Life Before Maca
It was to my surprise when I learned many women deal with a hormonal imbalance on a monthly basis. I was unaware of how normal it is for this to occur until I did my research. When I think about it, I’m almost sure my imbalance started in my late teens. At that age, I didn’t pay close attention to the changes in my mood as it got closer to my cycle. Most would equate the changes to the development as an adolescent. We’ve all heard it before. “She’s a teen, that’s just what they do.”
Now, as an adult, I can hone in on the different things happening within my body. I can tell when the PMS is about to kick in; therefore, I can prepare myself and make necessary changes if needed. Some of the symptoms included extreme depression, nausea, and fever like symptoms where my entire body felt severely tender to touch. I would sometimes have extreme agitation because of this. As a result, I was short tempered. Sound familiar? I can’t forget to mention my emotions were completely out of whack. On top of that, tummy cramps experienced were sometimes unbearable. The truth is, the symptoms made me feel like an entirely different person.
Just imagine how it would feel if you had the flu that ran a fever EVERY month. That was my reality. Then, add depression and all the other qualms of our monthly girl time. Sounds fun…right. Some months were better than others. Welp! That was my story before Maca Root stepped into this woman’s life.
History of Maca Root
“Considered one of the ‘lost crops of the Andes,’ Maca root or Lepidium Meyenii is a biennial plant from South America, namely Peru and Bolivia. It is a root vegetable with a leafy herbaceous top, similar to the radish or turnip family, except that it grows at high altitudes of 8,000 to 14,500 feet. It has been around for centuries, and it’s only been in the recent years that it’s become widely known in North America.” (Herb Affair) Also, the ancient Peruvians used Maca as a source to barter for hundreds of years. It played a great role in their traditional foods and their economic system because of its medicinal properties.
Benefits & Uses of Maca
The “super food” has been used to regulate hormone balance, energy, and mood in both men and women. It has also been known to support healthy libido and stamina. Many people add Maca root to their smoothies as a protein source before or after their workout. “Maca has a relatively high amount of absorbable plant-based nutrients, including protein, fiber, calcium and magnesium among others.” (Herb Affair) If you were looking to beef up on the protein, this would be a good source to consider.
I’ve used it in my smoothies a few times. Let’s just say I wasn’t a complete fan of the taste when mixed into my berry smoothie. Maca has a nutty and lightly sweet flavor. I think it would pair best in a smoothie with peanut butter, chocolate/vanilla (protein powder) and banana. As of late, I prefer to take the capsule since I already add chia seeds and goji berries in my smoothie.
Potential benefits of Maca Root:
- balances mood
- strengthens skin
- better sleep
- increases endurance/stamina
- increases energy
- reduces symptoms of PMS and menopause
- helps your body deal with stress
- helps reduce aches and pains
- acne fighting properties
- increased fertility
The brand of Maca that I currently use is gaia HERBS; each capsule contains 500mg. For the most part, I take one pill a day. If I can remember, I’ll take it twice. However, I’ve had positive results with taking it once a day. With this brand, you have the option of opening the capsule and pouring the contents into your smoothie/shake. Or- you can simply take it as a pill.
Since I started taking Maca, I no longer experience physical pain before my cycle, and I do not have what I’d like to describe as ‘crazy hormonal’ issues that I used to. My emotions have simmered down quite a bit, and I actually don’t mind getting out of bed in the days leading up to my cycle. I can feel the difference in my mood and energy levels every day. I must admit, before taking Maca, I was a skeptic. Adding Maca root to my diet has by far been one of the best decisions I’ve made as an adult for my overall health. If you’re dealing with any of the issues that I’ve mentioned here, I’d like to personally tell you this super food changed my life for the better. GET YOU SOME MACA!
**Be sure to consult with your physician before adding Maca to your diet.**
Have you used Maca before? If so share your methods in the comments below.
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