So what is it?
Maca plant is also known as Peruvian ginseng. Its scientific name is Lepidium meyenii, and it’s mainly found in the central Peruvian Andes Mountains, specifically in the Junin Plateau, where it survives in harsh conditions and at altitudes above 13,000ft (4,000m). Originally cultivated by the early Incans, today this wonder crop is organically farmed by locals in this magnificent and forgotten Peruvian place.
Related to the cabbage family of vegetables its siblings include broccoli and kale. The part of the plant that is mostly eaten is the root, which grows underground. It comes in many colors covering the whole range from white to black. The most common colors are Black, Red-Purple and Yellow. Yellow is the commonest and contains the least in terms of nutrients and compounds. So the darker the roots the more beneficial.
The crops that come from the Junin Plateau are known to be safe and contain no known toxicity, with no side effects or other possible interactions. However, because the demand for Maca and its products has increased so substantially, many entrepreneurs have tried to grow the crop out of its natural habitat.
The Chinese were first but others have followed. But their attempts have not been successful and the products they offer are useless with no nutritional or other benefits. So beware when you purchase Maca from anywhere but In10sity Fitness United.
In general, the roots are dried and consumed in a powder form, and ours is available as a Raw Gelatinized Powder .
The thing to check when selecting good Maca products include:
- Color: When the Maca is a light beige or yellow, it is an indication the products were manufactured from lighter roots with a nutritional profile that is considered “low”. Black and Purple roots are rare but they have a rich nutritional profile.
- Taste: When a Maca product is sweet, then it’s a strong indication yellow roots were used in the manufacturing process. When a product tastes like horseradish, with those spicy, strong tones then it’s a strong indication they were manufactured from fresh roots, not dried roots, which means the biochemical compounds have not been developed. It is only when the Maca products have been developed from dried roots and taste earthy and nutty that they will be rich in the nutrients and enzymes that impart benefits like hormonal balance and increased energy.
- Aroma: The best Maca products have a nutty, almost butter-scotch aroma if made from dried roots.
- Texture: When a Maca product is good like our Raw Gelatinized MACA Powder it feels soft like baby powder. Bad quality Maca is rough and granulated.
- Process: Gelatinized powder is the best. Gelatinization transforms raw starch to make it more digestible. The Raw Gelatinization Process that is used with our product, comes from an ancient practice where the majority of starch is removed by precipitation and all the beneficial enzymes and biochemical compounds are left intact.
- Organic: Look out for proper organic seals (see left) and certification from an independent third party. Always demand the proof!
- 91 calories
- 0.7 oz (20g) of carbohydrate
- 0.1oz (4g) of protein
- 0.07oz (2g) of fibre
- 0.03oz (1g) of fat
- 133% of Vitamin C’s Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
- 85% of the RDI of Copper
- 23% of the RDI of Iron
- 16% of the RDI of Potassium
- 15% of the RDI of Vitamin B6
- 10% of the RDI of Manganese
If you suffer from a reduction in your sexual desire, which is common among adults, then Maca is known to increase libido in both men and women. Indeed, one 2010 review found evidence that Maca is able to improve sexual drive after just six weeks of ingestion. As well as libido, it may also increase male fertility. Studies have shown that Maca boosted semen quality in both fertile and infertile men. One of the studies found that after consuming Maca for four months there was an increase not just in the volume and count but also the motility of sperm in the men monitored.
It’s not just men that can benefit as Maca may also relieve menopause symptoms in women. Menopause is when a woman's menstrual periods come to an end. There can be some unpleasant symptoms that emerge at this time, including hot flushes, mood swings, sleep problems and irritability. Maca has been found to help alleviate these menopausal symptoms. It has also been discovered that Maca helps protect bone health so taking Maca can counter the higher risk of osteoporosis that women can encounter after menopause sets in.
As well as our Maca product be sure to check out our Organic Bladderwrack Powder too. You can find out more about how Bladderwrack is a good source of iodine here.