In recent years, the Acai berry has gained a healthy dose of attention from the media and nutrition community. A common ingredient in trendy sports drinks and juice concentrates, it is responsible for making the health benefits of anti-oxidants common knowledge among much of the general public.
The Acai berry relied upon the scientific ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale to size itself up against other anti-oxidant rich foods to earn the title of Superberry. Unfortunately for the Acai berry, there is a new berry stepping into the limelight, and the very ORAC scale that made Acai a star is now proving Maqui to be the most potent Superfruit in the world.
To give you a clearer picture of the small berries that claim to have a huge impact on your health, let’s put the Acai Berry and Maqui Berry side by side for a fair comparison.
Acai Berries – Grows high atop the Acai Palm tree, native to the Amazon jungle and tropical forests of South and Central America.
Maqui Berries – The fruit of the Maqui shrub, a type of small evergreen tree, native to the relatively undisturbed Patagonia Region of Chile and Argentina.
Acai – Deep blue in color, these berries measure roughly 25 mm in diameter.
Maqui – Deep, rich purple in color, these tiny berries measure roughly 4-6 mm in diameter.
Both the Acai and Maqui berries have properties that deliver health benefits to humans.
These properties include:
• Weight loss
• Detoxifying/ cleansing
• Relief for fever, sore throat, diarrhea, child birth
• Prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
• Improved immunity
• Improved sleep, energy, and stamina
Superficially similar in many ways, what sets the Maqui berry and Acai berry apart is their science.
Acai – contains omega 3 fatty acid. A diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids may help lower triglycerides and increase good cholesterol. Omega 3 may help prevent blood from clotting, lower high blood pressure, and protect the body from the accumulation of a protein that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Maqui – contains omega 9 fatty acid. A diet rich in omega 9 may help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce hardening of the arteries, thereby reducing the risk of serious heart disease. Omega 9 may help to reduce insulin resistance (improving blood glucose levels), improve immune function, and protect against various types of cancer.
Anti-oxidants and Anthocyanins:
The Maqui and Acai berries are rich in Antioxidants, Anthocyanins, and Polyphenols, the “active ingredients” that make them the most powerful of the known Superfruit.
Anthocyanins are antioxidants present in the pigments of blue, red, or purple fruit and berries.
The Maqui berry’s deep purple color is the result of the highest level of anthocyanins and polyphenols produced in fruit the world over, and as such the Maqui berry has the highest level of antioxidants of all known fruit and berries on the planet.
The most common method of measuring antioxidant quantities in food was developed by nutrition researchers at TUFFS University, who created the ORAC scale. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (a food’s antioxidant ability to combat and neutralize the effects of free oxygen radicals in the system).
Acai – has an ORAC value of approximately 16,000 units/ 100g.
Maqui -has the highest ORAC value at approximately 27,600 ORAC units/ 100g. The Maqui berry’s ORAC values are more than 3x greater than Pomegranate, 5x greater than Blueberry, and 100x greater than red wine.
Studies show the average North American and European diet typically delivers only 3-5000 ORAC units per day. Nutritionists estimate that the human body needs a minimum of 12,000 ORAC units per day to maintain a basic level of good health.
Due to Maqui berry’s antioxidant super powers, University of Chile’s Medical School and international food scientists have been conducting in-depth research into unlocking Maqui’s potential. Recently the World Health Organization announced having written a 5 million dollar grant to conduct additional medical research into the Maqui Superberry’s health benefits.
Acai vs Maqui Products:
Acai – The market is presently flooded with Acai products: pulp, juice concentrate, sports drinks, powders, and capsules. Acai berries and crop sizes are much larger than those of the Maqui, and therefore the product is more readily available for mass production.
Maqui – The Maqui berry will be marketed to consumers in much the same way Acai is, but its reputation and scientific endorsements remain untouched by the rip-offs and scams that have plagued Acai berry products lately.
There are only a small number of facilities that are certified to produce pure, organic Maqui using state of the art freeze-drying and filtration methods, so only the purest, most potent form of Maqui is placed on the market. High quality and scarcity have put Maqui in high demand.
Maqui Berry is clearly healthier than Acai Berry:
The proof is in the science. When you measure the Maqui Berry’s powerful anti-oxidant health benefits against the Acai’s, Maqui wins hands-down for the title, and the scientific community’s support, as the healthiest, No.1 Superfruit in the world.