Photo courtesy of and Graphic Girl

Photo courtesy of and Graphic Girl

Maqui Berries – Superfood or Waste of Time?

If you have never heard of maqui berries, don’t feel alone. They are a relative newcomer to the list of superfoods so I did a little investigation for you about whether they are truly a superfood or a waste of time.  Here’s what I found out.

Maqui berries (Aristotelia chilensis) are sweet tasting berries, somewhat similar to blackcurrants in size and color.  They are native to South America, specifically Chile and Argentina, where they grow wild.  They are taken by the indigenous people there both as a berry and as a juice to treat pain and inflammation and for general well-being. 

Maqui berries are now being used used in a number of supplements (including powders, capsules and juice blends) and touted as one of the newest superfoods.

Maqui Rates Highest On The ORAC Scale

Studies show that maqui berries contain 138 mg of anthocyanins per 100 grams of raw fruit, as well as being a good source of natural vitamin C.

Anthocyanins (also found in blueberries, blackberries, and many other dark colored berries) are what is responsible for the berries’ purple color but they are also known to be a potent source of antioxidants. 

How potent? 

One reliable resource indicated that “Raw maqui berries have a score of 27,600 units per 100 grams on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) test, which is a scale that measures the effectiveness of antioxidants in foods. This makes maqui berries the most antioxidant-dense fruits in the world, and pushes acai berries (once considered the best with a score of 16,700 units per 100 grams) into second place.”

Anthocyanins, also mentioned on my Diet and Cancer page, are also powerful anti-inflammatories.  These things combined puts maqui berries right into the superfood category in my view.

I doubt whether we’ll see much in the way of scientific studies for maqui berries and any proposed anti-cancer effects.  The big pharmaceutical companies won’t want us to know about that.  All the more reason we should be taking these berries for their potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

The Best Way To Take Maqui

Maqui berries can be found in many health food stores in a powder form – of course, taking the raw berry would be best, but if they don’t grow where you live, the powder is the next best thing, and organic is best.  Add it to your yoghurt, smoothies, or juicing regimen.

Having a hard time finding maqui? I put two reputable brands into my Amazon shop for you.


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