Maca powder is an ancient superfood grown in the Andes Mountains in Peru, and is often referred to as the Peruvian ginseng due its amazing benefits. It is a natural adaptogen, which means it counteracts the negative effects of stress on the body.
One of the most common Maca root benefits for women is the ability to balance hormones. Hormone imbalance is a common problem for many women and can occur naturally during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, child-birth, breast feeding, perimenopause and post menopause.
Other factors that can contribute to the problem are stress as this elevates cortisol levels. High alcohol consumption as this effects the liver and its ability to regulate estrogen in the body and foods which contain hormones like dairy.
When suffering from hormone imbalance you can experience a variety of symptoms, below are the 5 most common side effects.
Irregular periods – Menstrual cycles are usually 21-35 days long and fluctuations in time between periods, change in blood loss amounts or duration of periods resulting in irregular periods.
Face Acne – it is estimated up to 50% of women suffer from acne between the age of 20-29 and 25% of women aged 40-49. Adult hormonal acne is very common around the jawline and bottom of the cheeks . Persistent acne can be a result of increased levels of androgens, which makes the oil glands more productive.
Pain during intercourse – low levels of estrogen in the body can result in thinning of the vaginal lining which means it is less able to stretch causing pain during intercourse.
Vaginal dryness – this also occurs with low levels of estrogen
Hot flushes and night sweats – low levels of estrogen and progesterone can affect sleep quality and how the body’s temperature is regulated throughout the night. Low levels can cause poor sleep quality, hot flushes and night sweats
Infertility – as there are many hormones which can impact the ability to conceive and maintain pregnancy, hormonal imbalance can cause changes to the ovulation cycle and luteal phases.
Maca Powder as a Solution
Several studies have shown that Maca powder can help restore balance of hormones in the body as it stimulates the glands responsible for producing hormones. Studies have also shown Maca powder fertility benefits in men, as it can increase quality and quantity of sperm count. It can help increase libido in both men and women, which can make an excellent supplement for those trying for a baby.
Maca comes in four main varieties, black, red, cream and purple each colour having different benefits.
When choosing the right maca for you, ensure it is a blend of the different varieties and that it is grown in Peru, as there is maca on the market, which is grown in China. This maca is not of the same quality.
How do you take Maca?
Maca has a natural malty/caramel flavour to it, which means it can be a great addition to your morning porridge or mixed in to your favourite hot chocolate / smoothie.
Peanut Butter Maca Overnight Oats Recipe
This recipe adapted from Natalie’s Health is one of my favourites, simple to make, healthy and most importantly delicious!
- 1 cup plant based milk
- 1 teaspoon raw organic maca powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or coconut sugar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 medium banana
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
Simply add the milk to a jar, followed by the Maca, vanilla extract, maple syrup and flax seeds. Give it a good stir and then add the rest of the ingredients. Store the jar overnight in the fridge and it will be ready to eat in the morning.
Top with bananas and or crushed nuts!
|||K. Cherney, “Hormonal Acne: Traditional Treatments, Natural Remedies, and More,” 14 April 2017. [Online]. Available: https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/hormonal-acne#menopausal-acne.|
|||Natalie, “Peanut Butter Maca Overnight Oats,” 19 Janaury 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.natalieshealth.com/peanut-butter-maca-overnight-oats/.|