Did you know there's a Peruvian root that's been cultivated for thousands of years that can help with energy, fertility, hormonal dysfunction, depression, circulation, mental acuity, and more?
I was introduced to maca many years ago, and was intrigued then. Recently, though, it again came to my attention as an overall boon to hormones as well as physical and emotional well-being.
And I gave it a try.
My Experience with Maca: Vitality
I've been lifting weights for over a year now. I've been taking maca for at least 6 months (and about 2 months using a premium quality organic maca).
When I “get my maca” in the morning, I'm eager to move that bar around and I feel strong and I improve. On the flip side, when I skip the maca, I often don't feel like exercising and my energy is down. This has happened enough times that I feel I can say with confidence that maca plays a leading role in my overall vitality and energy level.
(The maca has helped me with female issues as well.)
And very cool — I've found a brand of maca I absolutely love that makes me feel better and more energetic than any other — it's from The Maca Team. (Below I'll tell you just why that is.)
Keep reading to get the complete scoop on maca, but if you're ready now to get the very best maca out there, go here.
The Complete Scoop on Maca
Even if you're already well acquainted with the wonders of Peruvian maca, be sure to read item #4 below…
1. What is Maca?
“Maca is a root that grows high in the Peruvian Andes at altitudes of 14,000 feet (3500 m) above sea level. It has been cultivated for 1000s of years and used by indigenous people to boost their energy while living at such extreme elevations where oxygen is in short supply. It looks similar to a radish or turnip and comes in a variety of colors ranging from white to dark purple. Peruvian Maca root has the distinction of being the highest growing food plant anywhere in the world.” — source: The Maca Team
2. What are the possible benefits of Maca?
Maca was discovered over 2000 years ago, when indigenous shepherds noticed the health, hardiness, and improved fertility of animals that grazed on it. So people began consuming it themselves and experienced benefits like:
- promote fertility
- build muscle
- increase stamina
- relieve symptoms of menopause
- boost energy
- support prostate health
- increase bone density
- alleviate depression
- boost libido
- balance hormones
- and more….
Maca is a superfood — remember it's an actual food, a root — that's rich in amino acids, phytonutrients, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
What jumps out at me in the nutritional profile is that it contains vitamins and minerals many of us are often lacking. Specifically, the vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, and D and the minerals iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium, potassium, and calcium. It's a powerhouse!
I believe it's earned the status of “superfood” because of all it contains. You can read more about its benefits and full nutritional profile by going here and then clicking on “FAQs” and “Benefits”.
3. What To Look For?
Ready to get some maca and try it out for yourself? (Good!)
You'll want to seek out high-quality organic maca that's as fresh as possible, and packaged to preserve nutritional quality. And preferably raw, if your digestive system can handle it.
As I investigated maca sources, I got really excited about The Maca Team‘s maca because it's “beyond organic”. Their Peruvian farms (with farmers paid fair wages) follow traditional agricultural methods such as giving the land rest and using natural fertilization methods. This is good for the land and great for the food that's grown on it.
Also, their maca is fresh! They process and sell small batches from only the current year's harvest, so you receive it with a few months of it being harvested. (As opposed to larger producers who move it in huge shipping containers, where your maca could be sitting around for 2 years before you actually get it to eat it.)
Finally, their raw maca isn't heated above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore preserving the enzymes and nutrients. (They have a pre-cooked gelatinized maca for those with a sensitive stomach.) Then it's packaged in foil-lined double-sealed opaque bags or sealed amber jars to ensure that the maca's potency isn't reduced by light, humidity, or oxygen.
The Maca Team‘s maca is simply premium quality, and I can tell by how much better I feel when using this maca than other brands.
One other thing to mention is that The Maca Team offers less common colors of maca root which have increased nutritional benefits. That's what I'll explain next, and it's one of the most important considerations when you're choosing your maca.
4. What Color of Maca to Eat?
This is the part I want everyone to read! Certain colors of maca are more suited to you and your needs than others.
Peruvian maca grows in three color groups and each group creates its own grade of maca powder:
- White to yellow roots are made into Cream Maca powder (60% of the annual harvest)
- Light pink to dark purple roots are made into Red Maca powder (25% of the annual harvest)
- Light gray to dark gray roots are made into Black Maca powder (15% of the annual harvest)
Notice how the cream maca is 60% of the annual harvest? This explains why it is the most common, and therefore the least expensive, of all maca powders on the market. (It's the type you see most often from most companies.)
But more importantly, the cream maca powder does not have the higher nutritional benefits or the unique properties of the other two colors. You'll still get benefits from eating it, of course — but for the most health benefits, choose to eat either red or black.
Here's the scoop on red and black maca.
- Hormonally, the red (which is the sweetest tasting and has the highest phytonutrient levels) is recommended for women and the black for men.
- Black is recommended for both men and women for these specific issues: muscle building and stamina.
- Red is recommended for both men and women for these specific issues: energy, mental focus, depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety/stress, circulation, bone density, hair growth, and acne.
The Maca Team offers all 3 colors in both powder and capsule, and raw and gelatinized. They also offer a premium maca blend which is a blend of all three colors of maca root.
For more information on the colors of maca and the specific recommendations, go here and click on “Which Maca?”.
5. What Form To Choose?
Maca usually comes in powder or capsules. The powder is usually less expensive, and (I think) offers a delicious, nutty flavor in a morning smoothie. (Yes, that's how I take mine.) You can also mix it with a small amount of milk or other liquid, and just drink in a small shot, or use in recipes.
Some don't like the taste, though, so that's where the capsules come in. You can purchase them ready-to-go, or you can fill your own capsules (instructions are here).
In addition, if purchasing through The Maca Team (and I think you should!), you can choose between raw or gelatinized maca. Here's the difference.
Raw maca has not been heated above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which preserves the enzymes and nutrients at peak levels. This is the best choice for most people.
Gelatinized maca is heated to a high temperature to remove starch content. This makes it easier on the stomach for those who are sensitive to starchy foods and experience gas or indigestion. Also, the maca is more concentrated. However, the downside is that the heat destroys the enzymes and alters some of the important nutrients.
For more information on the forms of maca, go here and click on “Which Maca?”.
6. How Much to Take?
As you might know, I can't give you specific recommendations for how much maca to take; this is something that should be determined over time and taking into account your age, needs, weight, and overall health. It's a personal thing!
However, the general recommendation for a fairly healthy 40-year old who weighs 160 pounds is 1 to 3 teaspoons (3 to 9 grams) per day. I follow this myself and find it works well for me. I take between 2 and 3 teaspoons per day.
If you're just starting out, start with small amounts and work up slowly and pay close attention to how you feel. Because maca is a food (not a drug, herb, or supplement), it's hard to take too much. Still, listen to your body to see how you're handling it. Consider keeping at it for awhile to build up the cumulative and long-term benefits. Also, take a break from it now and then (like one day a week or a whole week each month).
For more information, click here and then go to “How to Use Maca” — there you'll find serving information, recipes, and best practices.
While writing this post, I got even more excited about this maca than I already was. I had originally selected the red maca as the right one for me, but just now decided to get a 1 kg package of both raw red and raw black. I plan to mix them for my own custom blend. I also purchased some gelatinized maca because some in our family are more sensitive to starch.
I am so thrilled to have found The Maca Team. I believe in what they're doing and I believe they offer the best maca out there. My own body can tell the difference, and I feel certain you will, too!
Do you use maca? How does it benefit you?
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You are responsible for your own health and for the use of any remedies, treatments, or medications you use at home.
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