Deep in the heart of Southern Chile in South America lives a group of indigenous people called the Mapuche. According to legend, the Mapuche warriors were able to resist the Spanish by consuming a fermented beverage that gave them strength and stamina. That fermented beverage came from the maqui berry.
Maqui berries grow on a small evergreen tree called Aristotelia chilensis and are native to the South American Andes. Today, most maqui berries come from the southernmost tip of South America called Patagonia, which is shared by the countries of Chile and Argentina, and is one of the most pristine areas on the planet -- a perfect place to find one of the earth’s most beneficial superfoods.
Maqui berry has been consumed for centuries by the Mapuche people. Today, maqui berry is known for its extremely high antioxidant protection and is becoming known worldwide for its many health benefits.
According to the Institute on Aging and the National Health Institute, maqui berries contain the highest ORAC value of any berry. ORAC stands for (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). Developed by Tufts University’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, “the ORAC test measures a food’s antioxidant ability to neutralize free radicals and potentially mitigate health imbalances.”
Due to maqui berries’ high antioxidant content, this super berry helps to:
- Boost the immune system
- Enhance energy levels
- Strengthen bones & joints
- Increase brain function
- Improve digestion
- Reduce inflammation
- Control blood sugar levels
- Support cardiovascular health
- Fight free radicals
What is the best way to consume this seemingly magic super berry? Fresh maqui berries are extremely difficult to find, due to the remote areas where they are harvested. The dried maqui berry is quite hard to chew on, so typically dried maqui berries are made into maqui berry powder. The flavor of the powder is slightly tart and sweet, much like other berries. Maqui berry powder can be added to smoothies or yogurt and can be made into juice. Be aware! Maqui berry powder is a beautiful shade of purple and can stain anything it touches!
If you would like to utilize a superfood that helps alleviate many of today’s ailments, try adding maqui berry powder to your diet. Centuries of Mapuche indigenous people have enjoyed the healing benefits and so should we.
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