By: Elna Botes van Schalkwyk

Maca is a powdered root herb from the Peruvian Andes, related to the radish family. It is called an adaptogen, meaning that it helps the body to adapt to increased stressors. It energises the system, building strength and stamina. Maca is well known as a hormone balancer and provide relief from menstrual pain and menopausal symptoms in women. Because of its oxygenating effect on the blood, maca has also gained the reputation for being a libido enhancer or nature's aphrodisiac.

Maca is packed with enzymes, vitamins, minerals and trace elements, especially calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and iron, plus zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, manganese and silica. In fact, for vegans or vegetarians who are concerned about their calcium and proteïn intake, maca has around 10% bio-available calcium and about 12 - 14 % bio-available proteïn. It contains nearly 20 amino acids and 7 essential amino acids.

Maca is a dry superfood powder with a rich malty flavour. Try adding it to smoothies or raw desserts.