Almost everyone knows that berries have super powers. From blackberries and raspberries to strawberries and elderberries, the berry fruit is commonly known for its tremendous health benefits.
A berry that is not as well known however, the maqui berry (pronounced “mah-kee”), is starting to make a rise in popularity, and for very good reason. Read on to find out more about this Chilean super berry!
Health Benefits of Maqui Berries
Maqui berries are considered to be a modern day fountain of youth due to its high level of antioxidants.
Though red wine is often touted for its health benefits, consider this fact: Maqui berries contain up to 300 percent more anthocyanins and almost 150 percent more polyphenols (the powerful antioxidants in red wine that give it its immune boosting power) than wine of any other fruit or vegetable known to man.
The berries are also rich in all minerals, all B vitamins, high in fiber, very high in protein, and contain a potent amount of Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids.
Maqui berries are an extremely high source of vitamin C, along with a plethora of other powerful nutrients that naturally help to boost the immune system, strengthen the bones and joints, increase brain function, protect eyesight, improve digestion, reduce inflammation and promote clear healthy skin.
High in Antioxidants
Maqui berries have a beautiful purple color, which comes from anthocyanins. These purple pigments have a very high antioxidant activity. The amount of antioxidant activity in a food can be determined by a test called the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity test (ORAC).
The higher the ORAC score is, the more potent an antioxidant level there is. According to ORAC, maqui berries have the highest antioxidant level amongst all the berries.
Maqui berries contain high levels of anthocyanins called delphinidins, which can also be found in Concord grapes. Maqui berries however, have an unusually high amount.
These delphinidins have potent anti-inflammatory activity, so they help to reduce the risk of degenerative diseases involving inflammation. By giving the body the antioxidants it needs, the body is freed of free radicals that can damage the body and lead to premature aging and disease. They also help to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells.
Since free radicals are the main culprit of many conditions and diseases, not to mention premature aging, its no wonder that many people consider maqui berries to be a sort of fountain of youth.
The high antioxidant level in maqui berries also helps to fight inflammation in the body, which can help ease the pain of arthritis. People who consume maqui berry supplements on a consistent basis have enjoyed relief from aches and pains as well as the added bonus of looking younger!
Inflammation is a part of every degenerative disease, from heart disease to diabetes and arthritis. Basically, any illness that ends in “itis” is considered to be an inflammatory disease.
The anthocyanins found in maqui berries have powerful anti-inflammatory uses and have been found to work just as well as some medications, but without any negative effects.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
The antioxidants in maqui berries help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood. When cholesterol is oxidized it can lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke or hardening of the heart’s arteries.
Weight Control Aid
Consuming both maqui berries or their juice has been shown to cause a significant increase in insulin in the body. In fact, no other plant has the same effect that maqui berries do.
This means that maqui berries, or their juice, consumed during or after meals can help to suppress blood glucose. This can lead to the prevention of new fat cells forming. As a result, maqui berries and their juice may be beneficial in aiding in weight control.
Where to Find Maqui Berries
Unfortunately maqui berries are nearly impossible to find fresh in stores. Due to the fact that they only grow in remote areas, making them difficult to harvest, store and ship around the world. Maqui berries also have a short harvest period and are only available for picking once a year.
Thankfully, maqui berry powder and supplements are just as potent as the berry itself – as long they are purchased from a reputable source. Many online sources and health food stores now carry dried maqui berries, maqui juice and maqui powder, all of which have the same potency as fresh maqui berries.
How To Incorporate Maqui Into the Diet
Since fresh berries are difficult to find, choose between or enjoy a combination of the dried berries, juice or powder.
- Drink a cup of maqui juice along with meals
- Sprinkle dried maqui berries on top of oatmeal, yogurt, or salads.
- Add maqui powder to your smoothies for an extra antioxidant kick.
Whichever way you choose to incorporate maqui berries, just be sure that the brand you are purchasing is well known and reputable.
There are a lot of manufacturers who offer nothing but cheap, low quality supplements that have no guarantees whatsoever when it comes to health benefits. When purchasing, be sure that you are choosing a high quality supplement and not an expensive sugar pill.
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