Maca RootJune 14th, 2013
On Saturdays HSK will publish an article on diet, nutrition and general well-being, written by nutritional consultant and chef, Laura B. Leff. Know why? because a healthy body with a spiritual mind is a blessed soul.
Many of us have heard of the term, “superfoods”. They have been quite the rave and the term has been tossed around quite a bit, particularly in the health/food industry. I’d like to ‘let you in on’ one of my favorite “superfoods”, Maca root. Maca is a root vegetable, of the crucifer family, originating from the high Andes mountains of Peru, growing at 7,000 to 11,000 feet, making it the highest altitude growing plant in the world. With this type of standing title, imagine what it does to your body when you consume it!
The Aztecs (Peruvian Indians) have been benefiting from Maca’s special characteristics for thousands of years, starting around 3,800 B.C. Particularly, it increases energy and power from within the body and assists with revitalization. Maca’s medicinal benefits target the endocrine system, which consists of all of the glands, and the hormones they secrete. These hormones are the controllers of fertility, sexual function, digestion, brain, nervous system physiology and energy levels. Maca is also an adaptogen, which basically corrects any imbalances in the body, allowing it to function at it’s peak state, all while negating any uprising illnesses. It is also abundant in the micronutrients calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium and iron. It’s vitamin content includes, B1, B2, B3, B12, C. D and E and it contains 18 amino acids.
Traditionally, Maca has been used for various purposes. Here are a few:
- Increases stamina
- Increases energy and endurance
- Enhances fertility
- Regulates hormonal imbalances
- Assists in the regulation of menstrual cycles
- Improves sexual function in men and women
- Reduces anxiety and stress
- Acts as an antioxidant and anticarcinogen
Maca may be taken in pill/supplement form, but I prefer to eat it by adding it to fruit/veggie smoothies; or by making raw, energy balls. Maca has a very pleasant and mild flavor; simliar to a potato, but with an added malty flavor.
Maca may be found in your local, health food store, or it’s very accessible to purchase online. Hope you enjoy some Maca real soon!
Laura B. Leff, Nutritional Consultant and Chef