The final superfood under the microscope in the recent superfood myths series.
(aka Chilean wineberries, Aristotelia chilensis)
The claim: “known for its powerful detoxifying and antioxidant properties”.
The evidence: is pretty thin on the ground. One study shows that the berry contains anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant in the same family as flavanoids. These are found in many red/purple fruits and vegetables such as blueberries and red cabbage. Don’t get me started on the “powerful detoxifying” claim. Please drink more water and eat less processed food in the first place!
Value for money: Maqui berries is usually sold as a powder or capsules, not even a whole or dried fruit which is pushing the “food” boundary a bit. An online search found a 300gm tub of powder being sold for $85 – making it very poor value for money. Buy fresh blueberries instead.
Verdict: Maqui berries do have high levels of antioxidants but the rest of the hype around the powders and other products containing the berry are concerning. Though not mentioned in the article maqui berries peddlers also claim the berry will help you loose weight and fight aging. Alarm bells should ring when any food or supplement makes these claims.