There’s Another Superfood You Need to Know About

Cue us buying it in bulk.

By: Karin Eldor

Move over, kale and matcha: Mama’s got a new superfood—and it’s getting tons of buzz.

For starters, yes, matcha and maca are totally different things despite the fact that they sound alike. While matcha is a type of green tea from Japan that’s finely ground (and a key ingredient in those now ubiquitous bright green lattes), maca is a root vegetable that grows in central Peru and boasts a slightly nutty-meets-cinnamon flavor. It’s a de-stressor-slash-anti-inflammatory-slash-stimulant-slash-aphrodisiac (aka one multitasking superfood).

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, maca is found in unicorn lattes, although its powers go beyond making your coffee Instagram-worthy.

We spoke with Samara Zelniker, health and wellness coach and founder of Mindfulness Matters, to get the full scoop on maca and its magical powers.

“Maca is my new favorite superfood and one that you can find in your local grocery or health food store. It’s a nutrient-rich plant that’s found in the Peruvian Andes and has been consumed [for] its medicinal benefits for thousands of years.”

Don’t believe the hype? Here’s a dose of some of maca’s health benefits.

 

NO WORRIES

Zelniker explains: “For starters, Maca is a natural adaptogen. Adaptogens help our bodies naturally adapt to stressors like a busy schedule, a demanding job, or an illness. Maca helps lower cortisol levels, our body’s stress hormone. Adaptogens do this by protecting the mitochondria (powerhouses) in our cells from stress-induced damage, because they actually stimulate the cell to produce proteins that help resist stress and enhance longevity.”

 

NATURAL UPPER

Zelniker continues: “There are many reasons to include maca in your diet. In addition to the stress-relief elements, it has the ability to increase energy levels, stamina, and mood, and can be used instead of coffee to make you feel more alive, energized, and driven.” (PSA: While coffee gives us life and is a prerequisite to starting our day, it could be a hidden cause of bloating. Something to consider!)

 

GET YOUR MOJO BACK

In the category of period relief, maca can help regulate hormones by supporting the endocrine system and aiding in the regulation of healthy adrenal and thyroid hormone production. “This is extremely beneficial for women trying to regulate menstrual cycles [and] reduce cramping and PMS symptoms,” Zelniker explains. YASSS.

And while we’re at it, maca also increases libido and is considered a potent aphrodisiac, so a win-win all around.

 

PACKS A VITAMIN PUNCH

Zelniker adds, “Maca also boasts a relatively high amount of plant-based nutrients including protein, fiber, calcium, and magnesium, which lead to an overall healthier immune system.” Consider maca the powdered version of a multivitamin with even more benefits.

Our only question is, “Maca, where have you been all this time?”

 

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