What Is Maca Powder?

Maca powder comes from maca, a root vegetable of the radish family, which grows at high elevations in the Andes Mountains in Peru. It makes a great addition to a smoothie or breakfast bowl, and is one genius way to make desserts a little healthier, as in this chocolate mousse.

Maca powder has a myriad of health benefits. In her book Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods, Lauri Boone writes that maca contains phytosterols that inhibit the absorption of cholesterol and even reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels. "Maca has a diverse mix of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fats," says Boone. "A single teaspoon of raw maca powder boasts a modest gram each of fiber and protein, along with two percent each of your daily calcium and iron needs."

So how does maca powder benefit your body? For one, it is rich in alkamide, a compound that helps the body adapt to and cope with stress, specifically anxiety. This compound also helps increase metabolism and libido. That's right: studies over the past decade have indicated that maca can increase sperm count and the desire to have sex. The energy-boosting properties for maca powder have led some to call it "Peruvian ginseng."

Try this nutrition-packed PMS Maca Cacao Milkshake Smoothie today.