M is for Maca

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Now that Spring has sprung I’m starting back with my smoothie/juice routine. Generally I mix it up but I do seem to prefer the former. I’d like to say that’s all because of the nutritional benefits of getting the fibre too, but I have to admit, I’m not a fan of  the time it takes to clean the juicer! Better to make healthy living as easy as possible I say,  especially as our lives are generally so busy. Over the winter months we have a natural tendency to crave warmer foods, but this morning (despite the crazy weather! ) I really felt like a smoothie for the first time in ages. This one has Kefir, Ginger, Lemon, Carrot, Pineapple & Maca, which brings me to todays topic…

The first time I heard of Maca, was when people kept coming into our health food shop asking for it. Apparently Jennifer Aniston had mentioned in an interview that it helped her with her workouts (move over “Rachel” hair cut!) Of course, what was really heard was “Maca will help me lose weight & look great”. After researching it intensively, I am definitely a fan. So what exactly is it?

Maca is a root vegetable belonging to the radish family. It is grown in Peru and is often referred to as “Peruvian ginseng”. On this side of the world, it is mostly available in its powdered form which makes it ideal for adding to smoothies and raw treats of all kind. It has a slightly “malted” flavour which may take a bit of getting used to. To preserve its nutritional benefits, it’s best not to heat it. Speaking of nutritional benefits…..

Maca is rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamins C & E. Minerals include calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium and phosphorous. It also has some amino acids, providing approximately 9.7g of protein per 100g. Maca has many health benefits, particularly in relation to increased energy, stamina & libido! It is thought to be beneficial for Womens health and may relieve symptoms of PMS and menopause. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest Maca may be useful in the treatment of skin problems and mood disorders.

Are you ready to try Maca in your morning smoothie? You can expect to see a difference in your energy levels within a matter of days!! Do let me know how you get on……..

Enjoy!

The brand I used is Nua Naturals and it can be bought online here. (They offer free shipping on orders over €30 for Ireland & Northern Ireland)
They also have some delicious recipes.
Like many nutritional supplements, there are some contraindications. Maca should not be taken during pregnancy and lactation and care is advised for those with hormonal cancers, such as ovarian and testicular. Please consult with a healthcare professional if you suffer from high blood pressure or disorders of the liver.

 

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