Here are 7 health benefits of maqui berries, a dark purple berry that grows wild throughout the southern temperate rainforests of Chile and Argentina. The indigenous Mapuche Indians of southern Chile have eaten the berries for thousands of years and to this day remain the largest commercial harvesters of maqui in the world. Though research on the maqui berry has been limited so far, maqui berry shows promise as a potential superfood.
High In Antioxidants
According to some scientists, maqui has the highest antioxidant value of any other berry. They are extremely rich in anthocyanins, a plant compound known for its powerful antioxidant value. In addition to reducing oxidative stress, one particular type of anthocyanin found in maqui is considered to have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
The powerful antioxidants in maqui help prevent free radical damage to the cells and DNA, a known contributor to a variety of cancers.
Consumption of maqui berries and juice has been shown to increase insulin production in the body. This may be beneficial to diabetics trying to balance glucose levels after meals.
The anthocyanins in maqui berry have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the risk of diseases like cancer and heart disease, while helping to prevent conditions that result from chronic inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Initial studies show that maqui berry may have antibacterial properties, which may make it useful in warding off foodborne illnesses.
Anthocyanins may help prevent oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidation of cholesterol in the blood can lead to a variety of cardiovascular health problems including hardening of the arteries, heart attack and stroke.
Maqui berry is a low calorie, nutrient rich food and therefore a healthy addition to any effective weight loss program. Its potential to help balance blood sugar levels may also help prevent the body from producing new fat cells, which may in turn also help prevent gaining unwanted weight.