What You Need to Know About Maca
If you’re looking for a plant-based and natural source of vitamins, minerals, long-lasting energy and vitality, look no further than maca! Maca is an ancient Peruvian superfood that has been used by indigenous Andean societies as a source of nourishment and healing for thousands of years. Wondering if you should try maca? Here are some interesting historical and nutritional tidbits about this small, yet very mighty, root vegetable to help you understand what it is, its nutritional profile and how to use it:
Maca is part of the cruciferous vegetable family and grows in harsh conditions high in the Peruvian Andes. It grows at altitudes above 10,000 feet where little else survives and, in fact, it is one of the only food plants in the world able to thrive at such a high altitude.
Maca has a long history as a superfood and has been used by indigenous cultures of Peru for thousands of years. Ancient Incan warriors were legendary for consuming copious amounts of maca in preparation for battle, significantly maximizing their stamina and energy levels. Spanish colonists noted the strength and stamina of the native people who consumed maca as a regular part of their diet. Maca continues to be a staple in the mountainous regions of Peru and has more recently gained popularity among athletes who benefit from daily maca consumption.
Adaptogen to Cope with Stress
Maca is considered part of a unique group of edible plants called “adaptogens.” Adaptogens have been shown to help the body’s adrenal system which works to manage the body’s response to stress. Maca is also referred to as the “Peruvian Ginseng” – a reference to Asian Ginseng, another well-known adaptogenic herb.
Maca contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and plant sterols, including vitamins B1, B2, B, C, D, E, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, selenium, phosphorous and calcium. Maca is high in fiber and a good source of plant protein (about ten percent). Maca is also a source of fatty acids, and it contains four unique alkaloids (Macaina 1, 2, 3 and 4).
Maca Varieties & How to Use It
Maca comes in a range of three different colors– yellow, black and red. Earth Circle Organics offers all three varieties. Yellow maca is made from the entire crop of maca with yellow, red and black roots combined. Red maca is made by separating the roots with skins ranging from red to purple in color. Black maca is the rarest form and is created by separating the roots with black skins.
Maca Powder has a malty, earthy flavor and is a perfect addition to energy and protein bars, cakes, smoothies, milkshakes, and juices for a boost of nutrition and vitality. It also pairs very well with chocolate, providing a nutty, butterscotch flavor and creamy texture. One of our favorite ways to use maca is in this chocolate chia pudding that also includes other premium and nutritious ECO superfoods like organic Ecuadorian cacao powder, coconut palm sugar and chia seeds.
Have you tried maca yet?
Comment below to tell us what you think and share your creative maca recipes with us in the comments below or on our social media channels! You can shop for all of our organic maca products at health food stores found on our store locator or conveniently online on Amazon or iHerb .