This wild fruit contains three times more antioxidants than blackberries, strawberries and blueberries. We show you other benefits and details about the maqui berry.
Of a characteristic dark purple color, the maqui berry is what is known as a wild fruit or fruit of the forest. Grows on the thin, flexible branches of the tree Aristotelia chilensis, also called «maqui».
It is native to South America, to be more specific to Chile and southern Argentina, where both the berries and the leaves and stems have been used by the Mapuche people for years.
Today, it is considered a “superfood.” This is due to its abundant content of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals whose assimilation in the body is associated with several benefits. We tell you everything you need to know.
Uses and possible benefits of the maqui berry
Although it is common to add it to juices, it is also marketed in powder form. In this way, it is added to smoothies, cereals and desserts. Let’s see in detail each of its benefits.
1. It is a natural antioxidant
Free radicals are known to cause cell damage, inflammation, and chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. Fortunately, Eating foods rich in antioxidants can stabilize these molecules and reduce the risks they carry.
Now there is scientific evidence that the maqui berry has three times more antioxidants than blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. Especially the antioxidants known as “anthocyanins.” These are responsible for the particular color of these wild fruits, as well as other health effects.
According to a study published in Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the intake of 162 milligrams of maqui berry extract, three times a day, helped reduce oxidative stress in healthy, overweight, and smoking adults.
2. Could reduce inflammation
According an investigation published in Nutrition Journal, the maqui berry has important anti-inflammatory effects that could treat conditions related to this reaction, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and some lung diseases.
Similarly, a test tube study found that the supplement Delphinol®, a known maqui extract, would be able to reduce inflammation in blood vessels, which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
3. Could decrease the risk of heart disease
Anthocyanins are linked to having a healthier heart. Since the maqui berry is a source of these antioxidants, let’s see what science says about its effects on cardiovascular health.
A study of 93,600 young and middle-aged women determined that a diet rich in anthocyanins reduced the likelihood of heart attacks by 32%. Also, he found which reduces the risk of developing hypertension by 12%.
Finally, a study in people with prediabetes found that taking 180 milligrams of Delphinol® lowered LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels by 12.5%.
4. Could control blood sugar levels
Previous research in people with prediabetes also showed a 5% reduction in blood glucose levels. And while this could be seen as a negligible decrease, it was what was needed to bring the participants’ blood glucose to normal levels. However, more studies are required in this regard.
On the other hand, a study published in The American Journal of Cinical Nutrition revealed that the plant compounds present in the maqui berry could reduce the likelihood of type 2 diabetes.
5. Could promote eye health
Similarly, a test tube study showed how maqui berry extract can prevent light-induced damage to eye cells. Thus, both investigations suggest how beneficial this fruit can be for eye health, although more evidence is still required in this regard.
6. Could improve gut health
Maintain a diverse gut microbiome promotes not just gut health, but heart, brain, and immune system health. Therefore, you must be careful to avoid that the bad bacteria outnumber the good ones.
The maqui berry can help with this. Exists scientific evidence about what the plant compounds present in this and other berries can keep the intestinal microbiota in balance by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria.
7. Other uses and benefits of the maqui berry
Other benefits are also attributed to this fruit of the forest. We show you more about them below:
- Could have anticancer effects. Test tube studies and in animals revealed that the antioxidants found in maqui berry can inhibit cancer cell replication and tumor growth, as well as cause these cells to die. However, more studies are required and a treatment for this disease should not be considered.
- Could offer anti-aging effects. Excessive exposure to the sun causes premature aging of the skin. However, it has observed that this fruit can eliminate the damage caused by UV rays.
- Could treat dry eye. A research in people with dry eye found that taking a concentrated extract of maqui berry increased tear production by 50%.
Risks and recommendations for the use of maqui berry
Consuming the fruit in small amounts is considered safe. However, its effects are unknown if large doses are taken in supplement form.
Now, although these fruits have been related to an important number of benefits, it is essential to consult a specialist before beginning to consume them in supplements as a treatment for any disease.
This berry can be found in different presentations. The most common include capsules, powders, and juices, which are often available at specialty dietary supplement stores.
Maqui berry, a wild fruit with many benefits
This berry has great potential when it comes to health benefits. From being a good natural antioxidant, to promoting heart, eye and gut health. Nevertheless, how safe it may be as a supplement is unknown, so it is vitally important to ask for the opinion of a specialist.
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