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Moringa vs Maca Powder: Which is Better?

Published: July 20, 2018

If you are a superfood enthusiast, chances are you have heard of both moringa and maca. But how do these nutrient-dense foods fare against each other in terms of flavor, uses, nutritional value, health benefits and price? Here's a head-to-head comparison of moringa vs maca to help you decide which one of these two superfood powders is better for your purposes:

Moringa or Maca Powder

Appearance and Taste

Made from the dried leaves of the Moringa oleifera tree, moringa powder has a green color and an earthy, slightly bitter flavor, with almost grass-like undertones. Maca powder, by contrast, is made from a root vegetable that may be red, yellow or black on the outside but that is light beige on the inside.

The flavor of maca powder has been described as earthy or malty, with undertones of butterscotch. It is also worth noting that there are some subtle differences between the different types of maca when it comes to flavor, with red maca being the sweetest and mildest tasting variety.

Nutritional Value

Because the moringa tree grows fast and its leaves are packed with nutrients like vitamin C, B vitamins, iron, calcium and magnesium, moringa leaves have been used to fight malnutrition in India and Africa. Because of its high nutritional value, it is not surprising that moringa has been hailed as a superfood.

Like moringa, maca contains a wide range of beneficial nutrients. A nutritional analysis of the maca root shows that this Peruvian superfood is high in fiber, protein and carbohydrates, and low in fat. Dried and powdered maca also provides considerable amounts of minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and copper, as well as vitamins like vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin.

Health Benefits

The potential health benefits of moringa include anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-diabetic properties, improved weight loss, anti-inflammatory effects, and protection against cancer. These benefits have been largely attributed to the high nutrient content of moringa and to the breakdown products of some phytochemicals found in moringa leaves.

Also the maca root has been researched for its potential health benefits, and evidence suggests that maca may help boost fertility, increase energy levels, have positive effects on memory and learning, fight prostatic hyperplasia, and provide some protection against bone loss. Maca may also good for your hair because it is supercharged with a wide range of nutrients that are needed for healthy hair growth.

But, before you head to a health food store and buy some maca powder, it is important to know that there may be some small differences between different types of maca as far as health benefits go. To learn more, see Health Benefits of Red Maca or Health Benefits of Black Maca.

Culinary Uses

One of the easiest ways to incorporate moringa into your diet is to make moringa tea, but there are also plenty of other uses for moringa powder. You can for example sneak some moringa into green smoothies, pureed soups, sauces and salad dressings. Or, try using moringa powder instead of matcha to whip a healthy green "latte".

Maca powder is used much in the same way as moringa powder: in smoothies, energy bar recipes, pureed soups, sauces and salad dressings. The flavor of maca also pairs well with cacao, which makes maca powder a wonderful addition to everything from hot chocolate to no-bake chocolate treats.

Buying Moringa or Maca

When comparing the price of moringa powder vs maca powder, you will likely notice that moringa powder tends to be a little bit more expensive than regular maca powder made from the yellow-skinned maca root, the most common type of maca. However, if you want to buy black or red maca, be prepared to pay a lot more.

Both moringa and maca can be purchased at many health food stores as well as online. Those who like to shop on Amazon may want to check out Zen Principle's moringa powder or Zen Spirit's maca powder (affiliate links) – both of these superfood powders are USDA certified organic and both have received tons of great reviews from the online retailer's customers.