My 3 Favorite Superfoods: Maca Root

This post is the third and final post in a series of my 3 top 3 favorite superfoods. My first post highlighted raw cacao and can be found here and my second post in this miniseries talked about the delicious goji berry and can be found here.

Now for my third favorite superfood!

Maca Root

Maca, a member of the cruciferous family, has been a staple in the Peruvian Andes for thousands of years and is known as Peruvian ginseng. Maca is one of the few plants cultivated in the harsh conditions in the Andes Mountains at elevations of up to 15,000 feet.  It is an adaptogen, which by nature means it increases resistance to stressors in the body and helps normalize the physiological response to stress.

Maca is a root that closely resembles a radish and ranges in colors of purple, off white or yellow. As a powder Maca contains more than 10% protein. It contains 20 amino acids and 7 essential amino acids which are essential in immune function, muscle strength and building healthy skin and nails. In root form it contains 4 times the protein of a potato and 4 more times the fiber. It is rich in manganese, selenium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E.

Maca has many reported benefits including:

– Endocrine system support including hypothyroidism support

-While it does not contain hormones its high nutrient and mineral content help eliminate hormonal imbalances

– Known to be effective in fighting stomach cancer and tuberculosis

– Beneficial for PMS and menopausal symptoms such as mood swings and hot flashes

– Has been said to aid with fertility

– Supports energy, stamina and strength without the overstimulation and wiring effects of caffeine

– Well known for increasing libido and sexual function

-Helps reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness

When purchasing look for raw organic maca powder. It is usually sold in powder form and is easy to add to smoothies, teas, milk or coffee. It can also be taken in supplement form. I personally love its earthy nutty taste and add a tablespoon to my morning smoothie everyday!