The Acai Berry: by Editor
This little fruit, called the acai berry, has taken the weight loss, anti-aging, and nutritional circles by storm. It owes much of its popularity to powerful marketing efforts through the mediums of many media pipelines.
Oprah Winfrey has stated that acai berries are, "some of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world." Dr. Nicholas Perricone, a best-selling author and noted anti-aging expert, has stated that acai berries are among the greatest super foods on the planet.
On his television show, Dr. Oz has proclaim that the acai berry has "twice the antioxidant content of the blueberry." The New York Times has even written a piece acai berries heralding them as extremely healthy fruit. Additionally, there are websites and supplement companies that claim acai berries can cure every disease known to mankind, etc.
Is this little berry all hype or does it contain the tremendous nutritional value that millions of people proclaim? There is a lot of information about this wonderful fruit that exists, but it is difficult to differentiate what is scientifically valid and what is not. The intent of this article is to give concrete facts regarding the acai berry and to separate fact from fiction so that the reader can be enlightened.
The acai berry, pronounced (ah-sigh-EE), comes from the jungles of Central and South America. It grows on a tree that is of the Amazonian palm species. It has been a staple in the diets of many native Central and South Americans for thousands of years. The acai is a small round berry about 1 inch in circumference. 90% of the berry is seed while the remaining 10% is pulp and possesses a deep rich purple color.
There is a tremendous amount of acai berry information that buttresses its claims as a superfood. The following illustrates some of these statistics:
Antioxidants - Antioxidants are powerful agents that assist in fighting free radicals. Free radicals damage many cells of the body by way of oxidative stress. The end results is disease and aging.
By eating a diet rich in antioxidants, there is scientific evidence that the aging process can be slowed and disease can be prevented. These antioxidants assist by neutralizing these free radicals and therefore the chances of specific diseases are nullified.
Although research results vary, acai berries rank very high on the ORAC scale. The ORAC scale, which is an acronym for the "Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity" scale, was developed by Dr. Guohua Cao in 1992. This is a scientific endeavor in which a specially designed instrument is used to measure a substance' antioxidant capacity.
This little purple berry contains powerhouse antioxidants such as flavonoids, anthocyanins, phelonics, and many others. Anthocyanins give the purple, blue, and red hues in many nutrient-rich fruits, flowers, and vegetables.
Acai berries, blackberries, blueberries, purple bell peppers, and red wine, etc. have a deep rich color to them. Anthocyanins are responsible for this color. These fruits and vegetables contain extremely high levels of anthocyanins.
The antioxidants found in the pulp are some of the most dense known to the fruit world.
Proteins - Acai berries possess 19 different muscle building amino acids. Nearly 8% of the weight of the pulp contains these proteins and amino acids. There are nearly 10 g of protein in 100 g in the pulp.
The wonderful fact about the amino acids coming from this berry is that they are organic fruit proteins. Meaning that it does not produce any cholesterol while it is being digested. Unlike animal protein, acai berry protein is easier to process in the digestive system subsequently sending the proteins directly to the muscles.
Vitamins and Minerals - It is chocked full of many vitamins and minerals. Niacin, copper, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and calcium are all present in this nutritious fruit. Additionally, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and E are all found in acai berries.
Fiber - The acai berry contains a reasonable amount of fiber. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate derived from fruits and vegetables that cannot be digested. This aids in the digestive system and helps one feel fuller which can lead to greater weight loss.
Healthy Fats - Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid), Omega-6 (linoleic acid), and Omega-9 (oleic acid) are all found in this nutritional fruit. The Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are not synthesized in the body and therefore must be supplied by diet.
Healthy cells, proper hormonal balance, functioning metabolism, and peak performance brain processes can be realized by having these essential fatty acids in one's diet.
The Omega fats also assist in lowering unhealthy LDL cholesterol while maintaining healthy HDL cholesterol.
Plant Sterols - These function in the intestines to lower LDL cholesterol absorption. Some research suggests that plant sterols can assist in reducing coronary disease and promote a healthy digestive tract.
The acai berry contains 3 of these plant sterols:
Obviously the purest way to ingest the acai berry is by eating it raw from the palm tree. However, one would have to live in the jungles of Central and South America to do so. Hence, there are other ways in which it can be consumed. It can be purchased in a powder form, tablet form, capsules, liquid form, and chews.
One should do their due diligent homework regarding supplement companies and to make sure that they are offering a quality product. Many claim that it will cure all diseases and ailments, but this is unfounded. Accurate acai berry information should be understood before investing in this product.
The acai berry has exploded in popularity of recent times. Celebrity notables such as Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, and Dr. Oz have all praised this small purple colored berry as one the most nutritious, age fighting fruits that could ever be ingested.
There has been some scientific research to validate much of the claims of the acai berry. However, there hasn't been extensive research to validate all of the claims. Nonetheless, it is a delicious tasting berry packed with tremendous value that will greatly enhance the health and nutritional needs of any diet.
This wonder berry is a much talked about fruit and it possesses some tremendous nutritional benefits.
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