Sunday, April 21, 2013

Maqui Berry - King of the Superfruits

The maqui berry is a purple-hued superfruit that originated in the Patagonia region of South America. It is found in Argentina and Chile. Acai berry was once known to contain the highest ORAC value of all superfruits. However, this berry was recently studied and found to have the highest ORAC value of all known superfruits. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. The ORAC 5.0 test is a patented laboratory test conducted by Brunswick Laboratory that measures the antioxidant content of fruits and berries. According to ORAC 5.0, the maqui berry has a value of 612,000 per 100g. The average person can understand why this berry is referred to as a "superfruit" when comparing the ORAC values of maqui berry with fruit such as apples. The ORAC value of gala apples are a measly 3,903 per 100g compared to the maqui berry's 612,000 per 100g. This little known fact has deemed the maqui berry the king of all fruits and superfruits.
Antioxidants are known for their anti-cancer and free radical fighting properties. ORAC values are very helpful because they provide an accurate understanding of the amount of antioxidants that are inherent in a particular fruit or legume. The higher the ORAC value of a fruit, the higher the antioxidant content will be. The more antioxidants are in a fruit, the better the fruit will be able to absorb and fight free radicals. Free radicals contribute to cell damage and cell mutation. They contribute to premature aging and diminished health and vitality. It is unfortunate that growing older accelerates the process of free radical formation in the body. Daily consumption of superfruits can help to combat free radicals that form in the body due to aging.
The Macqui Berry has quite an astounding history. Mapuche Indians of Southern Chile opted to use the berry for a fermented drink as it is also considered to be a wineberry. Mapuche warriors drank maqui berry and attributed their victorious demeanor and physical strength to the this berry. They were known to be conquerors and they claimed that daily consumption of maqui was the reason for their warrior strength. Maqui berries grew to be very popular and they were quickly harvested in the forest areas of Chile. One little known fact about maqui berries is that they are a seasonal fruit. They are harvested only once a year. This may be a contributing factor to the higher price of maqui powders, liquids and capsules. The Mapuche collect the fruit along the Andes Mountains between the months of December and March.
Maqui berries can be eaten in raw form if available. Since it is a fruit that is not very common in the United States, the average American can purchase it in freeze dried powdered or liquid form. The berries have even been processed as an ingredient in beverages, health bars, and other forms of food.
The maqui berry is naturally rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanins, triterpenes, cumarins and flavonoids. It has a taste that is similar to the blackberry. These antioxidants protect the body from harmful invaders and strengthen the body's ability to fight diseases and various ailments. The antioxidant powers inherent in these berries aid and boost the immune system and they even help to decrease blood glucose levels. It is a great fruit for diabetics to incorporate into their daily diet because of its knack and ability to increase production levels of insulin. There is no other known fruit in natural health history that contains more antioxidants than the maqui berry. This antioxidant-rich fruit truly lives up to its superfruit classification and abilities.