Maca came into my life when I was researching caffeine-free energy substitutes for an afternoon drink.
I wanted something that I could have after 3pm that was tasty, healthy, and wouldn’t keep me up until 3am. What I found was maca.
It has a sort of butterscotch-caramel-nutty flavor that works really well in smoothies. And usually, I’m adding it to my smoothie blends on the daily.
This superfood is so powerful that I even did a whole YouTube video all about it:
What is Maca?
Maca is a tuberous root plant that is grown in super high elevations in the Andes mountains in Peru.
It’s been used for many years by the Peruvian people as a medicinal healing food. And after diving in to all the nutritional properties this root holds- it’s easy to understand why it’s a healing food!
Maca is thought of both as a superfood and an adaptogen because of its’ nutrient makeup and the fact that it helps to balance hormones and relieve stress and anxiety. A few of its’ 5 star benefits:
- increased energy levels
- increased endurance
- increased sex drive
- better mood
- less stress
How to Find Quality Powder
When you shop for maca, you’ll probably find two kinds- raw and gelatinized, which I’ll talk about below. Aside from that, you want to pay attention to quality and look for maca that is organic. That means that the product has been grown and processed without the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides, or growth regulators.
What we eat is important, but the quality of what we eat is a huge part of the equation.
Difference Between Raw and Gelatinized
You’ll see both raw maca and gelatinized maca being sold in stores and online. Gelatinized doesn’t mean that there is gelatin in the maca- it means that the root has been heated. Through this heating process, some of the starches of the root will be broken down.
If you’ve ever had digestion issues, gelatinized maca might be an easier alternative for you to consume. I typically reach for the raw and haven’t encountered any issues with digestion, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Tips for Use
- Start small. Maca is a strong, powerful little superfood! I’ve noticed when I have a large amounts of it (more than a tbsp), it’s a bit too activating for me. I notice that my mind starts racing with a LOT of thoughts. (I talk more about the effects of too much in this video.)
- Be aware of how it makes you feel. Like any food or drink we consume- being aware of how it makes us feel is key for finding a lifestyle that contributes to optimal health. Try a small amount in your favorite smoothie and notice if you feel any differences after drinking it.
- Try subbing maca for caffeine. It has the ability to provide an energy boost without caffeine, so it’s an awesome afternoon beverage alternative to coffee!
How to Use
You can use maca in lots of different ways, but I recommend starting out by using it in smoothies. It also works really well in warm drinks, overnight oats, and energy balls.
Read This Before Trying It
Because maca is such a strong hormone balancer, people with thyroid issues or any sort of hormone-related imbalances should consult with their doctor before using. Same for my pregnant ladies- check with your doctor before consuming.