Superfoods: Maca & Cacao

Maca 

Here are a few reasons why I use RAW MACA ROOT POWDER every day!

It contains over 20 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids, vitamins B1, B2, C and E, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and manganese.

Maca has been shown to be effective at decreasing levels of anxiety, mood swings, stress, and depression, increasing fertility and libido in both men and women, regulating estrogen levels in the body, and improving energy, stamina, and overall mood. Maca has also been shown to improve glucose tolerance (aka insulin sensitivity), which is especially important for diabetics and/or those with metabolic syndrome.

Maca is no joke. Many people who regularly use maca report increased energy, stamina, and endurance levels within the first few days of its use. This may be why many athletes use maca for optimal performance. Supplementing our regular workout regime with maca may preserve our muscle mass.

These benefits help to explain why maca has appropriately earned its status as a SUPERFOOD.

NO PILLS. JUST MACA POWDER.

Cacao

“The Amazonian Antioxidant King”

What happens when you regularly use raw CACAO?

You take in 40 time the antioxidants of blueberries. With an ORAC score of 98,000 per 100 g (vs. 2,400 per 100 g of blueberries), raw cacao powder is impressive. ORAC scores measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals, which are unstable molecules that wreak havoc on our bodies.

You take in more calcium than if you were drinking cow’s milk. 160 mg of calcium per 100 g of cacao (vs. 125 mg per 100 g cow’s milk)!

You take in one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium, which is one of the most deficient minerals in North America. VERY important for energy production, brain health, and healthy heart.

You take in a great plant-based source of iron (molasses may be the best source), which is incredibly important for the health of our red blood cells and allows proper carrying of oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Cacao contains 7.3 mg of iron per 100 g while beef and lamb contain only 2.5 mg per 100 g. The important thing here is that plant sources of iron are NON-HEME iron, meaning they should be combined with a source of vitamin C for better absorption (oranges, kiwi, dark leafy greens, bell peppers, broccoli, and berries, among others).

You get your blood pressure in check. Cacao is rich in flavonoids and its antioxidants stimulate nitric oxide production, which aid in lowering blood pressure and improve blood vessel elasticity.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THOUGH? NO NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS. POWERFUL FOOD.

Throw some in your coffee and/or smoothie….right now!

 

dejan-matijevic-headshot-smallDejan Matijevic is the founder of Healthy Basketball, a current medical student in Tempe, AZ, and a Human Kinetics graduate (University of Windsor). Dejan has had a passion for basketball for over a decade, and is committed to growing the sport the right way. Follow Healthy Basketball on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

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