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February 21, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 1

Superfood of Ancient Warriors... and Modern Wellness Warriors: 6 Maca Recipes

By Christina Pasternak More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the FOOD-A-MINS Blog Series

According to archeological studies, maca can be traced back 2,600 years as an ancient superfood used for a variety of benefits. Incan legend attributes maca to its warriors fierce strength and stamina during battle. Today, maca is the Earths highest-altitude crop, growing in the Andes as high as 14,000 feet. In other words, this root, which resembles a radish and is part of the cruciferous family of plants, can not only sustain a barren region of intense sunlight, wickedly turbulent winds, and extreme temperature fluctuations, but it thrives. So why is this so important to know? Because maca can endure such extreme conditions, it makes it a perfect superfood for, of course, endurance.

Food for Athletes

Macas historical reputation as a remarkable strength and stamina enhancer has been shared by modern-day raw foodists, such as David Wolfe, and extreme athletes, such as Brendan Brazier. According to Wolfe, maca is a powerful adaptogen, meaning it is nontoxic, produces an adaptive response to stress, and creates internal balance. More specifically, maca has an ability to stabilize the bodys glandular-hormonal, nervous, cardiovascular, and muscular systems. Thus, it increases energy, endurance, oxygen in the blood, strength, libido, mood, and healthy hormone production.

Superfood for Treatment

Just when we thought maca couldnt get any more impressive, it is also known to treat the following conditions:

  • Anemia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Infertility and sterility
  • Lack of libido (some nutritional experts refer to macas aphrodisiac properties to natures version of Viagra)
  • Malnutrition
  • Symptoms of menopause
  • Menstrual discomfort and disorders
  • Poor memory
  • Stomach cancer
  • Stress and tension
  • Thyroid problems
  • Tuberculosis

Nutritional Profile

Considering that maca is known as an ancient and modern-day superfood, its no surprise it has an incredibly impressive nutritional profile.

  • It contains 20 amino acids and 7 essential amino acids. Though its not a complete protein source, it provides many of the same effects as a high-protein diet.
  • Maca has a wealth of immune-enhancing sterols.
  • It's rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, and iron, as well as trace minerals, including zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, bismuth, manganese, and silicon.
  • This superfood is high in the vitamins B1, B2, C, and E.

Finding and Enjoying Maca

Maca Root

Maca is best when purchased as raw, organic, dried maca root powder. It can be found at most health food stores and online, either as a loose powder or encapsulated. The recommended dosage is 1-2 tablespoons per day to notice true health benefits. It can be mixed into almond milk, coffee, or tea, blended into smoothies, and added to baked goods, pancakes, soups, salad dressings, etc. Maca has a malted flavor, with mildly spicy undertones. It is a warming food, making it ideal for those who live in colder climates. Try it in the following recipes:

Plant Protein Smoothie with Maca

  • 1-2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup raw organic hemp protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 banana
  • 1-2 tablespoons of maca powder
  • A couple drops of liquid stevia or a tablespoon of raw honey (optional)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy, then, enjoy! This is a great post-workout snack or afternoon pick-me-up.

Energizing Maca Pancakes

  • 3/4 cups of oat flour (ground oats)
  • 3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of maca powder
  • pinch of salt

Optional add-ins: blueberries, chopped nuts, bittersweet chocolate chips - get creative!

  • Step 1: Mix all ingredients in a bowl until smooth (some lumps in the batter are OK).
  • Step 2: Add about 1/4 cup of batter to a non-stick griddle preheated on medium heat.
  • Step 3: Cook until golden brown, flip, and repeat on the other side.
  • Step 4: Serve with fresh fruit topping or maple syrup.
  • Step 5: Enjoy!

Try It

Whether youre looking to enhance physical stamina, have increased focus and alertness, or naturally treat sexual dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, or thyroid issues, maca may be a good addition to your diet. Try it for yourself, find creative ways to incorporate it into the foods you eat, and, most importantly, use it regularly and track your progress.

Maca is a food designed to allow us to unlock our energy and create optimum levels of health, so be consistent and let it do just that. Join in on this superfood journey - your internal wellness warrior is waiting for you!

MommyPotamus: Maca Energy Bars

"My personal favorite is the Lemon-Lime while Daddypotamus cant get enough of the Apple Cinnamon." Recipe HERE!

Julie Daniluk: Maca Pina Colada

"Looking for a festive non-alcoholic drink to share at a party?The ingredients in this recipe will have your adrenals so pumped, youll feel a natural energy high and you wont miss the alcohol." Recipe HERE!


Sunfood Recipes: Guaca-Maca-Mole

"Time for a fiesta! This superfood-infused spin on guacamole is perfect as a mid-day snack, or for quickly making you the most popular guest at a party! Avocados are rich in healthy fats (and so, so, so delicious), but kicking this dip up a notch isMaca Powder an adaptogen that helps with hormone balance and increasing energy along withMoringa Powder, an amazing green superfood that contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals. The fresh, guilt-free ingredients make it easy to devour a whole bowl of this in a matter of minutes, trust us!" Recipe HERE!

VivaPura: Maca Chocolate Chip Vegan Ice Cream

"This maca chocolate chip ice cream is smooth and creamy with bits of crunchycacao nibchips. Alternatively you could make your own raw chocolate (check out this recipe), chop them into chunks and fold them into the ice cream." Recipe HERE!



Sources:

Wolfe, D. (2009). Superfoods. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

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