Acai berry gets a lot of credit for its health benefits and superfood status (Who hasn’t had an acai smoothie bowl!?), but there’s actually a berry with even more antioxidant power. Meet maqui berry.
What is maqui berry?
Maqui is a deep purple berry native to Chile. It’s long been a staple in the diet of the indigenous people of Central and Southern Chile, called the Mapuche. It’s gaining in popularity across North America and is a serious contender for the next big superfood (joining the likes of adaptogens, turmeric, and more).
What are the benefits of maqui berry?
Maqui berry is incredibly high in antioxidants. “These powerhouse berries can boost energy, reduce inflammation and support the immune system,” says Marissa Laughlin, a registered holistic nutritionist at Wealth of Wellness. “High levels of antioxidants can protect against free radical damage and support cell regeneration to slow down aging skin.”
Those antioxidant benefits are what drew Annie Tevelin, founder of Skin Owl, to use maqui berry as an ingredient in her natural skincare line. “After a few weeks of researching the berry, I saw that it wasn’t being used in skincare at all,” says Tevelin. “I started importing powders, extracts, and beta-testing them on my skin and friends and family. I noticed incredible changes overnight. It was then that I knew I was on to something good!”
Maqui berry powder has since become the star ingredient in Skin Owl’s Maqui Berry Beauty Whip ($85 at thedetoxmarket.ca). “When applied topically, users will notice an immediate softening of the skin, specifically for those with uneven texture and tone,” says Tevelin. “Over time, breakouts decrease, dark marks begin to fade, and skin looks plump, quenched and moisturized.” She recommends using Beauty Whip at night as a sleep mask, or mixed in with Skin Owl’s Beauty Drops for even more nourishment.
And, don’t forget about maqui’s other health benefits when consumed in food or drink: It’s “rich in polyphenols, iron, calcium and is a whole food source of vitamin C,” says Laughlin. She suggests using maqui berry powder in a smoothie, sprinkled on yogurt or mixed in chia seed pudding. (Try it in our Honey Roasted Fig Chia Seed Pudding recipe.)
Where can I buy maqui berry powder?
In Canada, you can find maqui berry powder in natural health food stores. It’s been freeze dried and pulverized into a powder to ensure that the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in the berry are not degraded. Try Organic Traditions Freeze Dried Maqui Berry Powder, $26 at well.ca.
Now that you know all about the newest berry on the block, test your superfoods knowledge and see how you score on our antioxidants quiz.