THE BENEFITS OF TAKING MACA
WHAT IS MACA?
Grown in the mountains of Peru, Maca is often called Peruvian Ginseng thanks to its many benefits.
While considered a root vegetable and food staple in the Andean diet for thousands of years, Western researchers have only recently discovered this ancient herb and the many benefits it provides, especially for women.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
Maca is a root belonging to the radish family. Most commonly available in powder form, the colour of the roots dictates the final look of the powder:
White to yellow roots are made into Yellow Maca powder (60% of the annual harvest)
Light pink to dark purple roots are made into Red Maca powder (25% of the annual harvest)
Light grey to dark grey roots are made into Black Maca powder (15% of the annual harvest)
WHAT KIND SHOULD I TAKE?
Here’s a quick link to a table which demonstrates the most appropriate powder recommendations for your particular needs
It’s available in powders capsules and extracts/liquids.
RAW : has never been heated and all the enzymes and nutrients are left intact at peak levels.
GELATINISED (Pre-Cooked) : is heated to remove all the start content within the root. This makes it more concentrated, however, the high heat destroys some of the enzymes and alters the nutrients. If you have a sensitive stomach, gelatinised maca would be the one for you.
WHAT DOES MACA DO
It’s overall benefits include helping with mood swings/reducing depression; improving skin tone; boosting healthy teeth; counteracting acne; stimulating and improving thyroid function; boosting hair growth; enhancing mental clarity and reducing anxiety.
HOWEVER, for women, it’s especially beneficial thanks to a raft of other benefits that will help them improve their quality of life, particularly in the areas of menopause and sexual function. The following benefits discussed below are now supported by modern research:
REDUCES MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS
Maca root has been used extensively as a hormone balance. Research demonstrates it’s high in nutrients, with its phytochemical content as the likely contributor.
In addition, researchers evaluating the herb for weight loss observed that women taking a Maca root supplement enjoyed a reduction in many of the most common menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, sleep disruptions, night sweats, and depression. A similar study found women taking maca root enjoyed a significant relief from symptoms associated with menopause. 
IMPROVES SEXUAL FUNCTION
A woman’s age, lifestyle, and medical/nutritional status can all affect her sexual wellbeing. As women age, sexual desire and performance often wane, and although conventional medicine has created chemicals to counteract this, often there are side effects that go hand-in-hand with taking these drugs. Indeed, they can cause more issues than the problems they are being taken for.
One study examined the effectiveness of Maca supplementation for remedying sexual dysfunction in women as a result of taking SSRIs, commonly-prescribed antidepressants. Women in the study enjoyed an improvement in sexual satisfaction when taking the highest dose of three grams per day. It’s success as a potent fighter against chemically-induced sexual dysfunction seems to support its traditional use.
ACTS AS AN APHRODISIAC
Certain small-scale studies indicate Maca’s possible use in the bedroom. Loaded with minerals like zinc, iodine, and essential fatty acids, it’s believed to balance sex hormones and may also improve mood. Consequently, when hormones and mood are enhanced and balanced, arousal and desire are easier to obtain.
Nutrition research shows that natural fatty acids found in foods, including Maca root, is necessary for supporting mood and overall brain health.
Many researchers are now hopeful of finding a natural alternative to mood-enhancing drugs, following initial research examining the protective effect of Maca on the brain.
Fatty acids in Maca root support brain function, which may be responsible for stabilising analytical skills, cognitive function, and rational thinking.
Many doctors with an interest in holistic wellbeing often recommended omega-3 fatty acids (like the ones found in Maca) as a first step toward alleviating certain symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and stress.
As infertility rates increase, more and more people are turning to natural alternatives as a potential solution. So far, research has only examined Maca root’s impact on fertility in animals, but much of the research has shown promising results. Studies support Maca’s traditional use as a fertility enhancer, especially for females, noting its ability to increase serum luteinizing hormone in the pituitary gland. [This hormone is associated with fertility, among other factors in the body.
INCREASES BONE DENSITY
As bone density decreases with age (particularly in women), anything that can stem the decline is a welcome addition to the health regime. Whilst some thinning is inevitable, maintenance is key, and studies of Maca’s effect on menopausal symptoms have found that it increases important markers associated with bone density. This could be particularly beneficial to those with a family history of osteoporosis.
It is rich in minerals, vitamins, protein and essential fatty acids – all nutrients which naturally support energy levels and aid in recovery from injury. Numerous studies have evaluated Maca root for its role in athletic performance for these exact reasons. Even if you’re not an athlete, incorporating Maca into your daily routine could be an excellent way to restore flagging energy levels.
HOW TO TAKE MACA
It’s very versatile – ideal for soups, smoothies and baked goods. There are hundreds of links on the internet for recipe ideas, but here are a couple to get you started:
And a quick recipe from us too:
THE BASIC MACA SMOOTHIE:
A smoothie is a great way to start out the day. Instead of reaching for the coffee with caffeine reach for the Maca powder smoothie with vitamins and minerals to give you energy!
1 ½ cups almond milk or coconut milk
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 tablespoon honey
Ice as needed
Blend in your blender until smooth and enjoy! You may be pleasantly surprised at how a daily dose of Maca will reap benefits to you and your overall health. Enjoy!