I'm relatively new to these super-foods as well but I got onto
them for their hormone balancing powers/potential.
The smoothie recipe is at the end of this post.
What is Maca?
Maca, a root that belongs to the radish family, is most
commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains
of Peru, it has been called “Peruvian ginseng.” Maca’s benefits
have been long valued, and has recently been popularized as
a supplement and food ingredient.
Balance your use of superfoods like maca with a healthy
plant-based diet filled with veggies, fruits, beans, grains, nuts,
seeds and other whole Foods.
7 Benefits of Maca
1. Vitamins - Maca is rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E.
It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.
2. Sexual function - Maca is widely used to promote sexual function of both men and women. It serves as a boost to your libido and increases endurance. At the same time it balances your hormones and increases fertility.
3. Women’s health and mood - Maca relieves menstrual issues and menopause. It alleviates cramps, body pain, hot flashes, anxiety, mood swings, and depression. If you are pregnant or lactating you should avoid taking maca.
4. Energy - Within days of using maca your energy level may increase. It is also known for increasing stamina. Many athletes take maca for peak performance. If you find yourself tired most of the time, experiment with maca to see if it helps. Just a small amount could be exactly what you need for a boost!
5. General health - Maca helps your overall health in a number of ways. It supplies iron and helps restore red blood cells, which aids anemia and cardiovascular diseases. Maca keeps your bones and teeth healthy and allows you to heal from wounds more quickly. When used in conjunction with a good workout regime you will notice an increase in muscle mass.
But be very cautious if you have a cancer related to hormones like testicular and ovarian, among others. If you have liver issues or high blood pressure you should ask your doctor before taking maca.
6. Skin - Many people take maca for skin issues, as for some people it helps to clear acne and blemishes. Another benefit for your skin is that is decreases sensitivity. In hot or cold weather, maca may help your skin withstand extreme temperatures.
7. Mood balance - If you find yourself overcome with anxiety, stress, depression or mood swings, maca may help alleviate these symptoms, though of the evidence is anecdotal. Some have reported an increase in mental energy and focus. Source: Veg Kitchen
What is Lucuma?
The lúcuma is a subtropical fruit native to the Andean valleys of Peru. The fruit was first seen and reported by Europeans in 1531. It is sometimes known as lucmo. It is also called "eggfruit" in English, the name "eggfruit" refers to the fruits' dry flesh, which is similar in texture to a hard-boiled egg yolk. The lucuma has particularly dry flesh which possesses a unique flavor of maple and sweet potato.
7 Benefits of Lucuma
1. High in beta-carotene – You might have guessed with its yellow-orange color that lucuma is rich in beta-carotene, an important source of vitamin A which our bodies need for better eyesight, promoting cellular growth, and even helping with immune system reactions. Beta carotene may protect against other cancers as well, including esophageal, liver, pancreatic, colon, rectal, prostate, ovarian, and cervical cancers due to its potency as an antioxidant.
2. It is a natural sweetener - Lucuma can sweeten foods without spiking blood sugar, and it contains beneficial nutrients that sugar alone lacks.
3. Lucuma is iron-rich - Iron improves the transportation of oxygen into cells and is a vital nutrient to pregnant and breast-feeding women. Proper levels of iron contribute to energy levels as well.
4. A vegetarian source rich in niacin (Vitamin B3) – While most meat-eaters get their B3 from steaks and chicken, vegetarians and vegans will enjoy this vitamin from lucuma. This nutrient aids in digestion, muscle development, and the regulation of stress and sex hormones.
5. Fiber-rich food - This super fruit is full of fiber, which can help the digestive system work properly, reducing constipation and bloating.
6. Wound Healing and anti-Inflammatory - Try an anti-inflammatory cinnamon, ginger, lucuma smoothie for a healthy and tasty treat.
7. Lucuma Nut oil is anti-viral and anti-bacterial - This super fruit can also prevent colds, flu, and other viral or bacterial diseases, possibly making it a sound substitute for pharmaceutical antibiotics in many cases. Source: Natural Society
The recipe I like most and think is a good introduction to Maca and Lucuma is Emily's over at This Rawsome Vegan Life
Note: I just used some chai tea I had at home. I only used 1 cup and added 1/2 cup of coconut milk to add creaminess (my preference when having banana smoothies)
If, like me, you don't have a powerful blender then soak the dates in the tea while it brews. Then add the tea and date mix plus the cashews to the jug and blend until smooth. Now add the remainder of the ingredients and blend until combined to your liking.
Till next time, K xxoo