We’ve all heard the term “superfood” by now, I am sure. But what exactly does this term mean? By definition, a superfood is a food that is nutrient dense in comparison to the amount of calories that food contains. Often these so-called superfoods are named as such due to the high amounts of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, active phyto-nutrients, easy to digest proteins and/or essential fatty acids. They pack a good punch for their small size, essentially.
I recommend superfoods to my clients a lot because they add a huge nutrition boost and are really easy to incorporate no matter what your current diet looks like. It can be difficult to decide which superfoods to incorporate, as there are so many to choose from, so I thought I’d highlight one of my favorites, maca. Maca is a root vegetable native to Peru, which is usually dried and ground into a powder. Maca is available in a number of different forms – pills, tinctures, teas, and powders. My go-to is maca powder since it can so easily be incorporated into your daily routine.
So – why is maca powder so great, you might ask?
- It is considered to be an adaptogen, meaning it can help our body to more effectively deal with stress and “adapt” better to the situation we are in. Adaptogens have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and are now getting more attention from the scientific community.
- Maca may enhance energy levels. Many of my clients who include maca regularly report increased energy without the stimulation and “jitters” often seen with coffee or other caffeinated beverages.
- Early research suggests maca may help to boost mood and balance hormones. (1)
- This amazing root is rich in antioxidants, which help to neutralize free radicals. (2)
Chocolate Maca Smoothie
Makes 1 serving
- 1 Banana (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tbsp. Raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp. Maca root powder
- 1 scoop Protein powder of choice
- Unsweetened almond milk or water (as much as you’d like to achieve your desire smoothie consistency)
Add all ingredients to your blender and process until smooth.
NOTE – Maca powder can be purchased at Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre’s dispensary or any health food or specialty grocery store near you. Please check with your health care provider before using Maca if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a serious health condition.