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Maqui Berries & Health Benefits
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This article focuses on Maqui berries, native to Chilean climate. Maqui berries are found in South America, especially Chile. It grows in high altitude region of Andes Mountains, and requires sunlight all year around. Mostly it is cultivated wild or is grown in homes by those who use it frequently. Especially I Chile, tribal people grow them for their own medicinal uses.
Health benefits of Maqui berries are well attested in historical records.
Even today, Pre-Spanish tribe called the Mapuche still use it in their daily rituals and preparation of traditional medicine. When the conquistadores(Spanish soldier explorers, armed with muskets on a horse), arrived in the South America, they were amazed to find that the warriors of the tribe ate little solid food, and yet had great stamina ad endurance to fight long battles. Such was the praise heaped on this berry.
The tree bearing Maqui berries is of Deciduas kind. It grows in an acidic soil. It can also grow easily in barren soil and can re-nourish it.
The plant grows into a blossoming tree 4-5 meters tall. It is harvested from December to march, and local families collect the berries either from their own home grow trees or collect wild berries from the virgin forests.
The berries can be eaten fresh and are 4mm to 6mm I diameter. It’s taste is somewhat similar to blackberries. It is also called as Chilean wine berry, as it is also used to in fermentation of wine. It is also used as an ingredient to prepare the popular fermented chicha beverages of Chile.
Research has been ongoing regarding the properties and the kind of nutrients in the Maqui berries.
A recent research indicates that Maqui berries have the highest anti-oxidants among all berries. Acai berries are another kind of berries with anti-oxidants, but even then it comes a distant second when it comes to anti-oxidant levels. Anti-oxidants fight against and absorb free radicals. Free radicals react with our body cells and increase oxidation process and the gradual ageing off our body. They are thus responsible for early ageing. In this, Maqui berries are beneficial and can prolong a person’s life span.
The anti-oxidant level is measured by ORAC(Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score.
In an experiment done to measure anti-oxidant levels, Maqui berries scored a whooping 27,000 as against 16,000 of Acai berries. This makes Maqui berries as the highest source of anti-oxidants among all foods. It scores even more than that of green tea and other anti-oxidants. It is the reason why, so much marketing and propagation goes on about its ant-oxidant properties.
The entire web is filled with such articles on it. Below, links are given which will give more information on the health benefits of Maqui berries.
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