The Maqui berry is a relatively new addition to the world of dietary supplements, but its rise in popularity has been astounding. The deep purple berry was recently discovered in the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina and is challenging the dominance of the Amazon’s Acai berry, which had enjoyed years of reign as the world’s favorite superfruit. The tiny Maqui berry, measuring in at only 4 to 6 mm in diameter, is the fruit of a small evergreen shrub. Because its crop sizes are similarly small in comparison to the Acai berry and there are still only a few facilities dedicated to processing the Maqui berry, it is seeing an increase in demand that is due both to its exclusivity and its potential health benefits. In particular, the Maqui berry is widely touted for its weight loss properties, cancer-fighting potential, and protection against cardiovascular disease.
Tremendous Source of Antioxidants
The Maqui berry has the highest antioxidant level of any known berry or fruit in the world, more than double the level of the previous leader, the Acai berry. In particular, Maqui has very high levels of the antioxidants known as anthocyanins and polyphenols. Anthocyanins are what give berries their blue, purple, or red hues and are responsible for the rich purple of the Maqui berry.
Antioxidant levels are commonly measured on the ORAC scale. Standing for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, the ORAC scale is a measure of a food’s antioxidant content, which helps to repair and prevent the cell damage caused by free oxygen radicals. The Maqui berry’s ORAC value is 2500. How does this compare to other popular antioxidant-containing foods? It is more than 2 times that of Acai, 3 times that of Pomegranate, 5 times greater than Blueberry, and 100 times greater than red wine.
These antioxidant properties of the Maqui berry’s juice are thought to be the reason for several of the berry’s health benefits, including its ability to inhibit LDL cholesterol and protect against damaging intracellular oxidative stress.
Contains Valuable Nutrients
The Maqui berry contains a number of valuable nutrients—it is a source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Just 100 grams of Maqui berry will provide you with 27% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for calcium, 28% of the RDA for potassium, and 70% of the RDA for iron. Despite its high mineral content, Maqui has low levels of sodium. It also contains the beneficial vitamins A and C. The important nutrients found in the Maqui berry make it a great choice as part of a balanced diet.
Traditional Medicinal Uses
In addition to the health benefits currently being studied by scientists, the Maqui berry has a rich history of medicinal use among the natives of South America. It has been used for generations as a treatment for a variety of illnesses and ailments, including sore throats, kidney problems, ulcers, fever, inflammation, lesions, migraines, and scars. The native Americans made use of both the Maqui fruit and the leaves of the plant, which have been shown to have potential anti-microbial and anti-viral properties.
Health Benefits of Berries
Berries and products made from berries, such as Maqui and its derivative products, are known to be a important component of a healthy diet. Scientific research has shown that berries can positively impact a number of chronic health conditions, such as obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Popular weight loss programs and diets like Nutrisystem, known for its highly sought after promotion codes for Nutrisystem, encourage the consumption of berries as part of a healthy diet for weight loss. The health benefits of berries are most often attributed to their high antioxidant content, and the Maqui berry has been shown to be a strong leader in this regard, with the highest antioxidant content of any known berry.