Sunday, November 20, 2011

Superfood Sunday: Antioxidant Superfood Powerhouse #1

Wow!  I just realized that I haven't posted on Superfood Sunday for the whole month of November.  I guess my Sundays have been full of activities, keeping me from the computer.  So, I've been thinking a lot about antioxidants lately.  The books that I've been reading on longevity really stress antioxidants for several reasons.  First, modern society exposes us to a huge amount of free radicals, more than humans have ever been exposed to in history.  Second, our food is highly deficient in antioxidants.  Our ancestors ate a wide variety of wild food; in fact, modern hunter/gatherers have been documented consuming up to 75 different plants in one day.  That's a far cry from the 5 to 10 domestic plants we all eat every day. 

So, I'd like to focus on food that is really high in antioxidants (polyphenols, anthocyanins, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, selenium, etc.) for the next few Sundays.  In one of my first posts, I did mention my favorite high-antioxidant berry, Camu Camu.  Berries (especially wild) are notorious for having a high ORAC value, which is the system of measurement for antioxidants.  Recently, I discovered a berry that is higher in antioxidants than any berry that's ever been tested.  The Maqui Berry. 

Indigenous to Patagonia (the temperate forests of southern Chile and Argentina), the Maqui Berry (Aristotelia chilensis) or Chilean Wineberry is a deep purple berry that is in the same family as the blueberry.  Because it is a relatively new superfood to the world market, limited tests have been administered.  However, some companies are already reporting ORAC levels that are up to 10 times that of a blueberry.  The purple pigment in the berry comes from the polyphenols called anthocyanins, one of the most powerful of all antioxidants.  Research shows that these antioxidants protect the immune system, clean up free radicals, protect the DNA, prevent poor eyesight, and a host of other benefits. 

Unlike other wild berries, Maqui berries have a wonderful taste that doesn't require masking of the flavor.  A cross between a blueberry and an Acai berry, the Maqui berry has a rich, sweet flavor that blends well in smoothies or can be sprinkled on raw granola or coconut kefir. sells a high-quality, freeze-dried, organic Maqui berry in powder or whole berries.  I highly recommend trying this amazing superfood.  Be healthy!

Mystic Merman

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