Is Maca a Superfood?
The magic of maca is no secret – it has been known for its invigorating, nutritional & hormone balancing properties for years. Traditionally, the maca root was used by natives in regions such as Junin & Pasco of Peru as an energy-booster, as oxygen is more scarce in these very high elevations. The natives noticed when their animals grazed on Maca they would become much healthier & stronger and would tend to copulate more and have a much higher fertility rate.
Today you’ll find maca on supermarket shelves or as take-out at your favorite health food joint. It has recently become very prevalent in a commercial sense, available dried for consumption in powder form, or in capsules, or as liquid extract. Here's our Serve Yoga breakdown of this powerful superfood.
Maca root (Lepidium meyenii), also known as Peruvian Ginseng, is a root vegetable primarily originating from the high elevations of central Peru, specifically over 13,000 feet in the Andes. It was found exclusively at the Meseta de Bombón plateau close to Lake Junin in the late 1980s. Maca grows underground (tuber) in extreme weather conditions including: brutal winds, powerful sunlight & harsh cold. The maca root is a Cruciferous vegetable, which means it is of the family Brassicaceae – related to broccoli, cauliflower & kale.
So what’s the big deal? Maca root contains key nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It's also long been believed to improve fertility, boost libido (a person’s overall sex-drive), sharpen mental focus & memory, enhance endurance & reduce the symptoms of menopause. Further, maca root acts as an anticarcinogen, antioxidant, anti-fungal agent & antibacterial agent.
According to Healthline, one ounce (1 oz. or 28 grams) of maca root powder contains:
Carbs: 20 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Fat: 1 gram
Vitamin C: 133% of the RDI
Copper: 85% of the RDI
Iron: 23% of the RDI
Potassium: 16% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 15% of the RDI
Manganese: 10% of the RDI
Incase you’re wondering - Copper is needed to help trigger the release of iron to form haemoglobin which carries oxygen around the body, as well as being involved in the production of both red and white blood cells.
And so,moving forward, Serve Yoga says– grab that maca powder! Add it to you morning or afternoon smoothie for a healthy, nutritious ‘superfood’ you deserve.