In central Peru high up in the plateaus of the Andes mountains grows a special kind of vegetable called lepidium meyenii / maca. The history of Maca can date back to 3800 B.C. when Peruvian Indians cultivated the vegetable for its nutritional and medicinal value.  For thousands of years, the superfood has been grown at altitudes of 7,000 to 11,000 feet in extreme climates of freezing cold, strong winds and intense sunlight, making it one of the most resistant and the highest altitude growing plant in the world.
 
So the question remains: what makes Maca so incredibly special?
 
Chemically Maca root contains significant amounts of amino acids, carbohydrates, and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E. But specifically Maca is a natural way to treat numerous things including:
 
Male:
– Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
– Treat sexual dysfunction (Loss of Libido)
– Increases stamina & athletic performance
– Nourishes glandular system
– Fertility enhancement
– Improves physical and emotional well being
– Promotes mental clarity
– Balance hormones
 
Female:
– Treat PMS (Mood Swings)
– Menopause symptom relief (Hot Flashes)
– Sexual stimulation
– Nourishes glandular system
-HRTalternative(Hormone Replacement Therapy)
– Increases stamina & athletic performance
– Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue) / yeahh…more energy J
– Balance hormones
 
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Maca powder
 
I have started to put a spoonful [1 tsp] of Maca powder in my smoothie every day [the taste is a little unpleasant so I recommend adding it to smoothies, cereals and/or salads.] I was also pleseantly suprised to learn that Maca is an adaptogen. As a Canadian living in Chile, I had an extremely difficult time adapting my body to the cold temperatures [inside and outside!] during the Chilean winter. As a adaptogen, Maca also can help the body in its ability to handle stressful situations and maintain a state of biological equilibrium [for example, allowing your body to adapt to changes in temperature – cold or hot].
 
Although I enjoy Maca in my smoothie, Julie Morris from Mind Body Green writes that this staple Peruvian superfood is traditionally enjoyed warm: mixed into porridge or boiled into a hot drink.  
 
Whether you like it hot or cold, it is quite obvious that Maca is truly a phenomenal South American Superfood.