Maca…my featured POWERFOOD for February!
A good friend and fellow nutritionist, Michelle, inspired me to try MACA and I hope my experiences can help encourage you to try this as well!
Maca is actually a tuber, similar to a turnip, that is in the brassica family with brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli, is indigenous to Peru and is sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng. It is considered to be a true super food because all of its amazing properties!
Maca is helpful because it helps support and balance hormones in women. Many of the women I see as clients need hormonal guidance and this helps support the hypothalamus-pituitary axis (HPA), which is involved in orchestrating communication between our thyroid, ovaries, adrenals. These organs need special attention as women age and go through peri-menopause and menopause.
It is technically an adaptogenic herb that can be an integral player in hormonal balancing, support and blood sugar regulation; it can help improve energy and libido levels. It is rich in vitamins and minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium and iron. It is full of plant sterols and fatty acids. All of these contribute to energy regulation, satiety and better sleep.
It is also helps in boosting gluthiathione, which aids in supporting immunity.
I like to add it to smoothies or gluten-free oatmeal and I’ve even seen it incorporated into healthier Hot cocoa recipes, as well.
Aim for organic forms from Peru (vs China, where you can’t be sure of the safety of the product) and capsules are better than powder, if you do not plan on using it within 3 months time.
Also, if you are currently being treated for breast cancer, are pregnant or breast-feeding, or currently taking high-blood pressure medication, it is likely best that you not use maca unless you have discussed this with your healthcare provider.
Let me know if you currently use Maca, and if so, please share how you like using it best!