Maca Powder: Nutrient Powerhouse

IMG_2222Maca is grown in the high plateaus of the Andes Mountains in Peru, and is known as an ancient Incan superfood! It is vegan, raw, gluten free, non-GMO, and a complex, nutrient-dense whole food source containing a perfect blend of fatty acids and amino acids. It is known for its medicinal properties and relieving stress. Maca is rich in B vitamins, Vitamin C and E and increases energy to help fight fatigue (and chronic fatigue syndrome). It provides calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and amino acids, which are all important for daily function and sports nutrition. It can optimize athletic performance and give you that extra boost/stamina for increasing lean muscle. Maca can be found at Whole Foods, Erewhon market, Amazon and health food stores.

 

Maca is widely used to promote sexual function of both men and women. It serves as a boost to your libido and increases endurance. At the same time it balances your hormones and increases fertility. Maca also relieves menstrual issues and menopause. It alleviates cramps, body pain, hot flashes, anxiety, mood swings, and reduces depression and anxiety. Maca supplies iron and helps restore red blood cells and prevent anemia. It can help to clear acne and blemishes.

Use: Great for smoothies (morning or pre/post workout), salads, soups, juice blends, oatmeal or even baked goods (healthier version). As an athlete myself, I enjoy blending it into smoothies because it is quick, easy and delicious. Below are a few of my favorite ways to use Maca powder.

Dose: start with ½ teaspoon Maca powder and increase your dose up to 1 tablespoon per day goal.

Note: there is not enough evidence to use Maca powder if you are currently pregnant or lactating, therefore you should avoid taking it during this time to be on the safe side.

Medicinal Maca & Almond Smoothie: (Great for breakfast, post workout or dessert and only takes 5 minutes to make!)

  • 6-8 ounces Silk unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon raw, unsalted almond butter (chunky or creamy)
  • 1 tablespoon Maca powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Slivered almonds for garnish (optional)
  • 1-2 ice cubes (optional: to make cold with thicker texture)

Coconut & Maca Madness Smoothie: (Great post workout, good source of potassium for replacing electrolytes lost via sweat)

  • 6-8 ounces plain coconut water
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 10-15 raw, unsalted almonds
  • 2 large dates, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon Maca powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Coconut flakes on top for garnish
  • 1-2 ice cubes (optional: to make cold with thicker texture)

 

 

Magic Maca & Berry Smoothie: (Great for breakfast or afternoon energy boost, good source of antioxidants, cancer fighting)

  • 6-8 ounces Silk unsweetened Almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon Maca powder
  • 1 cup organic strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • Topped with Goji berries or cacao nibs (for extra flavor boost and antioxidant value)
  • 1-2 ice cubes (optional: to make cold with thicker texture)

FaceShotTo learn more about what nutrients you might be missing and how to incorporate a more balanced diet, schedule your nutrition consultation with Courtney Sullivan, Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer and Founder of Nutrition for Body and Mind. CLICK HERE!