Written and Edited by: Nature’s Superfoods Team
Organic maca root powder has become increasingly popular over the years. Maca, which mainly grows in the Andes of central Peru, is often referred to as Peruvian ginseng. Maca is a cruciferous vegetable with a long history of culinary and medicinal use in Peru. The major part of the plant is the root, which exists in a range of colours, from white to black. Each of these colours is used serve different functions and linked to various benefits. For example, the abundant yellow maca is said to improve resilience to stress and can be taken daily.
The Various Forms of Maca
Described to have an earthy and nutty taste, the Maca root is generally dried and consumed in powder form. They typically come in two forms – gelatinized and raw. Varying in water content, nutrient content, starch composition, and potency, both these types of organic Maca root powder can be found on the Nature’s Superfoods site – Nature’s Superfoods Organic Raw Maca Powder and Nature’s Superfoods Organic Gelatinised Maca Powder. So, how exactly do they differ?
Gelatinised vs Raw Maca
Unlike its name suggests, organic gelatinized Maca powder does not contain any gelatine of animal origins, which means that it is suitable for vegetarians. The term “gelatinised” in this case indicates the cooking process that the Maca goes through to ensure that the final product is healthy and safe for consumption. It is a process of heating and pressurising the starch content present in the plant under controlled temperature conditions so that the starch chains are broken down, neutralising troublesome enzymes. Doing so makes the root powder easier to digest. As a matter of fact, gelatinised Maca’s active ingredients are more concentrated and more quickly absorbed by the body.
That is not to say that organic raw Maca powder is not healthy or safe for consumption. Raw Maca powder also has to go through a heating process that is below 40 degrees. This preserves the maximum amount of nutrients and can be used in the same way you would the gelatinised alternative.
Top 3 Impressive Benefits of Maca Root Powder
1. Increase Libido
Maca has been used in Peru for centuries to boost Libido. It is an aphrodisiac food and is also commonly known as “nature’s Viagra” due to its ability to stimulate sexual activity. In a 2002 study, Maca was shown to increase libido is because of its unique long-chain fatty acids which trigger pleasure. It is known to increase sexual sensation and correct erectile dysfunction. However, more research is required to confirm these results.
2. Boost Energy, Stamina and Endurance
In the past, warriors consumed Maca to boost stamina and strength before going to a battle. Today, Maca is consumed as a great alternative to caffeine, as it increases energy and performance by offering a gentle stimulation that does not interfere with the sleep cycle. This superfood powder is also a popular supplement used among bodybuilders and athletes. Studies have claimed that Maca powder helps you to gain muscle, increase strength, boost energy, and improve exercise performance. It is also said to enhance endurance performance.
3. Relieve Menstrual pain
The Maca Root is also one of the superfoods listed in the list of must-eat foods during menstruation since it is a natural remedy that eases menstrual pain by alleviating cramps, body pains, gastric bloating, and mood swings. At the start of the menstrual period, there is a very low level of estrogen, which increases drastically mid-cycle before decreasing again. As Maca is a herbal adaptogen, it helps balance hormones, thus making it effective in relieving symptoms of discomfort due to periods. However, it is important to note that Maca powder is very potent and can stimulate the body to produce more oestrogen. Hence, it should be consumed with caution or not at all if you have an existing oestrogen-sensitive condition.
Adding This Superfood Powder to Your Diet
Consuming Maca powder could not be easier! It can be taken as a supplement or easily added to your diet. You can choose to add it to your smoothies, coffee or tea, baked desserts, or even your yoghurt bowl. If you want to try something different, why not give our quick, easy, hassle-free, and not to mention delicious recipe “The Macaccino” a go? This drink is the healthy, decaf substitute for your morning coffee or milo!