Magnificent Maca

I first introduced maca into my supplement regime three months ago and since then have been eating it every day. Noticing increased energy, balanced hormones and improved mood, maca has become one of my favourite supplements.

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What?

Maca root is an adaptogen, a natural substance which helps balance, restore and protect the body’s function from the stresses of life. It grows in the Andes, mainly in Peru, and exists in various different colours: red, black and yellow; click here to read about the differences.

Why?

  • Balanced hormones

It is thought that maca can support the endocrine system and regulate healthy adrenal and thyroid function, which in turn balances hormones1. This is the reason I first started supplementing with maca as I used to suffer from hypothyroidism.

  • Improves energy and mood

A 2008 study showed that when women supplemented with maca, they experienced enhanced moods due to decreased levels of anxiety and depression2. I noticed its energising effects almost immediately, free from the jitters commonly experienced after consuming low-quality coffee.

  • Menstrual health

Maca can help to reduce and alleviate symptoms of PMS, cramping, irregular or heavy bleeding in women of a child-bearing age3.

  • Sexual health

Likely due to the boost in serotonin (the feel-good hormone), maca can help with sexual dysfunction in women4. A double-blind study showed that after supplementation with a small amount of maca for 8 weeks, men experienced heightened sexual desire5.

  • Endurance

Trained cyclists who supplemented with maca for 2 weeks increased their speed when cycling forty kilometres6. They also experienced increased sexual desire, but the study does not state whether this was a distraction when cycling.

  • Menopause

A 2006 study showed that consumption of maca helped to alleviate both physiological and psychological menopausal symptoms due to its hormone regulating effects7.

How?

  • MCT Oil

I enjoy the malty taste of maca so mixing it with flavourless MCT oil is my favourite way to take it. I mix 2 teaspoons of maca with 2 teaspoons of MCT for an energy boost.

  • Coconut flour

Sometimes, I eat some coconut flour in the evenings if I haven’t already eaten enough fibre. I simply mix 1 tablespoon of coconut flour and 2 teaspoons of maca with some water.

  • Hot Macao

This hot drink is a great alternative to the malty drinks available; it provides potent health benefits without the preservatives and artificial sugars. Find the recipe by clicking here!

Top tip: I always buy gelatinised maca to limit goitrogen exposure (which can disrupt thyroid function). Gelatinisation removes the anti-nutrients, proteins and starches but leaves other beneficial properties intact8. I recommend Sevenhills Wholefoods Organic Gelatinised Maca, which you can buy from Amazon here.
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G.

 

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