Large tub of maca powder. Gluten-free. Certified organic and vegan. Allergen-free. Quickly dissolves into juice and smoothies. Optimized for athletes. Easy to digest.
A little on the pricey side.
USDA certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan. Provides a better yield than other brands. Easily digestible. Good quality.
Some buyers had issues with the taste of this maca powder, finding it dark and bitter. Some issues with the zip-lock feature of the storage bag.
All-organic. Packed with nutrients. Gluten-free and vegan. Includes 52 servings per pouch. High-energy superfood. Kosher. Perfect for baking. Plant-based ingredients.
Its nutty flavor is not for everyone.
USDA Certified Organic. High quality at a great price. Easy to blend. High in protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. Meets high standards for sustainability.
Causes digestive pain for some buyers, while others had issues with the flavor.
Gelatinized for easier digestion compared to raw maca powder. Customers report using it in their coffee for energy boost. Made of pure yellow maca.
Strong flavor is not universally liked. Can clump in plain water.
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If you try to take good care of your body, maca powder is one of the latest health food trends. Blend it into smoothies, sprinkle it on granola, or bake it into breakfast bars – however you take your maca, you're in for a healthful treat.
You might have heard people talking about maca powder, but what is this sensation? Is it really all it's cracked up to be? You can find a lot of information about maca online, but much of it is biased one way or another, so it can be tough to sort fact from fiction.
Maca is a root vegetable, related to broccoli and cauliflower, that grows in the Peruvian Andes at an altitude of 11,000 feet and above. The maca powder you buy in stores or online is made from dried and ground maca root. Some experts claim the best maca grows at 14,000 feet plus.
You might be wondering what the benefits of consuming maca powder are. There's no denying it has a strong nutritional profile, but some claims of its impressive properties may be exaggerated. Here are the main benefits of maca powder.
Maca powder contains 20 amino acids, including all eight essential amino acids.
You'll find a range of minerals in maca powder, including iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.
Several vitamins appear in significant amounts in maca, including vitamins B1, B2, C, and E.
Maca can aid in stabilizing blood glucose levels, which leads to an increase of energy for some users.
Since maca powder contains plenty of beneficial fatty acids, such as omega-3 acids, it may help improve cognitive function.
Some small studies suggest maca can increase libido, though these results should be taken with a grain of salt.
Raw maca powder
Raw maca powder is made from uncooked maca root that has been dried or dehydrated and ground to a powder. Because it is completely raw, the powder retains all of its nutrients. This includes sugars and starches, so it's higher in enzymes, glucosinolates, and vitamin C than gelatinized maca. However, some people – especially those with sensitive digestive systems – find they suffer from stomach pain and gas after ingesting raw maca.
Gelatinized maca powder
Gelatinized maca powder is boiled and pressurized to remove the starches. Despite the name, gelatinized maca powder doesn't contain gelatin, so it's still suitable for vegetarians, vegans, or people who avoid certain animal products for religious reasons.
The benefit of gelatinization is that is makes maca easier to digest and less likely to cause stomach issues. Gelatinized maca powder is lower in enzymes, vitamin C, and glucosinolates (which have been linked with anti-cancer properties), but it's actually more concentrated than raw maca powder, and some nutrients in it are amplified, or more “bioavailable.”
Maca powder comes the three colors: yellow, red, and black. Actually, the color of the powder is much the same in all three varieties; it's the color of the root it comes from that varies. Some maca experts claim that the different colors have different properties, but no extensive research has been done on this, so it's best to view any such claims with a healthy dose of skepticism. That said, these are the alleged differences between the three colors.
Yellow maca powder: This is the most common type, making up about 60% of all maca harvested. It's supposedly best for increasing energy and improving concentration.
Red maca powder: Around 25% of all maca harvested is red. Red maca powder is said to help balance hormones and support fertility.
Black maca powder: The remaining 15% of maca crops become black maca powder. This is thought to be great for building muscle and increasing endurance and focus.
Some maca powder is certified organic, meaning it has been growing without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. There's still a debate over the health benefits of organic food, but it's possible that some of the chemicals used to grow non-organic crops are harmful to human health. If you generally prefer to eat organic, opt for organic maca powder.
Before purchasing your maca powder, look at the size of the package. You can buy small amounts of maca powder in six- to eight-ounce bags. You can also buy five-pound sacks of maca. Although small bags of maca cost less upfront, they generally work out to be significantly more expensive per pound. So, ultimately, buying a large bag would be cheaper in the long run. That said, you shouldn't buy a huge package that you wouldn’t be able to finish before the expiration date.
As discussed above, maca powder comes in packages of various sizes and prices. Rather than looking at the cost of the whole bag, we recommend that you look at the price per ounce to see whether you're getting a good value. Maca can cost anywhere from $0.50 per ounce to $2.50 per ounce depending on the size of the package, the color, and the overall quality of the powder.
Consider your budget. Although you probably shouldn't opt for the very cheapest maca out there, highly expensive options generally don't wield any significant benefits over mid-range choices.
Think about how you'll be consuming your maca. Bear in mind that, if you intend to bake or cook with it, you'll lose some of the benefits of raw maca powder.
Check that your maca powder is made from the roots only. Some cheaper formulas add the powdered leaves of the maca plant. However, the health benefits only come from the roots.
Q. Is maca powder safe to consume when you're pregnant?
A. Although it's likely to be safe to consume small amounts of maca when you're pregnant, we advise talking to a doctor or midwife first, as we would with any food supplements or alternative remedies.
Q. Is maca powder safe for kids?
A. Clinical trials have shown no adverse effects from eating maca root. Therefore, it's generally considered safe for children to consume. However, you should give a child a much smaller dose than you would an adult. An eighth to a quarter of a teaspoon should suffice. We advise against giving it to babies and toddlers.
Q. How do you consume maca powder?
A. You can take maca powder a number of ways. Lots of people add it to their smoothies. Some sprinkle it over granola or another breakfast cereal. You can also add maca powder to all kinds of raw and cooked recipes.
While it's up to you when you consume your maca, many people do so in the morning, as it is thought to provide increased energy for the day ahead.