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Ease Stress, Speed Metabolism, and Fight Brain Fog With This Plant-Based Powder

Plus, three delicious smoothie recipes!


Maca root just might be the secret to helping you manage your hormones and nutrient levels after 40. Take a look to see all the benefits this plant-based powder can bring to your day by simply adding it to a delicious smoothie.

Eases Hormonal Stress

Women’s estrogen levels rise and fall rapidly between the ages of 35 and 50, which can trigger mood swings, weight gain, and night sweats. Maca root works as an adaptogen to help the body regulate the output of hormones like estrogen, curbing fluctuations. The payoff: In one study, women given maca root saw an 84 percent reduction in menopause symptoms.

Speeds Metabolism

This Peruvian superfood contains two amino acids (leucine and glutamine) that prompt muscle cells to use energy more efficiently. In fact, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing intake of these amino acids can significantly boost fat burn and increase calorie expenditure by 25 percent for 5.5 hours.

Clears Away Brain Fog

Maca root’s rich stores of polyphenols stimulate activity in the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that governs mood and attention. The result: an increase in mental energy and an improvement in focus in as little as three minutes.

We love Navitas Organics Maca Powder ($13.99, GNC) for its sweet and nutty flavor, and superfine texture that allows it to easily dissolve into water and smoothies.

These delicious sips are packed with the hormone-balancing nutrients of maca root that help you look and feel your best.

Berry-Almond Blast

  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. maca powder
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

In blender, puree all ingredients until smooth, 30 sec.

Per serving: Cal. 111 Pro. 2g Carb. 21g Fiber 5g Sug. 12g Chol. 0mg Sod. 181mg Total fat: 4g Sat. 0g Trans. 0g

Bonus! Anthocyanins in berries activate an enzyme that triples fat loss.

Orange-Banana Dreamsicle

  • 1 banana, peeled, halved, frozen
  • 1 small orange, peeled, seeded
  • 1⁄2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 tsp. maca powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon

In blender, puree all ingredients until smooth, 30 sec. Pour into chilled glass.

Per serving: Cal. 202 Pro. 7g Carb. 46g Fiber 6g Sug. 30g Chol. 2mg Sod. 53mg Total fat: 1g Sat. 0g Trans. 0g

Bonus! Oranges brim with hesperidin, which lowers cholesterol by 30 percent.

Lean Green Refresher

  • 1 kiwi fruit, peeled
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 3⁄4 cup pineapple coconut frozen yogurt
  • 1 tsp. maca powder

In blender, puree all ingredients until smooth, 30 sec. Pour into chilled glass. If desired, garnish with additional spinach leaves.

Per serving: Cal. 222 Pro. 8g Carb. 49g Fiber 3g Sug. 35g Chol. 7mg Sod. 101mg Total fat: 0g Sat. 0g Trans. 0g

Bonus! Spinach’s chlorophyll flushes trapped waste and toxins.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First for Women.

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