Sunday September 20, 2009
Art of Healing
By DR AMIR FARID ISAHAK
The maqui berry has the highest antioxident level of all fruits or berries.
SOMETIME back, I wrote about acai berry and wolfberry (gouji), two nutritious “superfruits” native to Brazil and China respectively. These berries had the highest antioxidant power known to us then. Today I introduce to you the new king of the superfruits – a “superberry” from the exotic highlands of Patagonia in Chile.
The maqui berry is a deeply purpled berry that has the highest ORAC value (a measure of antioxidant strength) among all fruits or berries on earth. Maqui berry is indeed the new king of the superfruits.
All berries contain many powerful nutrients, including the most powerful antioxidants. Each has special healthy effects on specific cells and specific organs, whilst being generally beneficial to all cells. Maqui berry is the best among them. Thus it deserves the name “superberry”. Maqui berry is so powerful that its ORAC value and antioxidant power measured by other methods exceed that of acai berry, wolfberry, mangosteen, pomegranate, noni, and all other superfruits.
Measuring antioxidant power
Although ORAC is the most common method used to measure and compare antioxidant power, no single antioxidant-potency assay method can accurately reflect the antioxidant power of any food or nutrient. Some of the other methods used are:
·Free radical scavenging properties by the diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical
·Ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP)
·Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC)
·Total Radical Trapping Potential (TRAP)
·Total Antioxidant Reactivity (TAR)
Total Radical Trapping Potential (TRAP) measures the amount of free radicals that can be trapped and therefore represent the total antioxidant capacity. Total Antioxidant Reactivity (TAR) indicates the capacity to decrease the steady state of free radical concentration.
According to a research published in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, maqui berry scored better for TRAP and TAR when compared to red wine, blackberry, strawberry, blueberry, cranberry, and raspberry.
Combining the results of all the methods used shows that among all fruits and berries, maqui berry has the most powerful antioxidants.
Anthocyanins and polyphenols
Maqui berries are high in anthocyanins, and polyphenols, shown in scientific studies to be powerful antioxidants, benefiting the whole body by protecting cells from free radicals, preventing oxidative stress, and promoting healthy response to inflammation.
Anthocyanins and polyphenols are the powerful antioxidants that also give the berries their dark purple color. They are strongly anti-inflammatory, reduce allergic reactions, and also reduce oxidised LDL (bad) cholesterol. They protect both large and small blood vessels from oxidative damage, and help prevent the microvascular complications in diabetes, as well as the macrovascular problems that lead to heart attacks and stroke.
Anthocyanins protect many body systems and have some of the strongest physiological effects of any plant compound. They are produced by plants for self-protection against solar radiation, diseases, and biological enemies. Patagonia has harsh cold weather and receives a high solar radiation, factors which explain the high content of anthocyanins in the maqui berries that grow in the region, far exceeding that of other superfruits.
With such a powerful package of nutrients working in synergy, we can expect protection from inflammation and cellular damage, a boost to our immune system, slowing down of ageing, and protection from or reversal of degenerative diseases.
From the experience of the native Mapuche Indians, who have traditionally used the maqui berry for centuries, we know it has powerful medicinal properties that are helpful for sore throats, diarrhea, ulcers, haemorrhoids, childbirth, fevers, tumours, and other ailments. The maqui leaves are known to have anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial effects.
Scientific studies have already shown the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting power of maqui berry. It promotes healthy joint function and ensures normal cell growth in the colon, pancreas, breast tissue, and other organs. In many instances, it is as effective as some drugs, yet it works immediately without side-effects or stomach discomfort.
More studies are in progress, and these will tell us more about maqui berry.
Antioxidants are very essential nutrients because they protect cells from free radical damage. Each cell is bombarded by over 10,000 free radicals every day, and we need abundant and powerful antioxidants to counter this onslaught.
Antioxidants work together in a cascade, so it is always good to take them in natural whole-food form (either eating the actual fruits or their juice or powder extracts) rather than eating synthetic antioxidants, or natural antioxidants extracted out from their original food-state because it is only in their natural whole-food state that the antioxidants occur with their partner nutrients.
The goodness of maqui berry is available to us through a concentrated juice extract, capsules or powdered drink pre-mix. In these formulations, the maqui berry is combined with other berries and fruits to further enhance the health benefits and enrich the taste.
Since the formulator of the first maqui superberry juice is a Malaysian, we are the first country outside of the United States to have this. The maqui superberry juice blend is so strong that we need to take only 15ml a day to ensure that we get the required antioxidant dose for the day, together with other antioxidants present in our diet (which should be rich in fruits and veggies as these contain plenty of antioxidants and important phytonutrients).
Many studies have shown that consuming fruits and vegetables with a high ORAC value may help slow the ageing process in both the body and the brain.
For good health, you can make maqui superberry juice part of your healthy diet.
Dr Amir Farid Isahak is a medical specialist who practises holistic, aesthetic and anti-ageing medicine. He is a qigong master and founder of SuperQigong. For further information, e-mail email@example.com.
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