I first heard about Maca during a presentation on Raw Foods by David Wolfe at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. As a result, I started reading up on superfoods in David Wolfe's book "Superfoods" and I incorporated Maca into my morning smoothies. I immediately noticed that on the days when I would make my smoothies with maca I would feel more focused and energetic. I also noticed that I was calmer, even in the face of the day to day stresses of life. I was handling things much better (which for a 'fiery' Latina is a good thing :)). Noticing the first hand results I started feeding my boyfriend maca too & I started telling my mom about it. Gotta spread the good news right??
What is Maca??
It’s a root that has been cultivated in the high altitudes of the Peruvian Andes for around 2,600 years. It is found in the most barren and inhospitable part of the Andes, which gives the root its character and properties. The ancient warriors of the Amazon jungle domesticated maca and later the warriors of the Inca empire would eat this root before entering battle in order to make them stronger and increase their stamina; after battle these warriors were prohibited from using maca, to protect the women from ‘excessive sexual desires of men’.
Maca has been used, medicinally, in South America to enhance fertility in humans and animals for centuries. Maca is a superfood that is categorized as an adaptogen, ‘which means it has the ability to balance and stabilize the body’s glandular-hormonal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system and musculature.’1 Maca boosts the immune system, increases stamina and energy, increases oxygen in the blood, supports the thyroid, endocrine system and the adrenals and it increases fertility and libido. That’s a lot of information..I know. But what is most important for you to take away from that is that it heals your body on all levels, allowing it to adapt to the stresses of modern life, keeping you younger and healthier, longer. There is so much more I want to share with you but for the sake of brevity I will tell you this: It is rich in many vitamins and minerals and improves a variety of conditions.
Look for Maca in the following forms:
Dried, powdered maca root
Dried, powdered maca root capsules
Maca varieties are black, yellow, red
Dried superfood formulas containing maca
Maca chocolate bars, treats and energy bars
Liquid maca concentrates
How to use Maca?
You can use maca in your smoothies, in capsule form, in your favorite tea or nut milk or coffee, even as part of a raw dessert or dish. It is very versatile and is a great emulsifier too. Just be sure to start with small amounts - 1 tablespoon a day is a good start.
1 cup unsweetened almond milk, organic
1 cup goji purified water (include the berries)**
1 cup blueberries
½ packet organic Açaí, frozen
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
1 tbsp raw maca powder
1 tsp goji berry powder (optional)
1 tsp camu-camu powder (optional)
**Bring purified water to a boil and toss in 2 tbsp of goji berries and allow to cool.
Place ingredients in blender and mix thoroughly. Serve and enjoy!
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1 - Wolfe, David. Superfoods. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2009. Print