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  • Staff Editor

Peru has the Finest Maca

People in the Andes have cultivated maca for approximately 2,600 years. They use the maca as food, natural food supplement as well as a traditional medicine for everything from fertility problems to fragile bones and poor memory. In recent years, maca has gained newfound popularity as a superfood for men and women. GO Natural Food Guide spoke to Jorge L. Urena, President & CEO of UHTCO Corporation, a leading manufacturer of Maca products from Peru where they run the world’s first and only, privately owned, Maca Research and Development Center, to explain about Maca.

The Incan people call maca the “food of the brain” and consider it their most sacred plant that brings happiness and balance back to their body during stress. What is unique about maca is that it comes in 3 colours, with seeds from any colour producing all 3 colours again.
Yellow maca, purple maca, and black maca (from left to right)

“This ancient drying method is only achievable with roots originally grown in the Junin Plateau due to the special conditions provided in this area… no other place in Peru or in the world, can replicate this incredible transformation.”

Peruvian Maca (Lepidium Meyenii Walp) is native to the high plateaus of the Peruvian Andean highlander at altitudes of 14,000 ft – a mountain range of intense sunlight, winds and below freezing temperatures, where no other crops can survive.

Cultivated as a root vegetable for over thousands of years, Maca comes in three colors, yellow, purple and black, being the darker roots the best due to its nutritional profile and benefits. Maca can be processed from fresh or naturally freeze-dried roots, where benefits differ one to another.

Fresh Maca Roots powders are usually similar in taste and aroma to a Horse Radish or Wasabi, intense, fl avourful, and nutritious, but with very little health related advantages - in ancestral medicine, fresh maca roots are used for soothing, healing and repairing.

Dried Maca Roots are nuttier in taste and aroma, strong but pleasant. Recent studies on dried maca roots showed a huge potential for other benefits though, including hormonal balance, energy, and overall well-being among many more.

The reason is simple - this traditional and ancient drying method turns the fresh maca root into a completely different product, after a natural freeze-drying process. High pressure due to the altitude where is done, natural sunlight during the day and freezing overnight temperatures transform the roots and generates new complex bio-chemical compounds that are not present on the fresh harvested roots.

Another important element is related to the process used to obtain the product - high heat processes, including extrusion or gelatinization methods, can destroy the properties of maca products, for that reason, look always for “raw” processes and highly concentrated products in your formulations.

Made in the Bedroom

When it comes to sexual health and libido, it is important to distinguish the source of raw material being used as any product made from fresh maca roots cannot deliver any of the desired benefits. Dried maca roots are best for sexual health.

The colours of the maca roots will determine the way it works on the system and highlight some of the benefits as well. Each colour has a different nutritional profile therefore the mineral content, protein and amino acids, complex carbohydrates and other nutrients differ one from another.

Black maca roots will deliver excellent benefits for energy, stamina, vigour, endurance, and performance, it is the best for sexual health and to increase libido or sex drive.

Purple maca roots will deliver excellent results for balance, relaxation and calmness, its action focuses on soothing, healing, and repairing.



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