Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) is a cruciferous vegetable from the Brassica family, native to the Andes Mountains in Peru.It has been eaten extensively by the locals for millennia, and has become a popular superfood and health supplement worldwide in recent years.
WHAT IT DOES:
Maca is a superfood that has been linked to many benefits, such as increasing energy levels, boosting cognitive function, balancing hormone levels in the body, increasing libido, lowering blood pressure, and acting as an adaptogen.
4 TYPES OF MACA?
Maca comes in several colours, and each one is believed to provide different health benefits. The main 3 categories are Yellow, Red, and Black - though there can be different shades such as Purple. The skin colour is the only easy way to differentiate between them, as the insides look very similar, and the dried powder is all yellow/gold colour.
YELLOW: The most common (approx 70% of all Maca) - generally considered to be neutral, with the a wide range of bioactives - and useful for a wide variety of health issues
RED: A much rarer form (20% of all Maca) - classed as "feminine", and believed to help with issues such as anxiety, adrenal fatigue, hormone balance, osteoporosis, immune system.
BLACK: The rarest (10% of Maca) - classed as "masculine", and believed to help with issues such as tiredness, depression, pain, headaches, libido, joint issues.
RAW MACA vs GELATINISED MACA:
Maca is generally found in 3 forms - standard(normally just described as Maca) - Gelatinised - and Raw.
*The standard (cheapest) Maca is dried out root, and is exposed to fairly high temperatures in the process - which destroys any enzymes, and vitamins, and denatures some of the other compounds that are found in the plant.
*Gelatinised has become one of the most popular now, as it has the starch removed using a steaming process. Approx 5% of people struggle to digest Maca, and it can cause bloating/indigestion - especially for people with weaker digestive systems - and gelatinised is much easier for them to handle.
*Raw Maca has been very slowly dried, without heating over 45º - thus preventing any denaturing, or loss of vitamins and beneficial compounds.
As for which is best, it really depends on the person. A lot of sites have been heavily promoting Gelatinised for a while now, referring to it as being more nutrient dense (since the starch is removed), and having more minerals.
However, the processing of the the Gelatinised completely destroys the enzymes, vitamins, and other sensitive compounds such as glucosinolates (which appear to have disease and cancer fighting properties). Raw Maca provides the full spectrum of nutrients found in the plant itself - and many find the benefits more profound.
For people who struggle with starch, and suffer from bloating and digestive issues, going with Gelatinised Maca is a good option... but for everybody else, going with Raw Maca can provide greater benefits.
Some of the benefits from using Maca are believed to be:
Increased Energy - several studies over the last 30 years have shown it to provide a slow and sustained increase in energy without the burn out normally found from caffeine and energy supplements
The increases in energy do not appear to tax the adrenal system, unlike common stimulants
Maca is an Adaptogen - which is a type of plant that cause a normalising effect on the body, helping to overcome stresses such as disease, mental stress, fear, or unbalanced hormones
Maca is popular with athletes and bodybuilders - not only for energy increases, but also for balancing hormone levels - helping to boost Testosterone in men, and Oestrogen for women
Some studies have shown in improvements in reducing prostate size for men.
The hormone balancing has been linked to helping with anxiety, stress, and depression - and also with skin issues such as acne, which are caused/affected by certain hormones
Many women have found Maca to help with the menopause, and reduce hot flashes
Maca is linked to improved circulation, and reducing blood pressure (If you are currently taking blood pressure medication, you should monitor it carefully)!
The capsules we use are made from Pullulan, which is synthesised from tapioca - it is completely inert in the human body, and non-allergenic. Pullulan is superior to the more common HPMC vegetarian capsules, or gelatine ones, and is highly resistant to oxygen (keeping the product inside fresher).Unlike tablets, capsules don’t require multiple binding agents, coatings, and preservatives - so you get fewer ingredients.