What Is Maca + Its Health Benefits?
Maca has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years, and is considered to be one of the world’s “superfoods”. In this post I want to talk to you about what it is, and why I decided to include it in my diet.
I’m back with another post. I’ve been wanting wanting to write this post in particular for a while, but it’s only now I’ve gotten around to it.
Since going vegan I’ve become extremely interested in “superfoods”, and powders, and how they affect the body. Maca was the first super powder I got, but now wheat grass and açai has been added to my collection, too.
Today’s post is all about maca, though! I’ll start by explaining what it is, and then move onto why it should be a part of, and how you can include it in your diet.
What is maca?
Maca is a root mainly grown at the Andean Mountains in South America, Peru. It grows in 3500 m (11.000 feet) heights, and above, making maca the highest growing food crop in the world!
Maca has been consumed over thousands of years by the people in Peru because of its health benefits. It was traditionally used to enhance fertility. Usually the root is dried and consumed as powder, but it can also be found in the form of capsules or liquid extract.
Maca is known as an adaptogen which means it can help the body naturally adapt to different stress factors, such as a busy day or an illness.
Maca is also incredibly nutrient dense, and even contains more calcium than cow’s milk.
4 benefits of maca
Now that you know some basic facts about the maca root, let’s get into 4 reasons why it’d be a great idea to include it in your diet:
1. Maca is really nutrient dense
As mentioned before, maca is relatively high in various vitamins and minerals.
Maca is made up by 59% carbohydrates, 10,2% protein and 8,5% fiber. Other than that maca is rich in vitamin B3 and 6, vitamin C, calcium (250 mg per 100 g!), potassium, magnesium, copper and iron, and it contains almost all of the essential amino acids.
2. It’s energising
Many people report feeling more energised after consuming maca. No one really knows how maca does this, but it is believed to be because maca helps to stabilise blood sugar levels (decreasing energy spikes and dips), and maca also helps to maintain adrenal health which regulates mood and energy.
3. Positive energy, positive mood
Your energy levels are related to your mood. Positive energy levels are related to feeling less anxious and depressed, and maca can help you achieve that. As mentioned before, the way maca does this is still unknown, but it can be due to maca’s ability to balance hormones and raise the level of endorphins in the body (a chemical released by the brain to help reduce negative feelings, such as pain or stress).
Maca acts as an antioxidant itself, but it also raises levels of glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD), 2 super important disease fighting antioxidants. This means that maca can help to prevent the development of chronic diseases.
Now that I’ve told you about some of the great benefits of maca, you might be wanting to try it yourself. Here’s how I typically add maca powder to my diet:
1. I add it to my smoothies! This might be the easiest way to do it. You can use as much or little as you’d like, and if you don’t like the taste of maca it’s pretty easy to mask it with fruit.
2. I use it when I make rawnola. I pulse oats, dates, chia seeds, cinnamon and maca in a food processor, and then I eat it with non-dairy milk poured on top. This might be my favourite consume maca, and I actually love the flavour it adds to the rawnola.
3. It can be stirred into oatmeal. Sometimes when I make oatmeal, or any other type of porridge, I add 1 tsp of maca powder, after I’ve cooked the oatmeal, and stir it in. I don’t like to add too much when eating it like this, but you definitely won’t be able to taste the 1 tsp!
That’s it for my #extrahealth post today. I hope you enjoyed it! Leave me a comment if you’ve become more interested in maca now.☺
I’ll see you soon again!