Which superberries are you familiar with? Acai? Goji? It's time to add one more to the list -- the maqui berry.
What Is Maqui?
Maqui berries grow on a type of evergreen shrub known as Aristolia chilensis, which is native to Chile and Argentina. These purple superberries grow in mountainous regions and have a slightly tart taste. They have been consumed by the people of South America for centuries both as a food and for medicinal purposes due to their abundance of nutrients.
Maqui for Heart Health
Maqui berries contain certain chemical compounds known as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are antioxidants, which protect the cells of the body against the damage of free radicals. Free radical damage can lead to illness and aging throughout the body.
These antioxidants may be of particular benefit to the heart, helping to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. More research will need to be conducted with human participants in order to determine maqui's exact actions within the body and how it may benefit the heart.
Maqui for Immunity
Those antioxidants also benefit the immune system, which is the body's first line of defense against pathogens that can cause illness. When the immune system is compromised, we're more susceptible to fungi, bacteria and viruses. Maqui is also abundant in vitamin C, which also functions as an antioxidant and has been shown to strengthen the immune system as well.
Maqui is available as a juice or a powder and in pill form as well. While no major side effects or interactions have been reported at this time, it's still important to check with your doctor before adding any new supplement to your routine. This is especially important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and anyone being treated for a medical condition.
Need a way to enjoy maqui? A 2012 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggested the combination of lemon juice and maqui berry juice for even more antioxidant activity. Combine 1 serving of maqui juice or powder with 1 to 2 tbsp of lemon juice and flat or sparkling water and enjoy.
You could also try this smoothie recipe:
1 serving of maqui juice or powder (based on individual product)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp almond butter
1/2 cup almond milk
Blend it all and enjoy cold!
Learn about all the best superfoods at eVitamins. Have a great week!