Maqui berry is a special, highly nutritious fruit that has many unique and powerful health benefits.
This article will explain what maqui berry is, its benefits, and how you can include it in your diet.
What is Maqui?
The maqui berry is a dark purple fruit that is native to Southern Chile and has been used for thousands of years as a natural healing remedy (1).
It has significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that may lead to improved heart health and better blood sugar control.
The maqui berry is slightly tart, and has been described to taste similar to blackberries. They can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried in powder form.
What are the Most Beneficial Nutrients in Maqui?
Maqui berries are quite nutrient-dense. A small serving of maqui powder provides approximately 50 milligrams of potassium and nearly 20 milligrams of calcium. Maqui also contains a wide variety of vitamins including vitamin A, C, B3, and folate.
However, the most beneficial aspects of maqui berries are in fact not nutrients at all but rather beneficial compounds called antioxidants.
Antioxidants are natural compounds that protect cells from free-radicals, which can cause damage to cells. Free radicals in the body can lead to cell damage, increased inflammation, and increase the risk for disease. Antioxidants have the ability to rid of free radicals and therefore keep the body stronger and healthier.
It’s been suggested that maqui berries have three times more antioxidants than other similar berries. Specifically, maqui berries are rich in a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins.
What are the Potential Health Benefits of Maqui?
Thanks to the high antioxidant content in maqui berries, they can benefit our health in many ways. Research suggests that people who consume higher amounts of antioxidants may have a reduced risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, for example (2).
In addition to having protective antioxidant benefits, maqui berries may also support metabolic health, reduce chronic pain, and improve skin health. The following sections will detail maqui’s benefits to different body systems.
1. Supports Metabolic Health
Research suggests that maqui may impact carbohydrate metabolism due to its high content of a specific antioxidant called delphinidin (3).
In fact, maqui berries may help regulate fasting blood sugar in adults with irregular blood sugar levels or type 2 diabetes.
2. Supports Heart Health
Similar to other foods high in antioxidants, maqui berries can help protect cardiovascular health by defending against high cholesterol.
In fact, adding maqui berries to the diet may reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. Additionally, antioxidants in maqui can help keep blood vessels strong and protected against oxidative stress and inflammation (4).
3. May Help Maintain Healthy Skin
Foods high in antioxidants are helpful for protecting the skin and age-related skin damage.
One study found that maqui berry extract is effective at protecting against ultraviolet radiation which could lead to pigmentation spots, wrinkles, and accelerated skin aging (5).
Consuming maqui berries regularly has been shown to support healthy, glowing, and youthful skin.
4. May Help Reduce Arthritis-Associated Pain
Traditionally, maqui berries were used in South America to reduce swelling and ease symptoms related to inflammation. Today, maqui berries are still used for the same reason.
Because of their ability to protect against inflammation, maqui berries can reduce inflammation associated with arthritis and other pains. Particularly, maqui berries can help ease symptoms for those suffering from inflammatory arthritis and associated joint pain.
How Much Maqui Should I Eat Each Week?
There is no set recommendation for how much maqui you should eat each week. If you’re consuming maqui in the supplemental form it’s recommended to consume about one to two teaspoons, or about 5 grams daily. If you’re consuming maqui in berry form, it’s appropriate to have one to two handfuls of berries daily.
Keep in mind that although maqui berries and their supplemental form have several health benefits, there is limited research to support the efficacy and safety of using maqui berries to treat medical conditions. It’s always best to check with your doctor before starting a new supplement, particularly if you have a health condition that you are tending to.
Additionally, there is limited research on the safety of maqui berries while pregnant or breastfeeding, so it’s best to check with your doctor or avoid maqui altogether.
The Easiest Way to Get Maqui (and Other Reds) in Your Diet
It’s likely easiest to consume maqui berries in powder or capsule form. However, you may also choose to drink maqui berry juice or the berries themselves, if that is available to you.
Simply blend maqui berry powder into your favorite beverage, smoothie, oatmeal, yogurt, or even baked goods recipe.
A super simple way to get your daily dose of maqui berries and other antioxidants is by simply adding a scoop of our reds powder, Naked Reds, to your daily routine.
In addition to maqui berry, you’ll also get antioxidant-rich cranberry, acai, and elderberry, along with other nutrient-dense superfoods. The combination of these red antioxidant-rich superfoods can help reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and support healthy blood sugar levels.
The Benefits of Red Fruits
Red fruits are specifically known for being rich in a group of antioxidants called anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins are responsible for giving the fruit its rich purple-reddish color and are also the reason why these fruits have powerful health benefits.
While more research is needed to further understand the specific healing benefits of maqui berries, it’s promising that these fruits are superior in terms of their ability to reduce inflammation, support heart health, and support healthy metabolic function.
In fact, some studies suggest that compounds in maqui berries and other red fruits can support the growth of healthy gut bacteria, specifically increasing the amount of good bacteria.
Additionally, red fruits are particularly known for their anticancer and anti-aging effects.
The Bottom Line
Maqui berries are a highly nutrient-dense fruit that is particularly rich in antioxidants.
They have been shown to support the immune system, heart health, and metabolic health, and also reduce inflammation, among other benefits.
It’s most common to consume maqui berries in supplement or powder form, and it’s easy to add to your daily routine by simply blending them with your favorite beverage.