August 17, 2019 · Written by Foodtolive Team

What is the Difference Between Yellow, Black, and Red Maca Root

What is Maca

Of the dozens, if not hundreds, of foods that people eat to improve their health, Maca root may be one that you’ve never heard about.

At first glance, it looks like an ordinary root plant similar in size to radishes. But since its discovery by Incan animal farmers over 2,000 years ago, Maca has been used to promote physical and mental vitality in humans and animals.

Maca has been shown to:

  • Increase fertility
  • Improve muscle growth
  • Boost stamina
  • Alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause
  • Raise energy levels
  • Better prostate health
  • Build bone density
  • Ease symptoms of depression
  • Enhance libido
  • Stabilize hormone levels

Maca powder can even help with stress management. The compounds within the root give the body what it needs to handle daily stressors better and lower cortisol levels, which can exacerbate the effects of aging.


Types of Maca

Maca root has three colors: yellow, black, and red. While they share more similarities than differences, each type has its own unique properties and benefits.

They are a good source of healthy carbohydrates, have a low-fat content, and contain a lot of fiber in addition to the many vitamins and minerals.

Maca is usually sold as a powder, making it easy to incorporate into your diet in several different ways. Try mixing it in drinks, hot or cold cereals, or even baked goods.


Yellow Maca

60% of Maca harvests consist of the yellow Maca root. Also called Cream Maca, this subspecies does much for hormone health and overall balance.

The proteins in yellow Maca are bioavailable, which means the body is better at absorbing them than proteins that are less so. Vegans and other non-meat eaters will find yellow Maca powder beneficial for reaching their daily protein requirements.

Besides being a good source of protein, yellow Maca also has very high amounts of vitamins and nutrients, such as:

  • Amino acids and free fatty acids
  • Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Calcium

Yellow Maca is thought to be the most beneficial for improving mood and alleviating stress because of its positive effects on hormonal balance, especially for women.

It is the most affordable type of Maca and one of the best ways to introduce Maca powder to your diet because of its bright, tangy taste.


Black Maca

Black Maca is also known as “men’s Maca” because of its positive effects in increase potency among men. It has seen a rise in popularity recently because of its impact on memory, energy and mood, bone health, and sperm count.

A 2009 study from the Peruvian University found that black Maca was the best option of the three species of root for increased sperm production as well as libido. A more recent study from 2013 reported similar findings as well.

Black Maca root makes up about 15% of yearly Maca root harvests. So while it may be more expensive than other types of Maca, some may find the benefits to be invaluable.

Besides stimulating male potency and vigor, there are other advantages to consuming black Maca as well:

  • Better athletic performance and increased strength and stamina
  • Improved memory skills and focus
  • Greater bone density

Black Maca is thought to have a sweeter flavor than yellow Maca, though not as much as red Maca.


Red Maca

There are many similarities that red Maca shares with yellow and black Maca. But it has several qualities that are exclusive to this species and make it one of the most popular picks for Maca, especially for women.

Red Maca offers many desirable health benefits for both men and women, including:

  • Facilitating prostate health
  • Bone health
  • Greater energy and focus
  • Balanced hormones, which can improve issues in the endocrine system, acne, menopause, and thyroid health
  • Fertility and libido, especially for women

It also has the most antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals, slow down the effects of aging, and even prevent cancer or other diseases.

Red Maca is considered to be the best-tasting of the three species. Those who have tried red Maca describe its flavor as subtle and caramelly.


Which Color of Maca is Best

No Maca root is any better than the rest; they all offer amazing benefits to those who make it a regular part of their diet.

Not only that, but most Maca powders in the store are a mixture of all three roots. There is no separation of colors from when it is planted to when it is harvested, dried, and ground into powder. Each package is an optimal mixture containing the goodness that all three types of Maca have to offer.

Maca powder is one of the best supplements on the market for many reasons. Its revitalizing properties are the perfect way to start feeling more invigorated, energized, and ready to start living a more active lifestyle.