Aimée, 32, a health-conscious web designer living in downtown Manhattan, has been spiking her boyfriend’s smoothie with a nutritional supplement. Not with wheat germ, but with Maca. “We’ve both noticed a serious boost in our energy—which is great for my yoga class because I like a fast-paced vinyasa flow—and the romps in the bedroom have been a serious perk!”
Due to its growing popularity as a “vitality enhancer,” Maca is no longer an ancient, ignored superfood. It’s busting out of the history books, popping up on smoothie menus, and appearing in Manhattan kitchen cupboards.
Yvette Rose, founder of Joulebody Kickstart Cleanse, says it’s a better pick-me-up than caffeine. She sprinkles it over her morning oatmeal or adds it to a smoothie. “It’s really easy to add to food, and you’ll notice the benefits almost instantly,” she says.
Just what are those benefits? Peruvian women have long attested to Maca’s super powers in the bedroom (like for 2,600 years), and have been using it for fertility, libido, and treating PMS and menopausal symptoms. New York women are giving it a go, too.
Contemporary nutrition calls Maca an adaptogen, meaning it improves balance in the body where it’s needed or normalizes it under stress. But then Maca goes one better by promoting endurance, energy, stamina, as well as erections and sperm count (especially in rats). And some studies show that Maca is a mood and immunity booster. Name a New Yorker who doesn’t need that?
Want to try a modicum of Maca for you or, er, a friend? Start with one tablespoon of the organic root powder, using a well-known organic brand like Navitas Naturals. You can bump it up to two tablespoons after a couple weeks.
A quirky thing about superfoods like Maca is that their efficacy is sometimes higher when used inconsistently, so try using this one a few times a week rather than making it a daily ritual. —Jennifer Kass
Have you tried Maca? Has it given you or someone you know a lift? Do tell!