If you’re looking to decrease stress, stabilize your hormones, boost your sex drive, neutralize the acidity of your body, and blast your system with nutrients, look no further than that section at the health food store you always ignore: the supplement aisle.
I know what you’re thinking: Supplements? Aren’t those the often untested, unapproved sorta drugs that always seem too good to be true. For the most part yes—I largely avoid most of the powders, pills, and formulas available in this section of the health food store. But there’s one supplement that’s definitely worth picking up for any of the above conditions: Maca powder.
Maca powder has also been called “Peruvian ginseng”. Although it’s thought of as a supplement, researchers suspect this South American staple has been consumed for around 2,000 years. The Incas considered maca to be a gift of the gods, due to its superior nutritional value, and it’s one of the only plants to thrive in the tough conditions of the Andes mountains. Maca powder comes from the root of the plant.
The Super Food Super Powers of Maca Powder:
Formal research on the plant is somewhat limited. But a growing number of naturopathic doctors and alternative medicine practitioners are prescribing the over-the-counter root powder. Anecdotal evidence suggests the supplement can:
- Stabilize hormones
- Minimize mood swings
- Boost energy
- Improve libido
- Relieve menstrual issues
- Minimize menopausal symptoms
Additionally, testing shows that the supplement is rich in Vitamins B, C, and E; contains tons of minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, and phosphorous; and has 8 out of 9 amino acids, making it an almost complete protein!
Introducing Maca Into Your Diet:
If you are pregnant or lactating, you should avoid taking maca. Otherwise, add this supplement in slowly! There are no known side effects to taking maca, but it is very powerful so listen to your body as you increase your dosage and stop if you ever feel like you’re getting too much of the stuff. I find that mixing it into smoothies, puddings, and oatmeal is the best way to sneak it in. I would recommend following these simple stages to add more maca into your diet:
Week 1: take 1 tsp of maca on 3-4 days
Week 2: take 1 tsp of maca on 5-6 days
Week 3: take 2 tsp of maca on 5 days
Week 4: take 1 tbsp of maca on 4 days
Once you’ve built your tolerance to maca, continue to use anywhere from 2 tsp to 1 tbsp of the powder 4 to 5 times a week. You will no doubt notice a difference in your overall energy, wellness, and vitality