Written by Andrea Manitsas
On the heels of the goji berry and the acai berry comes a new-fangled superfruit you may not have experienced just yet: The Maqui Berry. From deep within the Chilean countryside, a small tree growing wildly was rumored to produce a sacred fruit. In fact, the Mapuche Indians are said to have defended their territory successfully against countless invasions through the consumption of a daily beverage made from the Maqui Berry. And the Mapuche warriors are legendary for their stamina and strength. So what is it about this little berry?
When we (westerners) got our hands onto some of these little gems, we sent them for testing to see if science would back up legend. And to pretty astounding results. Not surprisingly, given their deep, rich color, Maqui Berries are loaded with antioxidants. It's dark purple hue is a tell tale sign of anthocyanins, a powerful group of antioxidants responsibe for some awesome health benefits such as fighting fatigue, inflammation and stomach disorders. And when we say 'loaded', we mean it. This tiny berry far surpassed all other berries on the ORAC antioxidant scale, where the very healthy blueberry comes in at 35 and the Maqui at 616! This is a beauty berry at its finest (antioxidants are particularly touted for their anti-aging properties).
In addition to its polyphenol and anthocyanin content (antioxidants), the Maqui Berry is a great source of iron, calcium, vitamin c, among other essential nutrients. It looks like this berry packs the punch it promises. We're willing to give it a try in our next batch of smoothies. Are you?