Native to the high altitudes of the Andes Mountains in Peru, maca is a root which is part of the brassica family along with broccoli and cauliflower.
The taste of maca is fairly unique, imparting flavor that could be compared to caramel or butterscotch. Additionally, it has malt and slightly nutty or earthy undertones. Commonly used in powdered form as a supplement, this root is rich in nutrients and boasts many potential positive benefits when consumed.
Packed with Nutrients
Maca is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and antioxidants. It contains glucosinates, which are powerful antioxidants usually found on cabbage, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables.
It boasts high levels of antioxidants, vitamin C, copper, and iron, as-well-as good amounts of potassium, manganese, calcium, and some B-complex vitamins.
Can Boost Physical Activity
Incorporating maca into your daily diet can help boost your energy levels and increase endurance and stamina. It is a natural stimulant and could be a beneficial supplement for athletes performing energy-demanding activities.
Good for Your Brain
When it comes to brain health maca has been shown to be beneficial and may improve cognitive function, including focus and memory. In addition it may help slow down age-related cognitive decline.1
Remedy for Menstrual and Menopause Issues
Maca may be helpful in relieving various side effects of menstruation and menopause. Some studies have shown it to be effective in alleviating hot flashes, cramps, and discomfort.
Beneficial for Skin Health
Adding maca to your diet can do wonders for the health of your skin. Maca has anti-inflammatory properties that can be effective in fighting acne or blemishes. Furthermore, it may help reduce the sensitivity of your skin.
Improves Mood and Balances Hormones
Hormone balancing foods like maca can help regulate mood and emotions. Maca may provide effective relief for those suffering from mood swings, anxiety, depression, and pre-menstrual symptoms. This superfood may also improve sexual health and fertility.
Supports Immune Function
Maca has anti-inflammatory properties and contains a number of phytonutrients and antioxidants, including vitamin C. As such, maca can be effective in supporting immune function and protecting the body against oxidative stress.
A Wonderful Superfood
Maca is rich in nutrients and boasts many health benefits. And as further research is being done on this superfood it is likely that more benefits will be discovered.
However, it should be noted that maca powder can harbor a harmful mold that produces carcinogenic aflatoxins. As such, it is best to purchase gelatinized (pre-cooked) Maca or cook it before consumption. In Peru maca is traditionally prepared cooked, and there is some evidence that the boiling process can increase active metabolites.2
If you want to start incorporating maca into your diet, try adding it to hot drinks and baked goods. Here is our recipe for maca hot chocolate!