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Maca and Ashwagandha: Superfood Spotlight

Alixe Faubert

Mar 27, 2023

Superfoods have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their nutritional and health benefits. These foods are often considered to be particularly nutrient-dense, providing an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help to support overall health and well-being. Two superfoods that have been gaining attention in recent years are maca and ashwagandha. We will explore the benefits of these superfoods and why they are worth incorporating into your diet.

Maca, also known as Peruvian ginseng, is a root vegetable that is native to the Andes mountains of Peru. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including fatigue, infertility, and hormonal imbalances. In recent years, maca has gained popularity in the Western world due to its reported benefits for energy, stamina, and mood.

One of the main benefits of maca is its ability to support hormonal balance. Maca contains compounds called glucosinolates, which have been shown to support the body's natural production of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This makes maca particularly useful for women who are experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance, such as irregular periods, mood swings, or hot flashes.

Maca is also rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress, leading to inflammation and cellular damage. By consuming foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as maca, you can help to reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, is an herb that has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Like maca, ashwagandha is known for its ability to support the body's natural production of hormones, particularly cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is produced in response to physical or emotional stress. Chronic stress can lead to a variety of health problems, including anxiety, depression, and weight gain. By supporting the body's natural production of cortisol, ashwagandha can help to reduce the negative effects of stress on the body.

Ashwagandha is also known for its ability to support immune function. The herb contains compounds called withanolides, which have been shown to stimulate the immune system and increase the production of white blood cells. This makes ashwagandha particularly useful for people who are prone to frequent colds or infections.

Both maca and ashwagandha can be easily incorporated into your diet in a variety of ways. Maca can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt, while ashwagandha can be consumed as a tea or taken in supplement form.

As with any dietary supplement, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider before adding maca or ashwagandha to your routine, particularly if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medications.

In conclusion, superfoods like maca and ashwagandha can provide a variety of health benefits, from supporting hormonal balance to reducing the negative effects of stress on the body. By incorporating these superfoods into your diet, you can help to support overall health and well-being, while reducing your risk of chronic diseases!

About the author

Alixe Faubert
Plant-Based Nutrition, Intuitive Eating, Gut Health
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After dealing with my own gut issues, food sensitivities, and mindset obstacles, I was inspired to study holistic health. Although I was always interested in health and wellness growing up as an athlete, I suffered from a severe concussion at 15 and this was a pivotal moment for me in my health journey. I realized the link between all aspects of health, how our body keeps the score, and how our pain, gut problems, and patterns can be traced back to specific moments. I work with clients by looking at all aspects of health (“food off the plate”) as well as nutrition and mindset to find an approach to empower them to take back their health and feel their most confident selves. My coaching method starts by Identifying your "WHY", beliefs, and patterns. Then, we will Reflect on your blocks. Lastly, by working together we will create actionable steps to incorporate into your life, and shortly after, YOU will Become.

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