Banana “Up and Go” Breakfast Smoothie
And yes…we’re talking “up and go” in more than one way folks.
This recipe includes maca (Lepidium meyenii), the root of a plant that grows in the Andes of Peru. The root has been found in archaeological sites dating as far back as 1600 B.C. and is often refereed to as Peruvian ginseng(1). I must warn you though, it can sometimes have an odour that resembles smelly feet, so I only use a small amount and make sure that my nose steers clear when I’m opening the lid.
Maca has been used for centuries in the Andes to enhance memory, fertility, balance hormones and to improve sexual function. In fact, it is thought of as a natural viagra! It also supports the endocrine system (think hormones) and the adrenals (think stress management).
The actions of the plant are likely due to the phytosterols (kind of like plant cholesterol) or phytoestrogens (that can cause estrogenic or antiestrogenic effects) present in the maca. Maca also contains magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E (1,2).
Some of the studies are as follows:
One 12-week double blind placebo-controlled, randomized study , found that maca improved sexual desire in men. So ladies, feed some to your fellas if you know what I’m saying…wink, wink, nudge, nudge. (1)
34 women were given organic maca in a double-blind, randomized, four month trail study. Results included a balance of hormone levels and relief from symptoms of menopause (hot flushes and night sweats). Thus proposing that Maca could be an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. (4)
Another study examined the proapoptotic (leading to cell death) and anti-proliferative (inhibits cell growth) effects on the prostate of rats and found that maca reduces prostate size (5)
Another study reviewed varieties of Maca on rats and all varieties showed antidepressant activity. Now I ask you, how does one know when a rat is depressed? Beats me! (6)
So…get your Maca on peoples!!!
*Psssst….you can buy Maca at any health food shop, or online HERE