The famous Maca superfood, native to the Andes Mountains, was a regular source of nutrients for the Incan civilisation - one of the oldest on Earth.
Grown at extreme altitudes of up to 15,000 ft, it is a truly robust crop that has historically provided a necessary source of food and medicine for isolated communities in the Peruvian Central Andes.
Nowadays, this superfood is grown at much lower altitudes and has become widely available to superfood lovers around the world. But why is Maca so good for you?
As an adaptogenic ingredient, Maca helps the body cope with stress and sustain high energy levels throughout the day – something all of us could benefit from.
Due to these beneficial effects on the body, it has been highlighted as a useful tool for athletes who want a natural way to sustain energy levels during performance and training.
Maca does this by supporting adrenal function – combating the negative effects of stress and allowing the body to access higher energy levels.
The adaptogenic properties of Maca also help the body maintain and reduce the effects of psychological stresses that may occur in everyday life. Often, it is an accumulation of physical and mental challenges that can either lead to depression or exacerbate the effects of an existing condition.
Using Maca regularly in combination with a balanced diet and plenty of exercise is a great way to give the body a fighting chance at combating the onset of depression.
Preventing health issues from occurring in the first place is the best way to stay healthy. With a stronger natural defence, our bodies can actually avoid many unwanted health concerns such as colds, flu or infections that we would otherwise be more susceptible to contracting.
Through boosting the digestive system and smooth running of vital organs, Maca bolsters the immune system and provides effective resistance against harmful infections and toxins.
Maca has been connected with fertility and pregnancy for millennia. The reason for this is its ability to naturally affect key hormones that are important to certain biological functions linked with fertility, reproduction and menopause.
When hormone levels fluctuate, Maca supports the adrenal glands in the stabilisation and restoration of hormone levels that are necessary for a well-balanced body.
In Peru, Maca is used less as a medicine these days and more as an ingredient for drinks and food recipes. This is perhaps a true measure of its adaptability as a superfood – still relevant thousands of years after its initial discovery.
You can add Maca to your health smoothie of choice, your morning granola or oat bowl, or bake it into a delicious desert. There are hundreds of ways to enjoy Maca in your weekly routine.