Dragon fruit and maca powder are two of the hottest superfoods on the market and, says certified holistic health counselor Jodi Baretz of the Center for Health and Healing in Mount Kisco, both pack a powerful nutritional punch.
According to Baretz, dragon fruit can “strengthen the immune system, aids in healing of bruises, may decrease respiratory problems and might even prevent memory loss. The fruit has no complex carbohydrates so [it] can be more easily broken down, and is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids, several B vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism, calcium, carotene, and protein.”
Baretz calls maca powder “one of the world’s natural superfoods.” The ground root, which many say tastes slightly like butterscotch, contains more than 20 amino acids, and additional vitamins such as B, C, and E. Maca also helps balance hormones and improve energy levels.
“If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or mood swings, maca may help you balance your mood and even improve your sex life,” says Baretz. “It is safe for all ages, but make sure your kids don’t get too much of it, because it may increase libido.”
This doesn’t mean you should be eating maca or dragon fruit ‘round the clock. Dragon fruit contains large amounts of sugar, while too much maca can result in excessive consumption of estrogen and iron.
However, Baretz says both can be added to a diet judiciously. A serving of dragon fruit can be blended into a smoothie, and a spoon of maca powder can be simply sprinkled over oatmeal, yogurt, granola, and other foods.
“Dragon fruit and maca powder are very easy to buy at health food stores, specialty supermarkets, or even some local grocery stores, or you can order online from Amazon,” she says. “Kiwi fruit or fresh pears are very similar and can serve as substitute for dragon fruit. Raw organic cacao, chia seeds, coconut, and spirulina are all superfoods that are very similar to maca powder.”