The Superfood Lowdown: Maca
Superfood is the buzzword of 2016, and we're pretty sure it was the buzzword of 2015 too - people clearly cannot get enough of them (although computers seem to feel otherwise, why do they still insist on adding a space?). And the titles been going to everything: blueberries, salmon, kiwi etc - all easily accessible to your everyday diet. But what's the deal with superfood powders? Yes, we know they're good for us, but if you're not entirely sure of the health benefits then paying £20 for a bag of powder that ranges in flavour from swamp to 'ok-ish if mixed with other ingredients' can seem a little strange. There's a whole host of them to choose from too, overwhelmingly so, each supporting a whole list of different health benefits.
Here at pollen, we tend to use three main superfood powders in our products: maca, matcha and raw cacao. Mostly because these taste the best, at the same time as offering all the health benefits - if we started rolling up wheatgrass bliss balls I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be as popular as our maca variety! But taste aside, the nutritional properties of these powders make them an almighty ingredient to add to your diet, and something that should definitely be shouted about (which is just why we include them, and also why we tell you the benefits on our packaging!). So starting with maca, we're looking at just why you should add them to your diet below - keep checking back for matcha and raw cacao over the next couple of weeks!
About: Part of the broccoli, radish and watercress family, maca is native to the Andes Mountains in Peru. It have been used for centuries, firstly by the Inca's and Peruvians, and looks similar to a robust radish with an earthy, nutty taste - often compared to caramel when mixed with sweet ingredients.
Nutritional Breakdown: Maca includes 55 phyto-chemicals, including vitamins B1, B2, B12, and Vitamins C & E. It also provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.
WHY IT"S GOOD FOR YOU
Increased energy levels: Like a natural caffeine boost, most people feel their mood and energy levels, stamina and endurance lift almost instantly after consuming maca on a regular basis. If you're feeling a little lethargic or lacking in energy, then try adding a tsp of maca to your daily diet.
Libido boosting: Dubbed 'the food of the gods' by the Inca's and Peruvians, maca has been hailed for it's libido and endurance boosting properties - a natural viagra shall we say. It is also widely used to enhance sexual function of both men and women, increasing fertility.
Hormone balancing: Maca relieves menstrual issues and menopause, helping with cramps, body pain, hot flashes, anxiety and mood swings as well as helping with migraines due to their association with increased or fluctuating hormone levels.
Alleviating stress: For those suffering from stress, particularly adrenal, from day to day life, maca can reduce the effects of cortisol on the adrenal glands and other organs - often caused by a high pressure lifestyle or job. It can also lower high blood pressure and how the body burns and utilizes food - both associated with and affected by stress levels.
Immune Booster: Maca’s 22 fatty acids function as a local antiseptic and along with the natural Vitamin C and zinc are believed to help in boosting the overall immune system.
Skin Health: Maca is amazing for skin issues, and can help clear acne and blemishes, as well as decreasing sensitivity.
Mood balancing: If your moods feel like a roller coaster, maca can help towards alleviating the symptoms and helping with mental clarity and focus.
Pick up a pack of our maca + coconut bliss balls to get your daily maca hit - we add 1g of maca per packet (2 balls), which is 1/4 of a tsp - plenty enough to start feeling the benefits after regular consumption!