There’s just something about the word ‘superfood’ that makes me want to tip my head back and growl out Tim Allen’s “arrrgh, arrrgh, arrrgh”. No, Maca isn’t a powerful hand tool – it’s a powerful tool for your health.
Maca powder is a root plant, similar to a radish, that grows in the Peruvian Andes. This little root has been thriving in rocky soil, intense sunlight, cold, and wind for thousands of years. Today Maca, known as the superfood of the Andes, is Peru’s #2 export crop.
Of Maca and Men
When indigenous Peruvian farmers realized that the livestock grazing in areas where the maca plant grew became healthier, more fertile, and hardier, it became a food staple for them as well.
Machu Picchu, built by the Incas in the 15th century, is one of the seven wonders of the world. How they carried tons of heavy stone at an altitude of nearly 2.5km above sea level, is often contributed to their maca enriched diet. Legend claims that Incan warriors ate maca before going into battle.
It’s not hard to believe that men in ancient times prized this root, even using it as currency, when you consider that maca is known to:
- assist with strength and endurance
- increase production of testosterone in men
- improve circulation
- be an aphrodisiac
- be superior for muscle growth
- increase overall energy levels
- restore libido
- be an effective treatment for many hormone-related disorders like infertility, low sperm count, and low adrenal production
Is Maca Beneficial for Women?
But not only is Maca great for men – it’s nearly an essential for women. Maca is unique in that it’s an adaptogen. It works differently, but effectively in both men and women. For women, Maca powder is known to:
- balance and stabilize hormones which leads to regular ovulation (and therefore increases fertility – it is also safe during pregnancy)
- relieve menstrual symptoms
- reduce hormonal disorders during menopause
- regulate menstrual cycle
- promote healthy teeth and bones
- reducing hormone related acne as well as improving skin elasticity
- increase libido
- stimulate hair growth
- have a positive affect on the thyroid
Ladies, meet your new best friend. *wink*
More Health Benefits of Maca
Yes! There’s more! This amazing plant doesn’t stop there. It also:
- boosts the immune system
- reduces stress
- reduces psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression
- contains 19 essential amino acids
- contains vitamins B1, B2, B12 and C to ensure proper functioning of the heart, the conversion of carbohydrates into energy, cell growth, and adequate production of red blood cells
- rich in essential minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron, and is also quite high in protein
- contains over 55 phyo-chemicals
- alleviates chronic fatigue
- inhibits growth of fungi and bacteria
- acts an an anticarcinogen and antioxidant
- enhances mental focus, memory, and clarity
Maca Varieties: Black, Red, and Cream
Maca roots grow in a variety of colors: Black, Red, and Cream/Yellow. Each of these colors have specific strengths.
Black Maca is recommended for:
- men wishing to increase their fertility (women should try Red Maca for fertility)
- men and women wishing to boost their libido
- athletes, both men and women, looking for extra stamina and strength
- anyone looking to improve memory, concentration, and focus skills
- anyone wanting to improve their bone strength and density
Red Maca is recommended for:
- boosting overall energy and vitality
- balancing hormones for both men and women – this is helpful for menopause, acne, fertility, thyroid and other health problems related to the endocrine system
- supporting a healthy libido
In addition Red Maca in particular seems to be the best of all macas for:
- prostate protection – most important for men (in particular men over 40)
- bone density – most important for women and children
Red Maca is higher in certain compounds that support the body in antioxidant and antitumoral activity. It contains somewhat higher levels of other pythonutrients including alkaloids, tannins, saponis and steroids and is reported to have a more gentle and mild taste.
Travis and I and the kids have enjoyed adding both the red and black Maca powder to raw milk and sprinkling it on our morning oatmeal. The taste is earthy, but not at all unpleasant. We all eat a fairly clean and careful diet as well as exercise regularly, so we didn’t notice an astounding difference – but we expected that. According to the plethora of fantastic testimonials, some people notice a difference right away and others notice that it gradually affects the body in a deep, subtle, and sustained way.