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Maca More Love

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Superfood maca powder can rev up your libido.

By Jenny Hoff

If you’re looking to stay natural and boost your libido during this season of love, maca may prove a more effective aphrodisiac than oysters or dark chocolate. Maca is a plant that grows in the Andes Mountains and is known to help with a variety of issues, including menopause, fertility woes, anemia and low libido in men and women. So, if you want to bring a little more romance into your relationship without having to pop a prescribed pill, consider adding a little maca powder to your morning routine.

EAT THIS:

Maca powder

NOT THAT:

Store-bought or prescription libido pills

SAYS WHO:

Many functional medicine doctors espouse the use of maca powder to boost libido, including Austin-based Dr. Amy Myers, whose website lists maca root as one of her top five foods to combat hormonal imbalance, including low libido. Herbalists and holistic practitioners also suggest using maca to boost hormones in both men and women, as well as to help with fertility problems.

WHY:

While it’s not exactly clear why maca helps with hormone issues, it is high in minerals and vitamins like vitamin C, E and magnesium, iron, fatty acids and amino acids, making it a healthy hormone booster. Although research hasn’t indicated a change in estrogen or testosterone levels in the few studies that have been conducted, there have been some promising results in participants. In several double-blind studies, participants reported increased libido, even if they were taking antidepressants, which can lower sex drive. As an adaptogen, maca root can also help your body fight off stress, another leading cause of loss of libido.

HOW TO USE IT:

Toss some maca powder into a smoothie, into some coffee or use it in a homemade energy bar. Maca comes in powder or whole-root form. Powder is easiest to incorporate into your daily routine, but be sure to read tips about how to slowly introduce it into your diet to avoid any side effects. The best kind on the market is high-quality organic maca powder.

MACA more love energy bar recipe:

Ingredients

2 tablespoons organic maca powder

1 cup unsalted cashews

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup dried dates, pitted

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon raw organic cacao powder

1 tablespoon ground flax seed

Water, as needed

Directions

1. Add all ingredients except the water to a food processor and blend until it is sticky enough to form a dough. Add a bit of water if needed.

2. Spread the dough on an 8-inch-by-8-inch pan lined with parchment paper to about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Freeze it for an hour and then cut the dough into squares.

3. Wrap each bar individually for a quick on-the-go treat.

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