Maca

Maca Explained

You’ve likely seen Maca on the shelves of health food stores, or as an energy-boosting ingredient in smoothies. Maybe it’s because of its subtle flavour or maybe it’s simply because we’re always looking for quick fixes to increase our energy, but Maca has definitely become one of the more mainstream supplements over the last little while. We’re breaking down where this powerful supplement comes from, and why people have been taking it for thousands of years.

What is Maca?
Maca root is a super food grown in the mountains of South America. It’s actually part of the cruciferous family (cauliflower, broccoli, etc.) and is dried then consumed as a powder or capsule. Maca is also considered to be an adaptogen, meaning it helps our body adapt to stress. It exists in variety of colours from white to black, and has an earthy and nutty, making it easy to add to smoothies or sweet treats (it goes particularly well with cacao). In terms of nutrients, Maca also contains a fair amount of fibre, and is high in some essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, copper and iron.

What are the benefits?
Maca has been consumed for thousands of years, mainly for its abilities to balance hormones, enhance fertility and sex drive, and increase energy and stamina. Though research is still being conducted to conclusively claim the effects of Maca, studies have shown that it can enhance fertility in men by increasing sperm production and quality, it also has hormone balancing effects so can be helpful at improving symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and trouble sleeping, and can also have positive effects on PMS and PCOS by controlling estrogen levels in the body. Maca has also been known to increase energy, which is great for a boost first thing in the morning, or to help with endurance sports.

How to use it?
Maca is available in powder or capsule form. If you’re choosing to take it in powdered form, the easiest way is to incorporate it into your smoothie (1-3 teaspoons), add it to energy balls, granola bars or baked goods, etc.

While Maca is general considered a very safe supplement, please note: Because of Maca’s effects on hormone levels, those taking hormone-altering medications should avoid it. It should also be avoided by those with high blood pressure, thyroid issues, and pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before supplementing with it.

 

Maca crepes

 

Maca Crepes
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Enjoy the energy boosting power of maca in these crepes, with endless possibilities for your favourite filling. 

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine: Dairy Free, Gluten free, vegetarian
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp maca
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil to melt in pan
Method
  1. Add maca and eggs together in a bowl and whisk or place in blender for a few seconds until mixture is smooth and no clumps. 

  2. Put temperature on low and melt coconut oil in the bottom of the pan.

  3. Gently pour mixture into the pan until your desired size, should be around 3 crepes. Let cook on low for about 5 mins and flip and cook other side for 1-2 minutes. The key is to keep the temperature on low so it cooks in the middle and doesn't burn the outside. 

  4. Anything goes for filling! Try ghee and avocado or almond butter, banana and cinnamon, homemade chia jam with nut butter - the possibilities are endless. 

Recipe Notes

You will need a medium sized pan, flipper, whisk or blender. 

Resources:
https://draxe.com/top-5-maca-root-benefits-and-nutrition/
http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-maca-root

 

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WRITTEN BY:

Kylie is a holistic nutritionist and co-founder of Wellspace. She believes that healthy eating should be delicious and uncomplicated, and that everything tastes better in a bowl. A former publicist with a curiosity for healthy eating, Kylie hopes to share the knowledge she’s gained on her own journey, and encourage others to take control of their own health, wellness and happiness.

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