Superfood Feature: The health benefts of Maqui Berry
By Amy Crawford
I've been waiting for a grand occasion to make a certain summer inspired maqui berry creation (that I've had my eye on for a while) and this weekend appears to be it. With friends popping over for dinner on what looks to be a summery weekend, I am soon to recreate a totally delicious raw cheesecake - which of course will end up in subscriber inboxes next week!
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Firstly though I thought I'd better tell you about the health benefits of maqui berry. That would be logical, right?
What is it?
The maqui berry is a dark purple berry that is native to the Patagonia region of southern Chile. Slightly smaller and deeper in colour than a blueberry, to give you a visual. The maqui berry has been a staple food of the Mapuche Indians who reside in this region for centuries.
Why it’s good for you:
Maqui berries are exceptionally high in antioxidants and are said to have one of the highest antioxidant values of any known fruit on earth (good quality commercially purchased powders will have an ORAC score of approximately 70,000µmol per 100g).
Traditionally the Mapuche Indians would use these berries to heal chronic illnesses, lessen fatigue and improve endurance. Today we know the rich purple colour of the berry indicates high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin. Anthocyanin serves to reduce oxidative stress in cells and reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. Furthermore, the antioxidant rich berries support healthy immune function and are loaded with immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory vitamin C.
How to eat it:
If you are an inner city dweller obtaining maqui berry in powdered form may be more accessible. Maqui berry powder is an amazing purple in colour, slightly tart yet still berry sweet. The colour certainly makes your morning smoothie a little more exciting. I'd add a teaspoon (or several) to juices, smoothies, raw desserts and bliss balls; or stir through your morning granola/coconut yoghurt combo. Yum.
Where to buy it.
Health food stores and markets are your best bet when looking for maqui berry in powdered form. It can be on the pricier side but a little goes a long way. Or you can look online, Forest Superfoods do a great product, theirs is 100% raw and organic.
Simply search for 'maqui berry' using the search function on our website (top right hand corner), and you will find a myriad of purple concoctions! These are a few of the favourites:
How do you feel about incorporating these specific so called superfoods into your diet? Versus simply eating in a well balanced and generally nutrient rich way? Do you think it is necessary?
Image via realfoods.co.uk