Mar 14, 2023 News Recipes AMC Team 1,437 views

maca menopause superfood

There’s no shortage of ‘superfoods’ that flood our social media feeds. Every week, it seems, there’s a new must-try ingredient, with all kinds of promises made in regard to what these foods can do.

While you may have had your fill of superfoods, there’s one that truly delivers on its promises. Maca, also known as Peruvian ginseng, is a root vegetable native to the high Andes of Peru. It has been consumed for thousands of years for its numerous health benefits, including boosting energy levels, improving mood, and enhancing fertility. In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the benefits of maca and provide you with a delicious recipe to try at home.

Maca basics

Maca is a root vegetable native to Peru (which is why it’s also known as Peruvian ginseng). With this rich history of consumption, maca boasts proven health benefits, primarily impacting energy and moods. 

This is a powerful superfood for women experiencing every stage of menopause. With maca containing many nutrients that can help to alleviate symptoms commonly associated with menopause, adding maca into your diet is one way you can support your health and wellbeing through this changing life season.

The many benefits of maca consumption during menopause

While maca can offer health benefits to everyone, it’s particularly useful for women in the midst of menopause.

As you may have already experienced for yourself, the changes in hormones produced in a woman’s body during menopause can lead to a host of symptoms and uncomfortable experiences. These can include hot flushes, night sweats, issues in regulating your mood, vaginal dryness, a loss of libido and more. Finding treatments that can help to reduce the intensity of these symptoms can be of significant assistance for women throughout these experiences. Otherwise, they are likely to cause disruption and pain throughout the course of daily life.

One of the most significant benefits of maca consumption during menopause is due to maca’s ability to balance and regulate hormone levels. Many women find that consuming maca can help to reduce both the severity and frequency of hot flushes and night sweats, with its natural ingredients helping to regulate the impact of reduced natural oestrogen production. 

Maca’s also a fantastic source of a wide range of vitamins and minerals. In one serving of maca, you’ll find vitamin C, iron and calcium. These are essential nutrients not only for maintaining your health overall, but in the case of menopausal women, they play an integral role in reducing the impact of fatigue, increasing energy levels, and providing support to healthy bone density through menopausal changes. Calcium, in particular, is one nutrient that can decrease during menopause as a result of declining oestrogen levels – by ensuring you’re receiving enough calcium from your diet, you can help to protect your bones through the course of these changes.

Just when you think you’ve experienced enough of menopause’s symptoms, it’s time to meet one of its favourite contenders: a loss of libido! For many women, menopause can lead to vaginal dryness, resulting in discomfort during sex. Maca can also be a useful support if you’re experiencing these symptoms, as it can directly contribute to improved sexual function and an increase in your libido.

Finally, cognitive function can be assisted through the regular consumption of maca. As maca contains flavonoids, it’s a great source of brain-boosting goodness throughout menopause. Flavonoids have been proven to reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline. If you’re experiencing the brain fog that’s often symptomatic of menopause’s forward march, it’s time to turn to maca.

What are the best ways to consume maca?

Maca’s a versatile ingredient that can be added to all manner of foods and drinks to keep your consumption levels high. If you’re looking to introduce maca into your diet, we recommend:

  • Maca powder – the most common form of maca, this can be added to porridge, yoghurt, baked goods, smoothies (one of our favourite ways to get a maca hit every day!) and more.
  • Capsules – if you’re not into the taste of maca, digesting it in capsule form may be the best fit. Maca can easily be included in a supplement routine.
  • Tea – maca tea brings all the benefits of maca in the form of a welcoming, cosy cup. Just steep maca powder in boiling water for a few minutes and finish off with some honey to give it a sweet boost.

Our naturopath, Lisa Robson, has put together her favourite maca recipe. Take this one for a test drive if you’re looking for an easy way to jump onto the maca train. 

Healthy Snack bars

Ingredients:

Base:

1 cup dates

½ cup shredded coconut

¼ cup almonds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup pepitas

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp cacao butter, melted

1 tsp maca powder

Pinch of salt

¼ cup raisins

 

Chocolate layer:

2 tbsp cacao butter

¼ cup coconut oil

¼ coconut cream

1 ½ tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla paste

Pinch of salt

¼ cup cacao powder

 

Method:

Base:

Line a 7cm deep 22 x 11 cm loaf tin with baking paper.

Put dates into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes. Drain the water and check for any pits.

In a food processor, chop up coconut, almonds, sunflower seeds and pepitas, ensuring you don’t over blend, it should still be ‘grainy’, not like a flour.

In a high-speed blender, blend dates, coconut oil , cacao butter, maca and salt.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and add raisins, combine well.

Add the mixture to the loaf pan and press down well with the back of a spoon until smooth. 

Set aside.

 

Chocolate layer

Melt the cacao butter and coconut oil on low heat, then leave to cool slightly.

Sift in the cacao powder and then add all the remaining ingredients.

Whisk well until all combined.

Pour over the base layer and place in the fridge to set for at least 1 hour.

This can be kept in the freezer to help stop you eating too much at once just take out a small piece 15 minutes before serving.

Conclusion

Alongside superfoods like maca, there’s a whole range of tools and treatments that can help you to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. Superfoods and other supplements can be discussed and arranged through an appointment with our Dietitian and Naturopaths. Find the support you need for every stage of the experience at the Australian Menopause Centre.

About The Author - AMC Team

Our team consists of doctors, nurses, program assistants, naturopaths and nutritionists that join their wealth of knowledge to offer our patients and website visitors interesting and insightful articles to assist you understand the symptoms you are experiencing and how to relieve them.

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