10 Years of Blog Archive

Friday, November 06, 2015

Maca Root “Super” Powder, Peruvian Ginseng

Maca Root grows in the Andes Mountains of Peru. The Peruvians regard the root as a powerful super food and is known as the Peruvian Ginseng. While doing some research about this nutritious food supplement I came upon an interesting story about Maca. 

There’s a lot going on with the price structure of Maca since last year, July 2014.  Apparently Chinese are going into Peru in droves, walking into the farming fields where Maca grows and offering suitcases of cash 4 to 8 times more than the Peruvian market prices for Maca.  Do you want to know more about this? Click here: Maca Prices Soar

“Prices are going up almost every week due to the high demand from the Chinese.”  --- the Maca Team

The Maca powder and the whole root is probably quite expensive now in health food stores. I checked prices for the Maca seeds on eBay and they are really good priced over there. You just have to make sure the climate where you live is right for growing the plants.

A few years ago we heard about the benefits of maca root powder and bought some in one of the health food stores in Cuenca for a pretty decent price.
Toasted Maca Root Powder Bought in Cuenca Ecuador
Health Benefits of Maca Root Powder

Maca powder boosts energy levels considerably, which is great for those who workout, jog, walk and like to exercise and stay healthy. Many athletes take maca root as it increases stamina and performance on the field.

Maca root powder is said to boost the sexual function in both, men and women, balance out the hormones and increase fertility.  

it helps with menstrual issues and even menopause. It helps with cramping, mood swings, anxiety and hot flashes.

Maca is also good for those teenage acne troubles as well as aids in healing of wounds.

WARNING: If you are pregnant or lactating you should avoid taking maca.

Source:  Veg Kitchen - 7 Top Health Benefits of Maca

Major Vitamins and Minerals in Maca Root

Maca root powder is loaded with iron (another reason why it is good for menstruating women) and restores red blood cells, which helps with anemia and cardiovascular fitness.

Although Maca is full of vitamins and minerals, here are the main ones found in the root. Maca is very low in sodium and is a good source of Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Iron and Copper.

Source:  Nutrition Data - Maca

Side Effects of Using Maca

According to WebMd, Maca is generally safe for most people, however, pregnant or lactating women should not take Maca.

Source:  WebMd, Maca Powder 

If you have hormone sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Extracts from Maca might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not use these extracts. – WebMd

According to http://www.Livestrong.com/ Maca Root Powder has high levels of natural occurring iodine. If you have goiter or enlarged thyroid glands, it is not recommended to take Maca.

How to Eat/Prepare Maca Root

Maca powder can be used as a daily supplement by adding a tablespoon or more to a cup of hot water, tea, smoothie, or other favorite beverage. When you are first starting out with taking Maca, we recommend to start out slowly, adding just a teaspoon to your drinks and foods. Work yourself up to taking one tablespoon daily. 

Try cooking with it or add it by teaspoons to cereals, soups, and even salads. Although cooking Maca will break down the nutrients and lessen the benefits considerably.  It can be added to many healthy foods without cooking or baking it, such as peanut butter no bakes, oatmeal no bakes, etc…

Note: Maca is sensitive to light, oxygen and humidity so it is best to keep in airtight container or zip lock baggies in your freezer.  

We've never made anything using Maca so we cannot recommend any recipes, but here is a site I found that has many great ways to use Maca in foods and drinks. 
Recipes for Using Maca from the Maca Team


Where to buy Maca Root

We’re in Cuenca, which is next door to Peru and we were able to buy Maca in one of the many health food stores (Naturistas) located in Cuenca Ecuador.  Call your nearest health food store and see if they carry it. If not, there are numerous places online where you can purchase Maca. We do not advertise or recommend any online sellers, however, try the link above with the recipes, they sell several different types of Maca that are grown in Peru. 

And Remember, as with any health food or “super food” good health relies on leading a health-conscience lifestyle in all areas of our life.  Adding Maca Root Powder to our diet is not going to heal us from what ails us in our body. We recommend using Maca as a complement and supplement to an already healthy diet and there you will receive the benefits from it, just like with any food that is considered a “super food”.

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We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!

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