men overcome erectile dysfunction.
4. Maca Detoxifies Your Body
It’s hard to believe, but maca is actually nothing more than a large turnip, from the cruciferous family of vegetables (like broccoli, radish, cauliflower and watercress). Being a cruciferous vegetable, maca is a great food to eat if you’re on a detox. This is because cruciferous vegetables contain nutrients like glucosinolates, which support your liver and help it to produce glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that binds to toxins and escorts them out of your body.
Adding Maca to Your Diet
In Peru, where it originates, maca is cooked like a regular vegetable and added to soups and stews, or ground up into flour for cakes and bread. Elsewhere it is most commonly available as a powder you can add to your smoothies, energy balls, and other healthy treats. Maca’s flavour is similar to butterscotch, with an earthy undertone, and my favourite way to eat it is in an energising cacao smoothie.
Maca Breakfast Smoothie
- 1 x banana (use a frozen banana for a thicker milkshake-like treat)
- 1 cup almond milk (or other plant-milk)
- 2 x dates (medjools work best)
- 1 x tablespoon cacao
- 1 x tablespoon maca
- 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter (optional)
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth – a great energising smoothie to start your day, or as a reward after a good workout.
Maca: A Delicious Superfood
Few foods can boast as many healing, health-boosting properties as maca. Thanks to its cocktail of nutrients, it helps detox your body, balance your hormones, improve your energy, strengthen your immune system, and fire up your libido… and it tastes delicious! Maca is certainly worthy of superfood status - add it to your breakfast smoothie and start feeling the difference today!
- Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future by David Wolfe
- Maca: Adaptogen and Hormonal Regulator by Beth M. Ley, PhD
- Maca (Smart Supplementation) by Gene Bruno, MS, MHS
- The Power of Maca: Peruvian Superfood by Lorrie Ingram, B.H.SC(HONS), RHN, RNCP
...and remember, qualified nutritionists at Healthy Being are available to offer further general advice to help guide you in selecting the right products. So please, feel free to contact us at anytime!
Mel Bee is a certified Detox Coach and freelance writer specialising in plant-based, planet-friendly living. She empowers her clients to dive into vibrant, abundant health with personalised detox plans that re-nourish body and soul.