When it comes to superfoods, the maqui berry is queen. This small fruit grows wild in the Patagonia region of Chile and our native Argentina. This ecoregion is a biodiversity refuge that was isolated for millions of years, developing characteristic species of plants and animals. According to the Food, Nutrition and Technology Institute of Chile the low geomagnetic field of the area, and its special ecosystem are the main reasons for the growth of many nutritious superfoods such as maqui.
Maqui berry benefits:
This small super-fruit has long been a staple in the diet of the indigenous people of the region, called the Mapuche who drank it to increase stamina and energy. Maqui berry contains indole alkaloids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, coumarins, ferulic and caffeic acid that make it a highly beneficial addition to any diet. These are the health benefits of maqui berry:
It reduces inflammation
The natural anti-inflammatory properties of maqui help to treat chronic problems such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and digestive issues.
It’s a powerful antioxidant
According to the ORAC test, which measures the antioxidant capacity of substances, maqui is the most powerful natural source of antioxidants, with a score of 27,600 ORAC units/100g, twice as much antioxidants than açaí and 12 times as much as blueberries. Its high content of anthocyanins prevents free radical damage from toxins, sun exposure and pollution. Not only does maqui berry prevent aging but it also nourishes skin cells, providing a radiant and youthful skin.
It supports eye health
Because of its high content of antioxidants maqui protects against light-induced eye damage from the sun, computers and cellphones and their ultraviolet radiation. Anthocyanins work by neutralizing free radicals and absorbing part of the wavelengths of the radiation.
It helps to maintain a healthy gut microbiome
The plant compounds in maqui also help to bulk up the good bacteria in the gut which in return support digestive health, nutrient absorption, brain health, immunity and radiant skin.
Sourcing our hero ingredient: maqui
The maqui berry is wild harvested exclusively by the indigenous Mapuche community in southern Argentina and Chile as part of a ritual that goes back centuries. During harvest season, which spans from January to March, the whole community participates in the process of harvesting which is 100% manual. In fact, no commercial plantations of this species yet exist. Men select and cut the branches off the trees, while women separate the berries from the branches and prepare them for local consumption and export.
At AYNI we are grateful for the opportunity to work closely with our maqui supplier in our native Argentina respecting the ancestral processes to source this incomparable ingredient.