Maca is nature’s best friend for your hormones!
Whether you’ve never heard of it (we’ll tell you what it is!) or you already use it, there are few things we want to make sure you know about maca to safely use it to your advantage.
Maca is a root that is native Peru and grows at ridiculously high altitudes (11,000 feet and above!).
It is an adaptogen, which means your body gets to use it the way it needs too. Adaptogens are most commonly known for helping your body deal with stress and feel its best. They either help your body calm down or rev it up, whichever it needs. It’s cool that nature makes compounds that are so…adaptable! 🙂
Maca also gives your body nearly all essential amino acids and free fatty acids, significant levels of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C, and minerals iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium, a high concentration of protein (that is bioavailable), glucosinolates, and unique acids called macaenes and macamides, which seem to help balance hormones in both men and women.
Maca has a lot of possible benefits!
But in order to use maca safely you really need to know the quality of the maca you are taking.
Where it is grown and how it is tested, you’ll also have to choose between two forms of maca.
This is important to know because you can think your body is reacting to the maca when it could just be the form of maca.
Maca can be found in two forms: Raw maca and gelatinized maca.
RAW MACA POWDER
Raw maca is never heated above 115 degree F through the whole process (harvesting, drying, ground into powder, etc). This keeps the full nutrient spectrum in the maca “alive” because heat reduces nutrients and enzymes. When you’re looking for raw maca, you’re focused on getting all of the nutrients available from the maca root, including the enzymes and more of the glucosinolates – the compound is thought to most effect hormones. But raw can be harder to digest.
GELATINAIZED MACA POWDER
Gelatinized maca roots are dried in the sun, boiled, and then pressurized to remove all of the starch inside the maca. Because this process removes the starch, it makes the maca much easier to digest, which can be a really good thing for anyone with digestive issues or who has a sensitivity to raw maca. Plus, because the starch is removed, gram for gram, you actually can get more nutrients in gelatinized maca than raw maca. If you are currently a sensitive person or having digestive problems, then we would recommend gelatinized.
Maca is a root and it pulls its nutrients from the soil. Like many plants (including ginger) it can absorb heavy metals. This has happened since the beginning of time. But, air pollution and runoff from farming and industry as well as mining have contaminated the soil with more heavy metals than ever before.
The only way to make sure maca isn’t absorbing too many heavy metals is to grow it in soil that doesn’t have too many metals in it to begin with and that is why a certified ORGANIC MACA POWDER IS THE BEST OPTION