Maca, sometimes referred to as ‘Peruvian Ginseng’, is a root vegetable native to Peru. Very much like a radish, in Peru it is known as the ‘fountain of youth’ as it has a long traditional use for energy, stamina and fertility.
Maca root contains significant amounts of amino acids and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium and iron, as well as B vitamins and is often referred to as a superfood. It is rich in fibre and contains significant levels of protein and essential fatty acids.
Maca is known as an adaptogen in that it increases the body’s ability to defend itself against mental and physical stressors. Not only does Maca provide support during menstruation, but it helps balance hormones regulating the female menstrual cycle and increasing libido, acting as a natural aphrodisiac and mood enhancer.
Maca is of use also in reducing discomforts due to menopausal symptoms. In men, Maca has been shown to increase libido, stamina and both sperm count and motility therefore aiding fertility.
Maca occurs naturally in three colours; black, red and cream. Research suggests that the darker the colour of the maca the more potent it is.
Therefore my personal recommendation is Sara’s Choice Maca which uses 85 percent black, 10 percent red and five percent cream Maca. Sara’s Choice Maca is pre-cooked under 45 degrees which removes the starch and results in a 30 percent increase in bioavailability.
Available in capsules and powder, Maca powder is really delicious made into a smoothie. Use one teaspoon three root Maca powder, one small banana, a heaped teaspoon of cacao powder, two teaspoons of almond/cashew or peanut butter. Blend together in 8oz of rice milk with a couple of ice cubes.
For further information contact Susan at Au Naturel, Irishtown, Athlone, tel 090 6487993.