Superfoods - Exploring the powerful benefits of some exceptional foods
Superfoods are considered nature's most nutrient dense foods from the earth. The technical Oxford English Dictionary defines "superfood" as "a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being." An eclectic group of berries seeds, fruits, roots, and vegetables, super foods have been prized by ancient cultures for thousands of years for their remarkable powers to heal and energize. Only recently, however, have they come to the forefront in the Western health food community.
Over the next few days, we will be highlighting just a few of these exceptional foods; their power potential and benefits.
MACA - A radish-like root, maca is indigenous to the highlands of the Peruvian Andes, where it has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Traditionally, Incan warriors depended upon maca to increase both strength and stamina during their long battles. Today, maca is best known for offering the adrenal glands, as well as promoting sexual health and balancing hormones. The key to understanding the exceptional power of maca is its placement within a rare class of plants called "adaptogens" (only about 1 in 4,000 plants contains adaptogenic properties). Being an adaptogen means that, when consumed, this amazing root can actually "adapt" and adjust to combat the different types of stresses that are put on the body. Remarkably, maca also contains around 60 phytonutrients, including abundant minerals, amino acids, and have a noteworthy quantity of beneficial plant sterols, which have been shown to help block cholesterol absorption.
Flavour Notes: Maca offers a strong aroma and a complex, earthly, slightly sweet, nutty flavour - with just a hint of butterscotch. Its unusual taste may be pulled in both sweet and savory direction, and many find it strangely addictive.
Use in: Breakfasts, drinks, smoothies, sides, soups, entrees, sweets and desserts.
Try our Can't Believe It's Quinoa Smoothie which has maca added to the power mix!
Source: Superfood Kitchen - Julie Morris