By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America.com
We are just days away from Valentine’s Day, which means buckets of chocolates and red roses to symbolize the ubiquitous love fest that is February 14th are being snatched up across the globe. Roses and chocolates are nice, but what if I told you there is one food that you could add to your diet today to get you revved up for the best night of your life on February 14th? I am talking about a great night, a long amazing night…. okay, I’ll just say it…. a night of great SEX!
I am always fascinated by the extreme power of food, not just because it can be delicious and healthy, but because food, certain foods, have the power to be medicinal. These foods are called superfoods, and they truly straddle the line between being a food and a powerful medicinal compound.
The superfood that I am talking about here is called maca, and it is thought of as nature’s version of Viagra.
Maca has been used for thousands of years as a staple food in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It is a root vegetable that resembles a radish. You will find it dried and ground into a powder in most natural markets across the country, but before you run out and chow down on an entire bag… listen up, there are guidelines.
Maca contains 2 compounds; macamides and macanes, which some studies show are directly responsible for its sex boosting power, its ability to increase energy, endurance, strength, libido and sexual function.
During the height of the Incan empire, legend has it that Incan warriors would consume maca before entering into battle, which they believed would make them fiercely strong. After conquering a city, the Incan soldiers were prohibited from using maca to protect the women from the soldiers’ maca-induced sexual impulses.
In addition to the sexual benefit of consuming maca, it is also one of the most supportive foods for the endocrine system. Known as an adaptogen, it has the ability to balance various systems within the body, and maca can provide more energy if it is needed, but will not overstimulate. Adaptogens also boost immunity and increase the body’s overall vitality.
The maca root is like an oily root vegetable containing 20 amino acids and fatty acids. It is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur and iron. It has been shown to increase fertility, greatly reduce the risk of prostate cancer, improve memory and relieve stress and depression.
In Peru, maca is greatly revered. In fact, there is a maca festival every year in July where you can sample numerous products made with the sex enhancing root. Now that is a festival I would love to attend!
How do you use maca? Well, it’s pretty simple. Slip 1 tbsp of dried maca (also called maca powder) into your husband’s smoothie every morning from now until Valentine’s Day. Mix that with 1 tbsp to your own smoothie every morning, then send me a thank you note. Maca has a mild malt- like flavor and works really well with chocolate, banana, and peanut butter flavors.
I also love making a hot maca malt on a cold winter morning. Simply heat 1 cup of organic almond milk in a small pot, whisk in 1 tbsp maca, 1 tbsp cocoa powder and 1 tbsp of agave nectar. Whisk until well blended and enjoy.
You CAN get too much of a good thing. For best results, if consuming maca daily, it is recommended to take a week off during every month of consecutive use. Now get out there and “Maca-it” a Valentine’s Day to remember.