Even if it is not Spring, many of us have started detoxification diets with different herbs, juices, and natural shakes, but please do not forget in this period of healing the herbal super food, “MACA”. There is not a Day or a Week, without Maca! Why? Because I think if I would not add to my nutritious and energizing smoothie, that would be a lack of “energy” day 🙂.
What do we know about Maca?
We know it’s native to Peru and it’s kind of a root. I first heard about this plant more than 10 years ago when I was a student at the Academy of Naturist Therapies in Budapest, in the nutrition classes and phytotherapy courses. It was also mentioned at the General Naturopathy classes in Bucharest, but there was only a little emphasis on it.
Five years ago, when I was enrolled at the BodyMind Institute in Canada, in the Raw Vegan Nutrition & Nutrition courses, I saw that a lot of accents was placed on it. Moreover, a whole scheme has been made (as is the case with other plants like panacea or superfoods that I have not heard of before in my life), about its functioning on the physical body and on the energetic body; the links between them and all the benefits in a way that I could be understood very well and clearly. We also emphasized the importance of using Maca daily in our diet.
Let’s see what we know about Maca and what are its benefits. I will not write down here all the origins, and another thing, because they can be found on Wikipedia.
Benefits of the Maca plant
Maca – Strengthens the body and increases resistance. It is known as an adaptogen. Helps the body maintain its vitality and optimal energy level. It acts as a natural and multifunctional energizer. It maintains sexual health, and in several studies, it has been shown to stimulate sexual appetite in both men and women without adverse effects.
In higher doses even helps with infertility problems!
Maca has been a great food for centuries, so it’s no wonder that it has recently become a nutrient supplement that we can use in both, raw and vegan cuisine as well as in our daily smoothies.
One teaspoon of maca contains only 10 calories.
Maca is currently considered a superfood, used by advanced and ancient civilizations on Earth, such as the Incas and Peruvians.
For centuries mankind has used it for many health problems but preventively, for balancing the immune system, and increasing fertility, and was loved because it was a non-caffeine energizer.
MACA also helps with endocrine problems, and nervousness and just one teaspoon of raw and organic maca is enough to feel its energizing and calming effect at the same time. It has no side effects and is not toxic.
Talking about the skin, our biggest organ, it is also proven to be a benefit to keeping skin clean and effectively acting against acne and pimples, making the skin smooth and velvety.
If you suffer from migraines and headaches, maca can help you with this, as many of these problems are related to hormone levels in the body, and maca helps to balance the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone.
It helps in re-balancing the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
Maca strengthens our memory and our ability to learn. This means that makes us more aware. It also has beneficial effects on the circular system and helps in the speed of wound healing.
Maca includes 55 phytonutrients, contains vitamins B1, B2, B12, and vitamin C; contains zinc, calcium, and phosphorus. We can say it is an immune booster, it contains 22 fatty acids. It has local antiseptic action, antifungal, and vitamin C along with zinc are helping to maintain immunity at the optimum level.
In people with high stress due to work or other causes, maca can reduce the effects of cortisol on the adrenal glands and other organs affected by “type-A” workplace pressure, lifestyle, etc. Athletes and anyone with a more active life will appreciate this rooted plant, which is a maca, which protects the body from the destructive effects of mental, emotional, and physical stress. Maca can also help in lowering blood pressure and in optimal use (especially in “burning”) of food by the body.
Maca contains an alkaloid extract that activates the natural hormone, Calcitonin in the body, which regulates the metabolism of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) in the blood. The hormone is secreted by the thyroid and parathyroid.
It works in the intestines, bones, and kidneys to increase the level of Ca(2+) in the plasma.
“It also aids in wound healing through blood clotting “- (Dr. Chacon – Peru)
Maca also stimulates the pancreas. Pancreas is a vital part of the digestive process. If the pancreatic duct becomes blocked for any reason, the digestive fluids of the pancreas can digest the pancreas itself, or lead to pancreatitis, or pancreatic cancer.
Thymus is responsible in the body for the health of the immune system. It produces T-cells that fight against infections and diseases. Maca plays an important role especially when receiving treatment for HIV, AIDS, or cancer. And again, maca contains vitamin C as well as zinc. Researchers discovered years ago that Vitamin C and Zinc, when administered together, help to increase the immune function of the thymus gland. By its adaptive value, and by the content of nutrients and other substances, the maca plant can stimulate cell-mediated immunity.
In the definitions of this plant, Maca, the expression of Phytochemicals, Phyto-nutrients, and Adaptogens are now widely used.
Let’s see what are these:
Phytochemicals – are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants. For example, the substance that gives cranberry the blue color is a phytochemical. Scientists generally use the term to refer to chemical components in plants, which can have biological significance and are very important to the body.
Adaptogens – It provides systemic support against any type of stress or stress agent, help maintain a homeostatic balance, and are called by plant classification, those which increase the capacity of a body (humans or animals) to adapt to environmental factors (stress, diet, toxins, diseases, etc.) without damaging them by such factors and without causing side effects in their use.
Ginseng, a very popular root plant around the world, is another example of an adaptogen. The concept and name are accepted and used by researchers as well as by many medical professionals.
Maca can be kept at home for one year or longer if you keep it in a cool, dark place. It can be added to purees and smoothies, raw vegan creams, tasty desserts, etc. If you use it as a liquid, or the capsule is OK and so, it depends on everyone’s tastes. However, it is important to be raw(crude) and organic.
In Peru, it simply boiled the root or made puree from it. It has been proven that boiled Maca is very easily digestible. Of course, organic does not necessarily mean raw / crude. Some manufacturers cook it at low heat, or others just cook it, which means it can be organic, but not raw at the same time. For example, maca powder, which you can find at organic shops is generally raw and organic(must have specification). You can also use it in water, vegetable milk, breakfast cereals; in cakes, smoothies, yogurts, etc.
MACA – ORGANIC AND RAW
We’ve added maca powder to some recipes, especially raw-vegan desserts, and some shakes in the past.
I have prepared now, a very simple Super Shake with bananas, oranges, spinach, maca powder, rosehip powder, and Calli acupuncture tea (from Sunrider International – based on 5 elements).
For 2 persons / normal size glass or cup
– 1 banana
– 1 orange
– 2 normal size leaves of spinach
– 1 teaspoon of organic and raw maca powder
– 1 teaspoon of rosehip powder – organic and raw
– 300 – 400 ml Calli tea
Also, the organic and raw rosehip powders are generally superior quality, a good source of Vitamin C in the daily diet, but do not irritate the stomach as it irritates the other vitamin C extracts.
– Before using them, it is best to wash the ingredients such as leaves, fruits, and vegetables with a special solution. We use “Earth Friendly Products”, an Eco solution to clean vegetables and fruits. (It helps to remove pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, dirt, bacteria, and wax from the surface of fruits and vegetables. Demonstrated that it is effective for bacteria such as E-Coli, Listeria, or others ..)
Mix well the ingredients in the blender/shaker and drink it for about 10-15 minutes before eating. We prefer, for example, before lunch.
Dr. Lars Gustafsson, from BodyMind Institute, Canada, told us that even 5 minutes before a meal, a fruit juice or a natural juice in a smaller amount is welcome to stabilize your sugar level from the blood. For example, if we take a meal with carbohydrates (eg. spaghetti, rice, potatoes), the blood sugar level will not rise suddenly, as it happens in general, but it will slowly climb up, and it remains linear .. So, we will not have sudden energy drops and digestion problems after the meal …
Attention and be careful! – Those with more severe stomach problems or very high burning problems, use less maca powder or start with less, gradually reaching 1 teaspoon/day and they can also avoid oranges.
For those who have problems with digestion and constipation, this shake is very welcome.
“When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no I’ll start tomorrow. Tomorrow is disease.” ~V.L. Allineare