Maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) is an intensely purple berry that grows wild throughout parts of southern Chile, in the Patagonia region. The Mapuche native people have been eating maqui berries and drinking their juice for centuries.
Recent research studies have labeled maqui as the "new super fruit" due to its wide health benefits.
Maqui berries are very rich in anthocyanins, which are purple pigments with very high antioxidant activity. Specifically, maqui berries contain high levels of anthocyanins called delphinidins, which is also found in violas, delphiniums, and Concord grapes. But in maqui berry, these compounds are found in unusually high amounts. The delphinidins demonstrate potent anti-inflammatory activity, so they help reduce the risk of a variety of degenerative diseases that involve inflammation. These pigments also inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells.
The antioxidant compounds in maqui berry help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood. Maqui also demonstrates antibacterial activity, which suggests that it may aid in preventing illness due to food-borne germs.
Another benefit that is gaining attention is that consuming maqui berries or their juice with or after meals can help suppress blood glucose, thereby evening out energy and preventing the formation of new fat cells. As a result, maqui may prove to be a beneficial aid in weight control.
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