Maca has been used by the native Peruvian people since pre-Incan times, for both nutritional and medicinal purposes. It is an important staple in the diets of these people, as it has one of the highest nutritional values of any food crop grown there.
Many of you will be familiar with yellow maca root, the most common and least expensive variety of maca (making up ~60% of the annual harvest in Peru). However, there are other varieties of maca which the Peruvians have also been consuming for over 2,000 years, known as red and black maca. Rarer than the yellow variety, both red and black maca are thought to have a host of their own unique health benefits.
So, what are the benefits of red and black maca?
Red maca root is a rare variety of maca that is energising, hormone-supporting, and super-nutritious. Grown in the same regions and under the same conditions as other maca varieties, the light pink to dark purple-coloured roots contain an array of phytonutrients that nourish the body from within. Most people find the taste of red maca to be more gentle and mild than other varieties of maca.
Benefits of Red Maca
Valued in South America for thousands of years, red maca was a sacred crop of the Incas due to its high nutrition content. Recent studies have found that not only is red maca bursting with an array of important nutrients, it supports energy, vitality and hormone function.
Female Hormonal Health
Numerous studies on maca have shown the positive effects on female hormones. Several of these studies have looked specifically into the effects of red maca, which helps to support hormone levels for healthy, clear skin and mood. These benefits arise because maca is an adaptogen, a natural substance which supports the body to normalise itself and reach homeostasis.
Black maca is the rarest variety of maca, and may assist in supporting hormone balance, sexual health, stamina and mood. The light grey to dark grey maca roots harvested in Peru make up only 15% of the annual harvest.
Benefits of Black Maca
The pigment in black maca contains adaptogenic compounds which help the body combat stress and restore internal balance. The Inca warriors would use black maca for energy, strength and endurance. Nowadays, both male and female athletes can use black maca to naturally support stamina and strength.
Black maca is sometimes referred to as "men's maca", and is thought to support fertility in men. In a 2009 study at the Peruvian University, black maca was found to be the best variety of maca for supporting sperm production, healthy motility and volume.
Why use Matakana SuperFoods Organic Maca Root Powders?
All of our Organic Maca Root Powders (yellow, red and black) are gelatinised, meaning you don’t have to cook your maca to get its full benefits. The gelatinisation process is a way of pulverising the maca during the milling process. This naturally breaks the starch bonds for superior digestion and nutrient absorption, so you’ll get more out of the gelatinised maca in comparison to raw maca. Read more on Why you need to be buying gelatinised not raw maca powder.