Gelatinized maca is produced through a heating process which removes the long chain starches that are normally found in Maca. This is thought to facilitate its digestion and increase the availability of its nutrients.
Sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng, maca thrives at 10,000 feet above sea level in the barren farmlands of the central Andes. It is widely known for its energy enhancing properties. It is a good source of iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and trace minerals, including zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, bismuth, manganese and silica, as well as vitamins B1, B2, C and E. It contains a variety of phytosterols, including sitosterol, campestrol, ergosterol, brassicasterol and ergostadienol. Maca has conventionally been used to support memory function and improve mood. It was traditionally cooked as a root vegetable or made into flour, and used to deliver strength and energy to the Incan army. Maca was even used as a currency and also in the exchange of gifts. It was not until 1843 that it was studied by scientists and given its botanical name, Lepidium meyenii. In North America, it is used to increase the nutrient value of smoothies, energy bars, drinks, dark chocolate, baked goods and protein powders.
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