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Superfood: Maca

  1. Superfoods are still gaining in popularity. From chia seeds to goji berries. All this 'super food' is seen as super healthy. A not so well known superfood is maca. A special root vegetable that would not only increase libido, but would also help against hot flashes.

  1. First of all, a brief explanation of what maca is. Maca is a plant that grows high in the South American Andes Mountains in central Peru. There it has been used as a food and medicine for about 3000 years. Maca is related to the radish and has a sweet scent. The taste is also sweet and somewhat resembles that of a sweet potato. In South America they mainly eat maca fried and roasted, but in our country maca is mainly available as a powder. It is also available in nutritional supplements.


  1. Special properties have been attributed to maca for centuries. The Peruvian plant is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium and is said to help with anemia, chronic fatigue, depression, poor memory, stress, menstrual problems, lack of libido and menopausal problems such as hot flashes. This is mainly due to the positive effect that maca has on the hormone balance. In ancient Inca culture, they revere the plant for its medicinal purposes. According to this folk belief, the plant is known for its legendary ability to improve your energy, give you mental clarity, and improve libido. It is therefore also called 'the natural viagra'. There are many stories circulating about maca in Peru and these go from generation to generation. But there is limited scientific evidence on the effect of maca. Some studies show some benefits, but major human studies are lacking. What is clear is that maca is rich in certain proteins and amino acids, in combination with the substance p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate. That is probably why it is aphrodisiac.

Side Effects

  1. It is safe for most people to use maca. Not enough is known about its use during pregnancy and breast-feeding. In order not to risk it, you better not take it.

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