Let’s talk root veggies. Tis the season for hearty root veggies to be pulled from the still warm earth soon. Turnips, radishes, daikons, beets, carrots, and potatoes (although the latter is not a TRUE root veggie) can all be great for warm, hearty dishes for this cooler weather. Think stews, soups, and crock pot dinners awaiting your arrival. Yum!
But, let’s switch gears and talk a root vegetable that is not native to this area. Maca. It is a root vegetable that can be found in Peru and is most often seen and used in powder form. Maca has somewhat of a malty flavor and can really “beef” up your cold dishes like smoothies, breakfast bowls, cold oats and more. This root keeps the most nutrients and benefits when not added to hot beverages and meals.
So…what ARE these benefits?
- Lots’O Vitamins — Maca is chalk full of Vitamins C, B, and E, calcium, zinc, and iron. Maca has been used for generations to “boost blood” functions. People with anemia have been told to introduce this as a supplement into their diets in certain areas of the world.
- Mood — Maca is said to help regulate hormones and mood swings associated with the menstrual cycle. But…it doesn’t stop there! Maca is said to elevate the moods of those who feel depressed or anxious because it has similar properties to that of ginseng, a natural “energizer.”
- Muscle Builder and Wound Healer — Maca is said to help replenish red blood cells which also aid in healing. Maca has been used to partner with workout regimens to help build muscle mass and as well!
- ***Libido and Fertility — There are no formal studies to back these claims, but, for generations people had been told to take maca to support healthy libido and to also aid in fertility. Although, if you are pregnant or lactating, you should avoid using maca.
Maca is on the rise in the realms of “super foods,” and rightfully so. Not only does it add an additional texture and taste to your foods, it’s got enough vitamins and minerals to really jumpstart your day.
If you decide to give maca a try, start by using a 1/2 teaspoon in your morning meal (smoothie, oats, etc). Slowly increase your dose to a full tablespoon, but try to alternate days in which you take it. I do about three maca smoothies a week. My favorite is a frozen banana, almond milk, two tablespoons of cocao powder, and one tablespoon of maca. It’s like a chocolate milkshake for breakfast!
Hope you’re having a wonderful Tuesday, and see you back here later this week!