Maca seems to be the latest buzzword in the health world…maybe you’ve heard of it, seen it on menus, or have someone at home trying to sneak it in your foods. While maca root has been used for centuries in South American cultures, it has only gained popularity in last couple of years in the states. Maca is an adaptogenic root vegetable grown in Peru. Adapta- what? The term ‘adaptogenic’ refers to the stabilization or re-balancing effect of the herb/root. So let’s say you’ve got way too much nervous energy, or on the flip side, you can barely drag yourself out of bed at 8am – adaptogenic herbs are known to stabilize energy and hormones, helping your body to naturally achieve balance. You know we love ourselves some balance, which is exactly why we have been loving maca.
Maca does it all! Okay maybe not everything, but it has a pretty impressive resume. Check out the many benefits:
>>> hormonal balance – both sex and adrenal hormone balance!
>>> helps with insomnia
>>> aphrodisiac // increases libido [fun fact: it has been nicknamed nature’s Viagra]
>>> stamina and endurance
>>> reduce anxiety symptoms
>>> reduce depression symptoms
>>> mental focus/clarity
>>> hot flashes
People are known to notice a difference within a matter of days, and did we say the libido affect can be, well downright awesome? Both men and women can benefit from adding maca into their daily routine, about from 1 teaspoon up to 1 tablespoon per day, even a bit higher as you adjust to the taste.
The flavor is fairly rich – kind of like butterscotch, keep in mind a little goes a long way! Maca is a fine powder that can easily mix into recipes of choice. We love adding it to smoothies and oatmeal [check our our fave below]. You should be able to find maca at most health food stores or local co-ops in the supplement or superfood section. We simply opt for organic when available. Maca can also be purchased online at Thrive Market or Amazon.*
Here’s our favorite smoothie bowl recipe that adds maca into the antioxidant rich recipe list – this is a hormone balancing, skin luminizing (is that a word) immune boosting powerhouse. Additionally you could add it into any ol’ smoothie, overnight oats, etc. of which we have loads of recipes in the upcoming October Prescribe 20.
ACAI SMOOTHIE BOWL
- 2 cups dark leafy greens, your choice
- 1 cup non-dairy milk, your choice
- 2 unsweetened açai berry pulp packs (Sambazon is a great brand)
- 1 ripe banana, peeled
- 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons maca powder
- 1/2 avocado, pitted and peeled
- Suggested toppings: chia seeds, hemp hearts, bee pollen, sliced fruit
- Blend greens, milk, and acai packs until well blended.
- Add the banana, blueberries, cinnamon, ginger, maca and blend until smooth. Add some water if needed to thin, though you’ll enjoy the smoothie bowl a bit on the thicker side!
- Finally, add the avocado and blend until smooth. If using protein powder or seed mix, add with the avocado. (you don’t want to overblend protein powder).
- Pour into a bowl and sprinkle with your favorite toppings. Alternatively you can have this as a good ol’ fashioned smoothie!
*Because maca truly can be a powerful hormone adaptogenic ‘superfood,’ it’s a good idea to run it by your health professional before implementing it in your daily routine (this is particularly important for anyone pregnant or breastfeeding).