If you haven't heard of Maqi before, it is a berry that grows in Patagonia and has been given the highest rating of antioxidants to be naturally found in any food. To understand how much this is, it has been reported to have 4 times the amount of antioxidants than Acai and Goji berries and up to 10 times the amount of pomegranate!
A couple of months ago I came cross Maqui in my local health food store, I had never heard of it before and decided to give it a go, in terms of taste I think it's pretty similar to Acai. In this picture above I have blended a table spoon of Maqui powder with half a cup of frozen blue berries, half a frozen banana and half a cup of milk to make a beautiful smoothie bowl, then topped it off with fresh kiwi fruit, banana and strawberries, organic Byron Bay paleo muesli mix, organic activated buckinis, and some raw coconut shavings. If you love Acai - you are sure to love Maqui!
So what's so good about antioxidants? After reading up on the topic, this is what I have learnt...Antioxidants are naturally found in a variety of foods and consuming them helps our bodies fight free radicals. The amount of free radicals in the body can be increased by stress, smoking, pollution, alcohol and sunlight and they damage our cells and DNA. Free radicals have also been linked to being the cause of many health conditions such as excelled ageing, a number of cancers (due to cell damage), eye deterioration, heart disease, Alzheimer's and arthritis.
Having a diet high in antioxidant foods can help with the prevention of these health conditions and keep your level of free radicals in the body low. It has also been proven that the effectiveness of antioxidants is much higher when you consume it from food rather than getting them from specific vitamin supplements.
So after learning about what antioxidants are and the levels Maqui berries have this is my verdict - It is an amazing super food but the berries are not easily available in it's fresh form outside of South America, you can buy Maqui in powder form in most places where the berries have been dry frozen and then grounded into a powder. It is claimed to hold all the nutrients and antioxidant levels due to the way it is processed. Obviously the best way to consume any food is in its natural fresh state however that isn't always possible, so I think this is a good product to add to your meals that contain fresh ingredients rather than opting to substitute your diet with it. This will ensure you are getting a good mix of nutrients and antioxidants from a range of sources.