What Is Maca Powder?
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This energy-boosting superfood has a myriad of benefits
If you need a boost of energy, opt for maca powder.
Maca powder comes from maca, a root vegetable of the radish family, which grows at high elevations in the Andes Mountains in Peru. It makes a great addition to a smoothie or breakfast bowl, and is one genius way to make desserts a little healthier, as in this chocolate mousse.
Maca powder has a myriad of health benefits. In her book Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods, Lauri Boone writes that maca contains phytosterols that inhibit the absorption of cholesterol and even reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. “Maca has a diverse mix of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fats,” says Boone. “A single teaspoon of raw maca powder boasts a modest gram each of fiber and protein, along with two percent each of your daily calcium and iron needs.”
So how does maca powder benefit your body? For one, it is rich in alkamide, a compound that helps the body adapt to and cope with stress, specifically anxiety. This compound also helps increase metabolism and libido. That’s right: studies over the past decade have indicated that maca can increase sperm count and the desire to have sex. The energy-boosting properties for maca powder have led some to call it “Peruvian ginseng.”
Try this nutrition-packed PMS Maca Cacao Milkshake Smoothie today.
How to Use Maca Powder: 10 Ideas
Thanks to its wide-ranging health benefits, maca root has been gaining fans in North America and Europe where this South American superfood is typically sold in the form of powder. But what can you do with maca powder? If you need ideas on how to use maca powder in your cooking or raw food dishes, keep reading because below you'll find a bunch of easy recipes and clever ideas to help you incorporate maca root into your diet.
Manufacturers of maca powder use different amounts as serving sizes. Go by the manufacturer's recommendation, or ask your doctor how much to use. One tablespoon contains:
- Calories: 30
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 6 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Sugar: 4 grams
The vitamins and minerals in maca powder can vary according to the variety of root used to make the powder. Also, manufacturing methods can affect the content. Most maca powder will contain:
How does it help your hormonal health?
While it doesn’t contain any hormones, it is an endocrine adaptogen. This means that the body recognizes it as a hormone support agent, and uses it to support normal hormone production.
It is important to remember that this should be used as hormonal support , not something to replace your body’s ability to support its own hormone production. When you begin using maca, use 1/4-1 teaspoon daily until you notice the benefits. Then reduce your intake to only a few times a week. You should also take monthly breaks from maca to encourage your body to function properly on its own.
As with all natural supplements, Maca powder should not be combined with other medications or supplements, specifically fertility/hormone related medications. It should not be used if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have a thyroid condition. Always consult your doctor prior to using maca alongside any natural supplement or pharmaceutical drug.
5 Easy and Tasty Ways to Use Maca Powder in Food
Published: Jan 20, 2015 · Updated: Mar 4, 2021 by Nicole @ VegKitchen · This post may contain affiliate links.
Maca powder, a superfood that's derived from a root native to Peru, has numerous health benefits. Maca is best used without cooking or baking it. Here are a few simple ways to use maca powder in food.
The easiest way is to add a teaspoon to a tablespoon to individual smoothies or protein shakes. The malty flavor works particularly well with chocolatey flavors, as in Mocha Maca Banana Smoothie, shown above but it also goes well with fruitier flavors, for example, Strawberry-Vanilla Maca Smoothie.
If you'd like these and other ideas and recipes for maca to keep in your kitchen, you may enjoy this concise book, available in both e-book and paperback versions. E-book: Maca Root for Health and Vitality: How to Use and Benefit from the Superfood, with 20 Easy Recipes. And the same title in paperback: Maca Root for Health and Vitality.
Maca powder is also a good addition to energy balls or no-bake sweets. No-Bake Vegan Maca-Roons are filled with all manner of nutrient-dense goodies, including maca, nuts, nut better, dates, and coconut. Try adding a couple of tablespoons or so to other no-bake treats like Unbaked Fudgy Brownies or Gena Hamshaw's Unbaked Fig Bars.
If you're into juicing, maca can be a good addition, as in this Carrot Maca Juice by Julie Morris. It’s a mellow combination of nutritious carrots, energizing maca powder, and tasty cashews. The idea is to blend some maca, about a tablespoon or so, into 16 ounces of fresh juice.
Another easy way to use maca is to sprinkle it onto your hot or cold cereals. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons in this case, otherwise the flavor may overwhelm your cereal.
When the weather is warmer and you're making your easy banana-based soft-serve "ice cream" simply add a tablespoon or two to the food processor when you're blending up the frozen bananas.
Do you have other ways you like to use maca in food?
*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Insufficient Evidence for
- Sexual problems caused by antidepressants (antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction). Early research suggests that taking maca twice daily for 12 weeks slightly improves sexual dysfunction in women taking antidepressants.
- Conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility). Early research shows that taking a specific maca product daily for 4 months increases semen and sperm count in healthy men. But it's not clear if this results in improved fertility.
- Health problems after menopause. Early research shows that taking maca powder daily for 6 weeks slightly improves depression and anxiety in postmenopausal women. It might also improve sexual problems. But these benefits are very small.
- Increasing sexual desire in healthy people. Early research shows that taking a specific maca product daily for 12 weeks can increase sexual desire in healthy men.
- Absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea).
- Athletic performance. of the white blood cells (leukemia). (CFS). . . /AIDS.
- Low levels of red blood cells in people with long-term illness (anemia of chronic disease).
- Memory. .
- Weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis).
- Other conditions.
Is There Any Way to Hide The Taste of Maca?
In general Maca powder has a distinct carmel or malt-like flavor. Many people enjoy the taste, while others simply don't. Here are our top tips for those who aren't big fans of the Maca flavor.
- Not all Maca colors taste the same - Red Maca is the sweetest and most mild tasting. Yellow Maca is the least sweet and Black Maca is somewhere in between. Premium Maca, because of its special processing, is the strongest tasting. If taste is your top priority use Red Maca instead of the other Maca powders.
- Take Maca mixed in food - We have an ever growing collection of recipes that contain Maca powder - both cooked and raw. They include everyting ranging from simple smoothies to brownies to soups to power bars. You can find all of our Maca Recipes here.
- Use cinnamon - This is a great tip we've received from our customers. Mix your Maca with a pinch of cinnamon and stir into almond or rice milk or even coffee. Some of our customers enjoy adding an additional bit of sweetener like honey or agave syrup.
- Take Maca with small amounts of liquid- Some people find it helpful to take Maca in a "shot" form. The idea is to mix Maca powder with jsut 4-6 oz of liquid and drink it down all at once.
- Take Maca in capsules- The simplest way to completely avoid or hide the taste of Maca is to take it in capsule or extract form rather than in powder form. We sell all of our products in vegan capsules and in liquid extract form.
We hope that you find one of these solutions helpful. If you have any further questions or have another tip to add, please let us know. We're happy to help.
The Maca Team are light years ahead of anyone else selling maca out in the marketplace
I shop around a lot for my supplements and health foods, and I have to say you guys at The Maca Team are light years ahead of anyone else selling maca out in the marketplace. Thanks for all you do!
By Jim Price, The Green Marketing Guru
I can tell the difference from my usual store-bought brands
Loving the red maca from themacateam. I can tell the difference from my usual store-bought brands. It really tastes so fresh and sweet compared to others. I really love this product. Thanks for sourcing it for us to enjoy
The Maca tastes fresh and flavorful, the Kilo bag is a great price
I LOVE Maca Team Maca. this was my first purchase with the Maca Team and I have no need to try any other Maca-producer. The Maca tastes fresh and flavorful, the Kilo bag is a great price, and I feel so much more at ease (Maca is such powerful medicine :) )
The Maca Team is a small business run by a family who cares
I take 24 products from five to six times a week to increase my well-being and sensual and sexual delights. D The Maca Team’s organic maca is one of them—nine grams in my smoothie, Monday to Saturday. The Maca Team is a small business run by a family who cares about its customers, its Peruvian maca growers, and the environment. It's vital to know the source of everything we put in our mouths. Physical and mental health are precious treasures. :D
Your maca is sent from God, is a blessing and is superb
This product is amazing!
This product is amazing! I have used other cheaper brands of white maca with fairly good results, but after trying the Maca Team maca, I noticed within two weeks all of my menopausal symptoms had completely vanished. Others described a bad taste and smell, but I have tried the black and the red and find them both to be mild tasting. I use a tablespoon in my daily smoothly
Their maca varieties are good, as is their customer service.
Maca first came to us by our vitamin supplier. Then we ordered from the Maca Team. Comparison? Think fire-fly, then think mid-day sun. At 76 and 73 years respectively, that is a big deal and at comparable cost too. We never have we had such speedy delivery and the packaging is the strongest, most protective we've seen, ever, at all . anywhere. Further, the Mrs. no longer takes hormone supplements. And Mr. scans the morning want ads for steady P/T work.
The difference in freshness is night and day, and better tasting
I had been using another brand of maca powder and decided to try The Maca Team's. The difference in freshness is night and day, and better tasting . I'm 6 foot 250 lbs. and take 4 teaspoons every day w/ my protein shake. Great energy boost and just feel great all day. I can tell a difference when I do not take it. best price that I have found <36oz>. I will be buying more as needed.
The Maca Team brand is very special.
I've tried various maca brands over the last 20 years and The Maca Team brand is very special. There is definitely a difference when it comes to the quality and colors of the maca. This red maca does seem to nourish certain parts of my body while the black maca nourishes something else. I know I've been missing the nutrition these maca provide. I'm 75 years old and bodies wear out, but I'm finding I'm regaining a functioning body. How wonderful is this.
I just wanted to thank you for your excellently constructed website. I am a physician
I just wanted to thank you for your excellently constructed website. I am a physician and I recently started learning about Maca. I get a very good sense of it, and I expect I will try it out myself and possibly be recommending it to patients in the future. If so, your website will be the first place to send people. Thanks again.
I feel like I’m dealing with friends, not some company far away
Love the Maca team, In an earlier comment I said I was on the fence about where to buy Maca .Not anymore .You shouldn’t be either. The team has answered any questions I’ve had promptly. I feel like I’m dealing with friends, not some company far away out for my money only. The Maca is fresh, prices are good, the people are nice. If you’re on the fence, don’t be, you won’t be sorry.
I must say this is the best tasting Maca I have tried!!
My Maca came in today and it has all the information on it! I must say this is the best tasting Maca I have tried!! Thank you again for a great product!! I will only order from you in future as well!
This a top-notch team
First I would like to say I love this product. I was very skeptical about a natural product with so many benefits but this stuff really works. Second, I love this company. From the web site to the way they run their company this a top-notch team. I will be ordering from The Maca Team from now on. Great job guys keep doing what you are doing.
This is the highest quality product we have ever carried. I am proud to offer it in my store.
We love this product. I own a store and work with clients holistically. We have recommended maca for years however, this is the highest quality product we have ever carried. I am proud to offer it in my store.
By Mellissa Gage, Infinity and Beyond
Thank you The Maca Team.
I am really happy that I chose the Maca Team, today you can find many distributors selling Maca powder, however quality of the powder is impossible to compare. Moreover, the results after 2 weeks I could feel. Before I was taking maca powder and I did not feel any changes. But since I started taking Maca from Maca Team the changes are incredible. So, I did a test.:) I gave the powder to my partner . and after 2 weeks he was impressed and told me that he has more energy, feeling happy. Thank you The Maca Team.
Thank you again for your kindness and professionalism
I do want to say that I have done quite a bit of research on different companies that offer Maca and The Maca Team definitely is the most reputable. Thank you again for your kindness and professionalism :)
Disclaimer: Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your doctor for health related advice.
Maca Powder is a Superfood, and That’s Pretty Cool: Health Benefits and the Recipes We’ve Tried
Okay, let’s get to the root of it all. What is maca powder and why do people love it so much?
Maca powder has become one of the most popular wellness food trends over the last couple of years. This superfood comes from the same family as broccoli, cabbage, and kale. Maca, which is sometimes referred to as the Peruvian ginseng , has been cultivated for over 3,000 years, growing in the harsh conditions and high altitudes of the Peruvian Mountains.
Maca powder is produced by grounding up the maca plant’s dried roots. Once dried and powdered, the nutty, earthy maca powder is used as an additive to drinks, meals, and even to some beauty products.
But is all the fuss about maca these days justified? We tried it out in a few different recipes and found that it was actually pretty delicious! R ead on and learn more about the claimed health benefits of maca, plus some maca skincare and food recipes we’ve tried at home!
What Are the Benefits of Maca Powder?
1) Maca powder promotes healthier skin
Studies show that taking roughly 1.5 to 3 grams of maca daily increases the production of antioxidants like glutathione and superoxides , which help give you clearer and plumper skin. When applied to the skin, maca is also said to help stimulate UV protection as it prevents the formation of sunburn cells.
2) Maca can help improve your memory
Some conclusions derived from American research state that Maca may improve learning and memory. Researchers suggested that it could even be helpful in treating conditions that affect cognitive processes, such as Alzheimer’s disease. In Peru , maca is traditionally used to improve children’s performance in school.
3) Energy and mood booster
Maca is a common ingredient found in pre-workout meals due to its properties that aid in endurance and sports performance. There are also reports from Cleveland Clinic that show maca’s promise for stress management and energy boosting.
4) Natural Libido Booster
Maca is Peruvian Ginseng, so a heightened sexual drive as one of its effects shouldn’t be a surprise anymore (it’s actually one of root powder’s claims to fame). A study done in 2008 by CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics proved that Maca can increase sexual libido in women, which is caused by the positive effects on serotonin levels, the “feel good” hormone. A separate study done in the same year from the Menopause Journal claimed this as well.
5) Helps relieve symptoms of menopause
The natural fluctuation and decline in estrogen levels that women in the menopausal stage experience can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms: hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, sleep problems and irritability – to name a few. One review of four studies in menopausal women found that maca helped alleviate menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and interrupted sleep upon daily intake of two tablets containing Maca for four months.
The range of potential benefits from this plant are promising, but there is much larger scale research required to back up certain beneficial claims. The good news: there aren’t any adverse side effects or health risks linked to the intake of maca. If you’re in doubt, you can always consult your doctors first before jumping into the craze.
Where Can I Get Maca?
Besides these benefits, another wonderful thing about Maca is that it can be added to just about anything , including popcorn, coffee, chocolate milk, fruit smoothies, granola, baked treats, hummus, oatmeal, yogurt, and soup. Here are some maca powder brands that you can try:
This one is a team favorite. It’s more bang for your buck based on the size and price: 16 oz, which will last you a while. The taste is really mild, and being certified organic, vegan, and gluten free is a nice plus!
This brand supports the Indigenous populations’ efforts to preserve their culture and environment while supporting agrarian economies in developing nations. Herbs America works directly with botanists, tribal leaders, universities, and laboratories to cultivate and research traditional medicines which are found to be beneficial for both humans and the land.
Their Maca product line includes ready-made smoothie formulas like Maca Pichu Smoothie Mix and Cocoa Maca Loco Smoothie Blend .
Cutting back on caffeine? Managing your coffee intake? This product by The Maca Team is used as a coffee enhancer or a coffee substitute, depending on what you feel like your body would need. Testimonials claim it’s a great product for boosting alertness and motivation — even for those who aren’t big fans of coffee!
A “sweet treat that treats you sweet!” is how Bearded Brothers describes their brand. A bar of 43g serves 180 calories. Perfect for a pre-workout! This unique chocolate food bar is made with various other healthy, guilt busting organic ingredients like coconut sugar, Mexican cocoa, sea salt, chia seeds, and cocoa nibs. Mega Maca Chocolate Food Bar comes in boxes of 5s and 12s.
Maca Recipes We Tried and Loved
MACA POWDER HOT CHOCOLATE- personal ranking of 5/5 stars
I love this hot chocolate recipe and gave it a 5 out of 5 for flavor, and the fact that it’s so chocolatey and delicious with very little sugar added.
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup of nut milk
- 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk (such creamy texture and natural sweetness)
- 2 tbsp of cocoa powder
- 1/2 tbsp of maca powder
- 1/2 tbsp of honey
- pinch of sea salt/Celtic salt
- Mix the ingredients together in a saucepan on the stove, medium heat
- As it heats, whisk periodically
- For more froth, whisk more often. You can also add to a blender or use a milk frother
MACA-CHOCOLATE-BANANA SMOOTHIE Personal ranking of 5/5
I gave this a 5 out of 5 because the textures with the frozen banana and almond butter are perfect, and I love the ingredients and low amount of sugar!
- 1/2 tbsp maca powder
- 1 cup almond milk (or any nut milk of your choice, I love it with oat milk too)
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 tbsp of cacao powder
- 2 dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp almond butter (peanut butter can be used as a substitute)
- pinch of sea salt/Celtic salt
- Optional: 1 tbsp vegan protein powder (or any protein powder of your choice)
- Mix all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth
- Add more or less the indicated amount of milk basing on your preferred consistency
MACA POWDER LATTE Personal ranking of 3.5/5
I gave this a 3.5 out of 5 because the texture is great, but the maca powder is the flavor you taste the most. Maca is a pretty calm, earthy flavor, but I would add some more chocolate or take away some maca next time!
What you’ll need:
- 1 tbsp of maca powder
- 1/2 tbsp of cacao/cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- a pinch of cinnamon
- 2 cups of milk (if you want non-dairy, we prefer oat or coconut for texture)
- Place all the ingredients in a pot on the stove and set to medium heat
- Wait for the ingredients to heat up, whisking every minute or so
- (For an alternative method with extra froth, put the warm milk in a frother or blend for just a few seconds, and add the ingredients after)
HOMEMADE MACA-AVOCADO-CACAO FACE MASK- Personal rating of 3/5
I gave this a 3 out of 5 because I personally have a hard time with honey face masks! I know they’re super hydrating and healing, but boy oh boy it’s sticky. Next time I might switch out the honey for some coconut oil? But if you’re a fan of honey masks, you’ll love it!!
What is maca root powder?
Maca root powder comes from the roots of a Peruvian plant called (you guessed it!) maca. The plant is in the same family as radishes and resembles a turnip, but it&rsquos usually grown at higher elevations, says Gina Keatley, CDN, a New York-based nutritionist. &ldquoThe roots are ground up and dried to create the powder,&rdquo she says.
Maca also typically comes in one of three colors: black (which can appear to have a deep purplish hue), red, or yellow, says Lorraine Kearney, CDN, NDTR, adjunct professor at the City University of New York.
But regardless of color, the powder really does (or should) come solely from the plant itself. &ldquoIt&rsquos not really a supplement it&rsquos just a dehydrated vegetable,&rdquo says Kearney.
Although it&rsquos most commonly described as having an earthy or nutty taste, Kearney says she gets some sweetness from it. &ldquoYou would think it would be like a beet or something, but to me personally, it tastes like a butterscotch,&rdquo she says.
Health Benefits of Maca Powder
Maca is a turnip-like vegetable that grows at extremely high altitudes in the Andes Mountains.
Its root can be ground into a powder that can be incorporated into all different kinds of foods.
According to The Maca Team, maca powder is one of the most nutritionally dense foods in the world.(1) It contains high levels of vitamins A, B, and C iron, magnesium, zinc, and calcium a high concentration of protein and nearly all essential fatty acids and amino acids.(2)
According to Dr. Edward Group, all of this means that maca has several different health benefits, relating to both physical and mental health.(3)
Omega-3 fatty acid, a high level of which is found in maca, help support brain function, mood, and overall brain health.
The vitamins and other nutrients in maca root have been proven to be a natural energy enhancer. This means a drink with maca powder can serve as a pick-me-up and allow you to have more energy throughout the day.
Maca is especially beneficial for women.
According to Dr. Group, the nutrients in maca can help women find relief from certain menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep interruptions.(3)
The protein can even help maintain bone density and fight against osteoporosis, which is a common problem for many women as they age.
How to Cook/ Use Maca in Recipes.
Cooking and using Maca in recipes is relatively easy. Below we share the best ways you can cook and use Maca in recipes.
Maca in powder form is widely available, especially with online retailers. The root powder of Maca becomes thick and almost creamy after cooking, depending on how much you use it.
Therefore, Maca makes a great base for soups, porridges, and even as jams.
Traditionally, using maca powder in baking is very common. So you can use the Maca to make pancakes, cakes, and even bread.
Another way to use Maca in a recipe is in drinks. Drinking maca as a milk substitute is common. In addition, the extract from black maca is also available as beer.
Of course, it does not taste like the traditional milk or your local beer, but it is definitely an experience. Gelatinous Maca can be made into drinks as well.
Maca is quite a potent product, so pregnant and nursing mothers should not consume it.
In addition, children and adults with a history of kidney issues should practice maca safety, according to webmd.com