You may have heard the saying “you are what you eat”... but the more accurate term should be “you are what you absorb.”
Maca is one of those superfoods that requires a little more processing in order for our digestive systems to be able to extract its beneficial nutrients. That is why gelatinised maca is the only type of maca you should be spending your money on, as without going through this extra milling process most of the raw maca you may be consuming will simply go straight through you and out the other end - not so great for your health or your wallet!
So what exactly is the difference between traditional, raw and gelatinised maca?
The traditional method involves harvesting maca root during the warm summer months in Peru and then leaving it out in the sun to dry for around two weeks. Once dried, it can then be stored for up to two years. To prepare the dehydrated maca root for consumption it is either boiled in water or milk until soft and porridge-like or fermented to make a traditional Peruvian drink called Maca Chicha.
Once maca’s amazing health properties were made known in countries other than Peru, the commercialisation of maca began. However, maca’s traditional preparation methods were ignored and instead of being heated before consumption the root was, and still is, simply cleaned and ground into a fine powder before being sold as is or added to beverages and food. What this means is that our body has an extremely hard time trying to extract all the goodness from maca’s strong starch bonds which were traditionally weakened during cooking or fermentation. This can leave some people with stomach cramps, bloating and no health benefits whatsoever.
The gelatinising process simply involves heating the dried maca root (as done traditionally) before being pressurised which naturally breaks its starch bonds and removes most of its tough indigestible fibers thus, releasing its beneficial nutrients for superior absorption. Not only is gelatinised maca ready to eat without the need for cooking, but it is also easier on your tummy and therefore ideal for those with digestive issues. This method of maca preparation has been around for many years, however, the commercial market has been slow to adopt this method due to its cost, as more raw maca is required to produce the same amount of gelatinised maca.
So if you’re looking to spend your hard earned dollars on some amazing maca powder, we suggest gelatinised is the way to go!
To read more about Maca's numerous health benefits click here.