January 30, 2018 7:02 am Leave your thoughts
Battle-boosting, energy-giving, libido-enhancing, mood-altering – is all this really true of maca? A root vegetable that grows at high altitudes in the Andes (where almost nothing else survives), maca has become a favourite health supplement in the West in recent years.
It’s got a bit of a reputation, of course – the bad boy of the Superfoods and supernutrients range, if you like! But is that deserved? We thought we’d take a quick look at the various uses of this soft yellow powder.
What’s maca like?
In its native region, maca is eaten whole, usually cooked. It may be roasted, mashed or boiled, liquidized, used in soup, stews and jams. The root may be ground to make a flour for bread or cakes, or fermented to produce a beer. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. In this country, it’s the powder we’re interested in. We import ground maca root, to use as a health supplement. The imported powder is derived from the cream-coloured roots (maca comes in a variety of colours), as these are particularly sweet.
Maca is part of the same family as radishes and turnips, but (fortunately) tastes nothing like these. It has a slightly malty, caramel-ish flavour. It makes a great addition to smoothies, brownies, desserts and hot drinks.
What’s the point of maca?
Well…maca is rich in protein and a great source of vitamins (especially B, C and E) and minerals. It contains 20 different kinds of amino acids and is a good supplier of antioxidants.
Athletes are big consumers of maca, which is known to increase stamina and endurance. Many people also believe that it has a similar effect on the brain, sharpening our mental powers and increasing memory. Maca was traditionally eaten by the Incan imperial warriors before battles, to make them even more terrifying.
But there’s no point beating around the bush any longer. After the fighting, those imperial warriors got up to something quite different. Maca, you see, is also reputed to boost sexual performance in men. (And, indeed, in women – providing relief from menopausal symptoms, increasing fertility and regulating mood-swings.)
So maybe you’re an athlete, looking to improve your performance. Maybe, in these cold winter days, you’re a bit run-down, and looking for a pick-me-up. Or maybe you’ve been feeling just a little bit less like an Incan imperial warrior than you’d like. Whatever the case, maca powder is well worth a try!
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This post was written by Yzanne