What Is Maca Root & How To Use It?
What Is Maca Root? Known as Peruvian ginseng, this superfood is commonly found as maca powder, and it’s a fantastic supplement compatible with every healthy diet!
Maca root is all the craze right now. You’ve probably seen maca root powder in health stores, and for a good reason, it’s super nutritious! This South American superfood is worth knowing, and you’ll be happy to add it to your diet!
Maca root powder might not sound all that appetizing, but it’s actually a healthy root veggie not different to many foods you already eat, like potatoes. Here’s all you need to know about maca root powder and everything it can do for you.
What Is Maca?
Maca is a plant native to South America, commonly found in Peru’s highlands, up there in the Andes mountain range. The maca plant has a bulbous root, often cooked fresh and added to traditional stews. People also dry and ground maca roots to get a fine powder known as maca flour.
Maca roots are highly nutritious, as they add an essential amount of carbohydrates to Peruvian people — in that aspect, maca is not dissimilar to other starchy root veggies. Still, the roots are remarkably high in proteins and dietary fiber as well. But there’s more. Maca roots have been used for centuries in traditional medicine, and although there’s still a lot we don’t know about them, there’s no doubt they’re a smart addition to any healthy diet.
Maca roots are often found as maca powder, which is nothing more than fine maca root powder, ground finely and often used to substitute regular flours in bakes and other recipes. This gives maca powder great versatility, making it indispensable in any pantry, especially if you’re looking for healthy alternatives to the good-old starches and flours. Of course, the benefits of maca powder are reason enough to have some around.
What Are The Different Types of Maca?
Maca is an ancestral plant that evolved to withstand the high altitudes of the Andes. In this extreme environment, different types of maca plants evolved. Today, there are several types of maca powder in the market, based on the distinct maca varieties.
Maca is often grouped for its color. Black, yellow and red maca roots exist, and the color is seen in the root veggie’s peel, but not always in its flesh.
Yellow (white maca) is often used to make maca cream or white maca powder. Red maca produces a red powder, and black maca becomes a dark supplement. Which one’s best?
Black maca offers more nutritional value than red and yellow maca, followed by red maca roots. White maca roots, although less expensive, have fewer antioxidants and other polyphenols, making them nutritious and healthy, yes, but not as much as red and black varieties.
You can find the three common types of maca as powder, capsules, chips or blended with other foods. Although the red and black varieties are preferred, adding any kind of maca to your diet is better than not consuming it at all, so don’t worry too much about maca’s color!
What Are The Benefits of Maca Root?
Maca might be a South American plant, but it’s related to cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, so you can imagine it’s pretty nutritious. This is a wonderful carb source with up to 8% of proteins, pretty high for a vegetable. In maca powder, you also get a cocktail of vitamins and minerals essential to your wellbeing, including calcium, potassium, iron, copper, vitamin C and vitamins in the B complex.
Maca roots, though, are more than food. Several alleged health benefits could make it just the ingredient you were looking for. A recent study showed that maca could increase libido in men and women, making it useful for people with sexual dysfunctions.
Maca might also work at a hormonal level, and many women report relieving symptoms during menstruation. Women developing menopause can also benefit from maca powder, reducing the risk of hot flashes and mood swings; these often uncomfortable symptoms can cause more significant health risks.
Finally, there’s a good chance consuming maca root powder can give you an energy boost, lifting your mood and replenishing your energy. This is especially useful for people with depression!
How To Use Maca Root Powder?
The easiest way to consume maca root powder is to take it as capsules, and you won’t even feel it. You can use maca powder as all-purpose flour in recipes that don’t call for all that much flour. Zucchini chips are a good example. You can also add a spoonful of maca powder to your morning oats to add nutrition to the already healthy breakfast.
Perhaps the most common way of adding maca powder to your diet, though, is in beverages, particularly smoothies, often with other superfoods and supplements. Turn your next drink into liquid food with an extra dose of carbs, proteins and nutrients. Maca is very compatible with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, coffee and even chocolate. By adding a spoonful of the nutritious powder to your shakes and smoothies, you’ll benefit from the root veggie without sacrificing flavor.
Add maca powder to your workout protein shakes and enjoy it before and after hitting the gym. If you’re not into making your own drinks stick to maca capsules, they’ll have the same benefits, even if a bit less attractive.
Adding Maca Root to Your Diet Is Easy!
Find maca powder near you or order it online, but don’t miss out on the South American root veggie everyone’s talking about.
If you have doubts or questions about maca’s health benefits, talk to your doctor and see if maca is the right choice for you. Keep in mind that maca powder will add extra calories to your diet, so make sure you don’t overdo it. The secret, as with every other supplement, is balance and moderation. Enjoy maca root powder and make it part of your life.