Why Maca Is a Superfood and How To Add It To Your Diet

Why Maca Is a Superfood and How to Add It to Your Diet

This ancient Peruvian superfood has an incredible story and an impressive list of benefits. The health benefits of this nutritional powerhouse range from increased energy to better mood to healthier skin. Add maca to your diet with this easy recipe, from Cooking Light, for a delicious breakfast smoothie.

You might have heard of maca, the latest superfood on the block, but what exactly is it? Maca is actually a root, grown on the highest mountains of the Peruvian Andes (over 13,000 feet). It thrives in tough, rocky soil and freezing temperatures where almost nothing else can survive.

The root may be trendy to us now, but Peruvians have been eating it for centuries as a way to increase energy and stamina; think of it as the original caffeine-, chemical-, and sugar-free energy booster. Maca is a powerhouse of nutrients, from vitamins and minerals to amino acids and adaptogens, which help strengthen the body and mind. A superfood doesn’t get much more super than that!

You’ll see maca in stores as a supplement or dried powder (available at Whole Foods and many specialty health food stores). It works best when combined with liquid. Chef and former Top Chef contestant Sam Talbot blends it into a breakfast smoothie with another superfood: fresh mango.

Maca Root and Powder

Find this recipe and more in Talbot’s new cookbook: 100% Real: 100 Insanely Good Recipes for Clean Food Made Fresh (Oxmoor House), in stores this month.

Mango and Maca Smoothie

Active: 15 min. Total: 15 min.

This smoothie is best consumed really cold and as soon as it’s made, but if you have any leftover, let it sit in the fridge for a bit so the maca flavor intensifies even further.


  • 3 cups unsweetened hemp milk
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 3 ripe fresh mangoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces dried mango
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 pitted dates
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt


Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy.


Source: What is Maca? – Cooking Light

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