Looking for an all-natural libido-boosting aphrodisiac for an extra special Valentine’s Day? Maybe you’d like an energy boost, sans the jitters and come-down of caffeine? Perhaps you’re interested in balancing out stress levels mid-work week? All of the above? Say hello to your new best-superfood-friend, maca.
WHAT IS IT?
Maca is an herbaceous plant native to the high altitudes of the Andes mountains in Peru. It has long been used as food and traditional medicine to the local people there, dating back before the Incan empire. Peruvian warriors ingested it before battle to increase their energy, vigor, and endurance, although it’s effects were also felt in the bedroom with their elevated sexual function.
Maca is a root that is part of the brassica family, meaning it is actually related to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and other cruciferous vegetables. In Peru, it is traditionally prepared by boiling and slicing or cooked with milk or potatoes for a savory dish. It is generally sold and used in the United States has been dried and milled into a powder, which is a more concentrated form.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Maca powder has adaptogenic properties, meaning it helps the body produce what it is lacking and helps balance what it may have too much of. This powerful root helps to stabilize hormone levels, leading to increased energy, a balanced endocrine system, decreased stress levels, boosted fertility, greater sex drive, and even possible ease with menopause symptoms.
Along with providing complete protein (carrying nine essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce), it also contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber.