People are going crazy over maca. The hot new superfood on the block, maca has been touted as hormone balancing, energizing, and stress relieving. But what actually is Maca and why should you eat it?
What is Maca?
Maca is a cruciferous vegetable in the mustard family, related to radishes and turnips. It’s native to the Andes Mountains of Peru. Though you’re likely to only spot the beige-colored kind in stores, there are actually 13 colors—ranging from white to black. The different colors have different properties and potential health benefits. Widely available in powdered form, maca has a naturally sweet butterscotch taste.
What does it do?
According to a study from US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, maca may improve sexual desire, fertility, mood, energy levels, learning ability, metabolism, and memory function. Regular consumption is also associated with low body mass index and low systolic blood pressure. This study by the University of Michigan also suggests that it can reduce the negative effects of stress.
By the Numbers
One tablespoon has:
3g of Protein
3g of Fiber
60mg of Calcium
1.08mg of Iron
.180mg of vitamin B6
3.6mg of vitamin C
309mg of potassium (May reduce risk of hypertension.)
In summary, maca has a lot of potential and is a tasty way to add more nutrients to your diet. Of course, it’s not a magical, cure-all product, but it is delicious in kefir smoothies, stirred into oatmeal, or even baked into cookies or muffins.