The root, also known as Peruvian ginseng, recently made waves in the health and wellness community for its long list of supposed benefits. Just look up "maca powder" on Instagram and you'll see people putting maca into their coffee and shakes or even sprinkling it into their baked goods.
RELATED: Is This Milk The Next Superfood?
So what do all of those maca (not matcha!) lattes in your Instagram feed actually do for you? Time to sift through the hype around maca root benefits:
What Is Maca?
It is a cruciferous veggie like kale, cauliflower, or radishes. It’s been grown in the Andes mountains of Peru for the last 3,000 years, according to the National Institutes of Health. There, it’s a traditional medicine that’s also a key ingredient in a fermented drink called maca chicha.
Most people consume maca root powder. And nutrition-wise, maca powder benefits are pretty impressive. One-half teaspoon (2.5 grams) of maca powder has around 10 percent of your daily iron needs, 10 percent of your recommended vitamin C, and about 15 percent of your copper needs—all for just 10 calories. Not a bad deal!
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.