Maca, or Lepidium meyenii, is a plant native to Peru. It grows very high up in the Andean Highlands, and it is related to cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and kale. Maca has been used as food and traditional medicine by native peoples for thousands of years. It's also gaining huge popularity in the West—and for good reason.

Advantages of Maca

Refresh, Revitalize and Energize with a Daily Maca SmoothieFolk medicine beliefs in South America hold that maca is good for increasing fertility, energy and stamina. Modern medical science agrees with these claims. Scientists have found many other health benefits of maca far beyond just the traditional uses. Studies have shown that taking maca can:

  • boost sports performance
  • improve learning and memory
  • improve well-being
  • increase your libido
  • reduce anxiety and depression
  • reduce enlarged prostate
  • relieve symptoms of menopause

Furthermore, maca root is very nutritious. It's a great source of vitamin C, copper, iron, potassium, vitamin B6 and manganese. The plant also contains beneficial compounds you may have heard of, such as polyphenols and glucosinolates.

How Can it Be Consumed?

You can take maca capsules to get these benefits. However, you can get an added boost by adding the raw maca powder to recipes. Many people who have tried maca say it gives them extra energy, so why not harness this wonderful natural tool?

A great way to add more maca in your diet is to simply add it to your daily smoothie. Smoothies are an excellent choice for breakfast or for a snack because they're hydrating and full of nutrients. Here are some recipe ideas to help you get started.

Maca Green Smoothie

This smoothie is great for breakfast, not only due to the high vitamin and mineral content of the fruits and vegetables but also because the healthy fats in the avocado and almond butter will help keep you full until lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped pineapple (frozen, if possible)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 chopped banana (frozen, if possible)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons maca powder
  • 3 cups liquid (you can use water, almond milk, green tea or herbal tea)

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Tropical Maca Shake with Extra Protein

Refresh, Revitalize and Energize with a Daily Maca Smoothie 1Here is a smoothie with maca root that will fulfill your cravings for delicious tropical flavor while also giving you a protein boost with spirulina powder.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chopped mango (frozen, if possible)
  • 1 1/2 cups liquid (water, almond milk, green tea, or herbal tea)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2-4 tablespoons spirulina powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons maca powder
  • A few drops of ginseng extract (if desired)

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Maca Immune Booster Smoothie

Refresh, Revitalize and Energize with a Daily Maca Smoothie 2Whip up this one when you're feeling under the weather. The vitamin C and other nutrients, plus the beneficial herbs, can help increase your immunity.

Ingredients:

  • 3 grated carrots
  • 1 grated apple
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup other liquid (water, almond milk, green tea or herbal tea)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or powdered ginger
  • 1-2 teaspoons maca powder

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Maca Breakfast Smoothie

Here is a maca smoothie that features a blend of traditional breakfast flavors: Banana, oat, strawberry and yogurt. Perfect for a sweet maca energy boost in the morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons maca powder
  • Honey to taste

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Maca Energy Boost Drink

When you need an energy boost, perhaps in the afternoon, sip on this maca drink. Maca is not the only ingredient that'll give you more energy. The fruits and vegetables will give you energy through their vitamins. Green tea provides a mild and healthy caffeine boost.

Ingredients:

  • 2 grated carrots
  • 1 grated apple
  • 1/2 grated beet
  • 1-2 teaspoons maca powder
  • 1 cup green tea

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Creamy Peanut Butter Maca Shake

Finally, here's a maca smoothie recipe for when you're craving something closer to a milkshake rather than a water-based green smoothie. Healthy plant fats and proteins, found in the peanut butter, will help keep you full, so this is also a good pick for breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chopped bananas (frozen if possible)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons maca powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.