Maca is a true nutritional powerhouse. Dried maca root contains 13-16% protein, 8.5% fiber, 19 essential amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D, minerals iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium, potassium, calcium, several glucosinolates, 20 free fatty acids, and unique compounds called macaenes and macamides. Beyond that, maca is one of only a handful of foods considered to be an "adaptogen" or a food that raises overall life force energy.*
Adaptogens substances, compounds, herbs** or practices*** refer to the pharmacological concept**** whereby administration results in stabilization of physiological processes and promotion of homeostasis, for example, decreased cellular sensitivity to stress.
Both traditionally in Peru and around the world, many women claim that they find relief from cramps, hot flashes and night sweats due to menopause by supplementing with maca root. Many also attest to maca’s ability to alleviate depression and anxiety often associated with this female life change. *****
Maca root actually provides the body with many healthful nutrients, including potassium and calcium. It actually has higher levels of calcium than milk.
* "Database entry for Maca Lepidium meyenii Maca - Lepidium peruvianum, Chacon - Maca - Lepidium meyenii Maca - Lepidium meyenii Maca". Rain-tree.com. Retrieved 2012-10-26.
*** Smirnova, AV; Naumcheva, NN (2008). "[Solar activity and cardiovascular diseases].". Klinicheskaia meditsina. 86 (1): 10–7. PMID 18326276.
**** Brekhman, I. I.; Dardymov, I. V. (1969). "New Substances of Plant Origin which Increase Nonspecific Resistance". Annual Review of Pharmacology. 9: 419–430.