Native to the peaks of the Andes Mountains in Peru, maca is a tough little plant that can withstand harsh weather conditions. Hardy against frost and strong winds, maca is wonderfully resilient. Likewise, its properties also support our own bodies’ natural ability to withstand stress.
Like ashwagandha and eleuthero, maca is an adaptogen. In short, that means that it helps our bodies adapt to stressors, both physical and emotional.
Lepidium meyenii has been used by Peruvian cultures for thousands of years. Its earliest recorded use goes back to 3800 B.C., with cultivars of maca being found in archaeological dig sites dating back to 1600 B.C.
Maca is rich with antioxidants and nutrients. It contains vitamin C, copper, iron, as well as over 20 amino acids. An ounce, or 28 grams, worth of maca root powder contains 20 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, and 1 g fat.
Although the maca you’ll find at your local health food store is likely in powder form, maca looks remarkably like a turnip. These two plants are actually in the same family! Maca is from the Brassicaceae family, which also includes broccoli, cabbage, radishes, kale, watercress, and more.
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