Maqui Berry, the ORAC Value and You

by Ann on October 28, 2009

Maqui Superberry Picture From novelleinternational.com

Maqui Superberry Picture From novelleinternational.com

I was feeling pretty tired and low energy yesterday but when I saw the UPS man come to the door I got a little thrill of adrenaline – my Maqui Superberry finally arrived!  Seriously, I jumped up a few times like a kid.  These are the kinds of things that excite me.  The maqui berry is the highest known antioxidant superfruit out there.  It surpasses acai, pomegranate, wolfberry (goji), mangosteen, noni, and any others you can think of.  Lots of companies charge big bucks for their high antioxidant mixes and the variety is huge, but the maqui takes the prize.  Of course, every one of these fruits offers slightly different benefits – but when you solely look at the ORAC value – maqui is at the top.  What is the ORAC value?  ORAC stand for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.  The best scientific study published that I found explaining this is from the USDA – click hereThe article even has a huge chart showing different ORAC values of foods per 100g.  However, it is quite lengthy and from 2007 – so I’ll just try to sum up what it means without writing a thesis – though if I had to this would be my topic of choice if I were getting a PhD!  A free radical is a chemical molecule  that possesses an unpaired electron in its shell.  They are highly reactive and looking to attach that electron onto an otherwise healthy molecule in your body – such as DNA, lipids, carbohydrates or proteins.  They destroy the electron on the healthy molecule, and then that becomes a free radical.  It’s a chain reaction and the free radicals re-produce while disrupting previously healthy cells (Source 1).    Having said that, it is normal to have free radicals and they are not always bad, as some cells generate free radicals to kill invading pathogens (Source 2) – but obviously free radicals can cause a lot of damage in the body.  Antioxidants, by destroying free radicals, may help cancer or help prevent cancer and slow aging (Source 3).  

Last month I went to Whole Foods and almost bought the Maqui Superberrysupplements but got talked into something else from the sales lady.  With all of the viruses running rampant around here, I figure I need to pump my body’s antioxidant supply since I may not always eat the perfect daily menu!  I came home and regretted my decision and wished I had bought the Maqui – but then a couple of days later I get an email from them wondering if I’d like samples.  Crazy, of course!  It was meant to be:)  So I receive my samples and open up the informational packet to see the owner of the company, Novelle,  is a woman named Annie Eng.  She grew up in Malaysa, graduated from U of Wisconsin at Madison with a degree in accounting and finance.  A woman after my own heart as I went the business route as well.  Anyway, she was a successful Investment and Financial Consultant until she became inspired to work with previously unknown health benefits of certain plants.  This particular berry, maqui, is found in the Patagonia region of Chile, where the company employs the native Mapuche Indian community, who are essentially sharing their native maqui berry with the world.  The process is completely sustainable and organic – so you can feel better about drinking it.

I received the Maqui Superberry Superfruit Energy vitamin B blend drink as well as the Maqui Superberry concentrated drink.  The vitamin B blend drink tastes a little bland just mixed with water so I put a shot of grape juice in it and it tasted much better.  B vitamins make me flush and give me energy so I think the drink did the trick along with a huge antioxidant punch.  For a daily dose of Maqui, I prefer a shot of the concentrate.  They only recommend a tablespoon per day and the flavor is just a strong berry taste – not near as sweet as POM Wonderful – which I think is too sweet anyway and dilute that with sparkling water.  The Maqui Superberry drink is sweetened with a little agave nectar.  According to Novelle’s research on Maqui and other comparative high ORAC value competitors, it seems as if POM Wonderful is always the second highest ORAC product.  This surprised me as Acai products research previously fooled me into thinking they were superior!  In order to get similar benefits from POM Wonderful, you just have to drink more.  I prefer a tablespoon of this Maqui though!  Maqui Superberry has two different types of antioxidants called polyphenols (think Alton Brown on theWelch’s commercial) and anthocyanins.  Plants produce anthocyanins to protect themselves against diseases, sun, irradiation and other biological enemies.   Maqui is also abundant in vitamin C, iron and potassium.  Click here for more health benefits.

Delivering More Polyphenols

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And my favorite ORAC chart is here: http://www.novelleinternational.com/maqui-superberry-brunswick-laboratory-tests.html – check it out.

My take on this is that it’s absolutely worth it.  If you can’t afford it, you can buy yourself some POM Wonderful instead though I do prefer the down and dirty tablespoon shot of this. You’d have to drink more POM to make up for the ORAC difference but since POM has been around longer and therefore spent more advertising dollars – it’s easier to find and cheaper since the pomegranates are grown in California and can be found around the world.   With PW, you drink more to get the same benefits and then are getting more sugar and calories.  Of course, if you’re that worried about it you could just buy the capsules instead.  I wouldn’t discount all the other super-fruits though.  Everything reacts a little differently in our bodies and science hasn’t had the time to study it all.  I often add frozen acai to our smoothies in the morning amongst other super stuff.  After writing all of this, I’m hoping I just made sense and it wasn’t all complete gibberish.   I’m not getting paid for this!  But I did get some free product which is pretty sweet.

Disclosure: I was provided free product from Novelle

Sources:

  1. http://www.doctorslounge.com/primary/articles/freeradicals/freeradicals1.htm
  2. http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/misc_topics/radicals.html
  3. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/antioxidants
  4. Graph source: http://www.novelleinternational.com/maqui-superberry-product-comparison-graph.html

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 rebecca subbiah October 28, 2009 at 9:26 pm

thanks for visiting my blog, love the tiramisu

2 stephchows October 29, 2009 at 9:33 am

always good to hear an honest opinion!

3 cinnamonquill November 2, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Really interesting! I’d never even heard of maqui!

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