Our Superfood Investment 101 series is here to help you understand the “buzz word superfoods” you should know about, why they’re so healthy and why they’re so expensive. You will learn about the history and benefits of our favorite hand-picked ingredients and decide which is the best investment for you.
All-in-all, there’s no doubt that superfoods can get really expensive, but there is a method to the madness. There are a number of superfoods (which will be listed on the site in the coming weeks) which have benefits and uses that far outweigh the initial price of buying them. First up: the wondrous MACA root. For example, one 4-oz bag of this Navitas Naturals Maca Powder (which is organic & GMO-free) retails for $19.99, but adding a spoonful of it at your favorite smoothie bar could run you an extra $3 per smoothie! Unless you’re using maca powder for a large amount of baking, it’s going to last you months and months–up to a year! Now, you might be wondering: why the hell do I need “maca”? Let’s go over the history of it…
The maca root is an ancient Peruvian superfood used by indigenous Andean societies as a source of healing and overall nourishment. Native to the Andes Mountains, over the years it has been labeled “magic, food of the gods, miracle drug,” and more. The maca root is traditionally roasted or boiled (like a potato), but in the U.S., we find it mostly in the form of powder; It’s best to find an organic brand that produces at low temperatures (as above). It’s been used for centuries for everything from enhancing fertility, increasing libido and stamina to boosting the immune system. Most notably, it’s used for the energy kick sans caffeine. It’s so powerful that [only] extremely high doses have been linked to disrupt some forms of birth control, although the science behind this has not been solidified (so don’t worry, ladies!). With that being said, it’s wise to hit pause on your maca habit if you are pregnant or lactating until more research is done.
The Overall Benefits:
- Energy: Within minutes of eating maca, you will notice a little burst of energy. Over weeks of consistent use, energy levels have been proven to increase dramatically. Professional athletes actually use maca for endurance and top performance.
- Libido: Maca has also been labeled a “natural Viagra”. It not only increases sex drive, but can actually enhance fertility and the production of sperm.
- Treat PMS: It has been linked to alleviating cramps, body pain, hot flashes and migraines by balancing hormone levels.
- Immune Booster: It’s extremely high in Vitamins B1, B2, B12, Vitamin C and Zinc, all linked to a healthy immune system.
- De-Stress: Maca can reduce the effects of cortisol on the adrenal glands–helping to reduce stress sensors to the brain.
- Protein: It’s a good plant-based protein to add to smoothies and shakes.
How To Use It:
- Start by adding 1/2-1 teaspoon (per day) to your smoothies, oatmeal and/or yogurt–there is a very muted taste so you are reaping the benefits without altering flavors
- Add it to baked goods and desserts (see: Raw Maca Chocolate with Sweet Cashew Creme)!