Everyone knows that blueberries, blackberries, black currants, acai, goji, raspberries and elderberries are very good for health. But few have heard of one of the greatest super fruit berries of them all, maqui. This amazing Maqui berry is 3 times stronger than the Brazilian Acai berry. The indigenous Mapuche indians harvest the berry in the Patagonia region of Chile, where the maqui berry grows profusely in the wild.
Maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) is an intensely purple berry that grows throughout parts of southern Chile. Along roads and highways, maqui berry bushes are easy to find. They grow all over hillsides, throughout fields, and on the borders of forested areas. At this point in time, maqui is not cultivated. There is simply so much available in the wild, cultivation is unnecessary. They harvest tens of tons of wild maqui berry for commercial sale.
The Maqui Berry: Delicious Health Benefits
Increasingly large quantities of the maqui berry gets harvested, as demand for this nutritious and healing berry has grows. In harvest season, the whole Mapuche community turns out to pick the vibrant purple berries. The maqui berries taste delicious. They are sweet, bursting with flavor, you’ll be happy to eat it every day. But beyond the marvelous taste, maqui delivers real health benefits. We learn about the health benefits of maqui, from the research of Dr. Juan Hancke, a medical doctor who has devoted several years of intensive research into this super berry.
Maqui berries are very rich in anthocyanins, which are purple pigments with very high antioxidant activity. Specifically, maqui berries contain high levels of anthocyanins called delphinidins, which is also found in violas, delphiniums, and Concord grapes. But in maqui berry, these compounds are found in unusually high amounts. The delphinidins demonstrate potent anti-inflammatory activity, so they help to reduce the risk of a variety of degenerative diseases that involve inflammation. These pigments also inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells.
Inflammation is part of virtually every degenerative disease, from cardiovascular disease to diabetes to arthritis. Any illness that ends with “itis” is an inflammatory disease. The anthocyanins exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory activity, and do it as well as drugs for the same purposes, without negative effects.
The antioxidant compounds in maqui berry help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood. Oxidation of cholesterol is a factor in the development of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, stroke and hardening of the arteries. Regular daily intake of maqui berries or the berry juice is a smart investment in better cardiovascular health.
Interestingly, intake of maqui berries or their juice causes a significant increase of insulin in the body. In fact, maqui appears to do this better than any other known plant. What does this mean? Consuming maqui berries or their juice with or after meals can help to suppress blood glucose, thereby evening out energy and preventing the formation of new fat cells. As a result, maqui may prove to be a beneficial aid in weight control.
Maqui also demonstrates antibacterial activity, which suggests that it may aid in preventing illness due to food-borne germs.
Maqui, The Superior of Berries
The Mapuche native people have been eating maqui berries and drinking their juice for centuries. And other non-native people in Chile have done the same for a very long time as well. Even in an environment in which the market is literally flooded with so-called super fruits, maqui stands head and shoulders above most of them in terms of benefits.