Did You Know?
The ORAC value of 100 g of maqui berry is 27,600 units, compared to 16,700 units per 100 g of açaí berry.
Move over açaí. Make room for maqui. The newest berry to hit the supplement market is quickly taking over as the superfruit leader because of its sky-high antioxidant capacities.
Maqui is a deep-purple-colored berry that hails from Patagonia in South America. For centuries, the native Mapuche Indians of that region have harvested maqui, also known as Chilean wineberry, and consumed it as a fermented drink. The Mapuche remain the only unconquered Native American Indian tribe in all of the Americas and attribute their "warrior" strength, stamina, and overall health, in part, to maqui.
The Mighty Maqui
Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) analysis has shown that foods such as fruits-especially berries-vegetables, legumes, and certain spices, have high antioxidant properties and can have a positive impact in combating free radical damage. Free radicals affect our cells as the body ages and can contribute to age-related degeneration and a host of other health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Recent studies have shown that the maqui berry contains the highest ORAC values ever found among fruits. Its antioxidant potency is almost double that of açaí, three times higher than pomegranate, more than four times higher than blueberries, and a whopping 100 times more than a glass of red wine.
What makes maqui so mighty? It is jam-packed with anthocyanins, antioxidants naturally produced by plants for protection against the sun, irradiation, diseases, and biological enemies. Because maqui is exposed to cold weather and high amounts of sunshine in the mountainous terrain of Patagonia, this small berry contains extremely high levels of anthocyanins. Maqui berries are also loaded with polyphenols, a group of chemical substances found in plants that may also contain antioxidant characteristics.
Apart from protecting the body's cells from oxidative stress, supporting healthy aging, and promoting a healthful response to inflammation, the maqui berry is an excellent source of iron, potassium, and vitamin C, all of which can contribute to overall wellness.
Make Maqui Part of Your Heath Regime
Maqui berry is currently available as a dietary liquid supplement, a water-soluble energy powder drink, and in capsules. The liquid supplement, which is sold in 16-ounce bottles, contains filtered water, maqui berry concentrate, maqui seed extract, elderberry concentrate, blackberry concentrate, and raspberry concentrate. Although you can consume this natural organic juice by itself (the recommended dosage is 1 tablespoon per day) or by adding water, there are many ways to incorporate it into your diet.
Blend half an ounce of the liquid supplement into your favorite fruit smoothie or yogurt for a tasty tropical breakfast treat or snack. Whisk it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make a tangy vinaigrette that you can toss into a bed of fresh salad greens or splash over steamed vegetables. For an entrée, make a savory-sweet sauce for stove-top or oven-baked chicken breast: combine maqui with olive oil, onion, parsley, red wine, brown sugar, brandy, and chicken stock.
Product Examples (from left)
Crofter's Superfruit Spread
Dynamic Health Maqui Plus
Novelle Maqui superberry concentrate