The acai berry has received a position in modern medicine and science like no other berry or even fruit ever has. Find out more information about its nutrients and health benefits.
Sitting high up there on the pedestal for being a superior natural health food, the demand for this berry is humongous.
A whole new aspect of the Internet marketing world has started around this inconspicuous-looking purplish berry.
What is it that makes the acai so important? Here are some answers.
The acai berry has become the most celebrated berry in the world today.
If you just look around on the Internet for it, you are sure to find a lot of reports on it being called as the number one fruit by celebrities of international repute.
There is still a legal tangle going on over the issue. But, whether these claims of acai being called as the number one fruit by a celebrity are true or not, one thing stands clear… the acai berry definitely has some of the best health benefits that nature has to offer.
Acai Berries—What Are They?
The acai (written with accents as açaí and pronounced as ah-saa–yee) is a berry that grows naturally in the Brazil region of the Amazonian rainforest.
There are seven different kinds of acai berries, all of which grow on the Euterpe genus of palms.
The palm which produces the acai is a tall palm, that can grow to a height of up to 100 feet (30 meters).
The acai berries grow in the form of clusters on the palm, and these clusters are not quite different from grape clusters.
They hang in a similar manner and are almost the same size as well. They are only different in their color, which is a dark purple. These berries are seeded, one seed in each berry.
Acai Berries—Traditional Roots
The acai berry forms a part of the traditional diet of the Brazilian people, especially the Caboclo populations of the country.
In fact, more than 42% of the total dietary intake of these people composes of the acai berry.
People of these tribes were known to go on hunting trips for long hours without feeling hungry.
Looking back, medical experts believe that it is the appetite-suppressing properties of the acai berry that allowed people to hunt for long hours without feeling the pangs of hunger.
Acai has been consumed in various forms in Brazil over the ages. One of the popular traditional forms was cuia, where acai was mixed with gourd and served.
Different gourds were used for this preparation. Another popular traditional dish is a muesli-like preparation with granola, which is simply called as acai in the bowl.
Acai Berries—Health Benefits
There is a very long list of health benefits ascribed to the acai berry. All of these are due to the high antioxidant content in it.
The purple fruit gets its color because of a host of plant nutrients, which have antioxidant property.
These are mostly anthocyanins, which contribute immensely to the nutritional value of the berry.
This has its positive effect on the palm where the berry grows and on the humans that consume it as well.
Since the wear and tear on the body are brought about by free radicals that enter the body through the things we eat and drink, the acai berry’s antioxidant action in eliminating these free radicals is worth mentioning.
By eliminating this effect, the acai berry improves the functioning of the body.
It is able to improve the various metabolic activities that take place in the body.
The body can work better at its basic functions, and also repairs the wear and tear that inevitably happens to it over time.
The acai berry contains very high levels of dietary fiber which can help your digestive system to become more efficient.
Less crap is allowed to fester and ferment in your digestive tract and stomach.
This is important because most people do not take on board sufficient dietary fiber in their normal diet which means that over time, a significant amount of undigested food gets left in your stomach.
The following are some of the benefits that have been ascribed to the acai berry:
By improving digestion, the acai berry can bring about a significant amount of weight loss.
This happens in various ways. Firstly, the antioxidant properties of the acai berry help in improving the digestive metabolism of the body due to which food gets digested faster.
This takes care of the fact that fat is burned faster as well.
The acai can also suppress hunger, which is a direct method for losing weight.
Additionally, the antioxidants present within the berry can remove obstinate fat from the body, which has been accumulated over the ages.
The acai berry is also helpful in preventing early signs of aging.
In people who have a lot of free radical action in their body, the wear and tear of the skin take place faster.
Hence, they begin to develop signs such as wrinkles, scars, crows’ feet, dark spots, etc. on the skin.
However, by removing the free radicals, the repair mechanism of the skin becomes faster. The skin then becomes more youthful and clearer.
The acai berry helps in improving mental concentration.
The berry can stimulate a person to think better and can give them relief from psychological disorders such as stress and depression.
Acai berry is also a cleanser of the body, especially a colon cleanser.
The colon can accumulate a lot of waste undigested material over the years and this can cause several problems in the end.
By improving the body’s metabolism, the acai berry helps in the elimination of these substances from the body.
There is also some talk about how the acai berry can improve the sexual life of a person.
It can help people gain sexual stamina.
To an extent, it is also claimed to be of help for men who are looking for improvements in their body such as penis enhancement.
Recently, there have been claims that the acai berry can help fight cancer.
Though not substantiated by the FDA yet, there is some positive research going on in this regard.
Brazilian Superfruit Found to Kill Cancer Cells
A recently completed University of Florida study has added to the buzz surrounding the Brazilian acai berry. The study is one of the first to research the many claims attributed to the acai fruit.
In its study, six different chemical extracts were made from acai berry pulp, and each extract was prepared in seven concentrations.
At least 4 of the extracts killed a great many cancer cells when applied for 24 hours or more.
Anywhere from 35 percent to 86 percent of the cancer cells were destroyed, depending on the particular extract and concentration.
According to Stephen Talcott, an assistant professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the study showed extracts from acai berries triggered a self-destruct response (apoptosis) in up to 86 percent of leukemia cells tested.
Talcott, however, cautioned against reading too much into the results, noting that the tests were run against cancer cell cultures and not on human test subjects.
Still, the results are exciting. In the last year, the Brazilian berry has really taken off in the United States.
It has also caught the attention of many companies who are now creating products that include the acai berry.
Although acai berries are thought to be one of the richest fruit sources of antioxidants, other antioxidant-rich fruits have been shown to kill cancer cells in similar studies.
Antioxidants are substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radical damage is theorized to be one of the main causes of cancer.
A sufficient amount of antioxidants is thought by many to short-circuit this process by interacting with and stabilizing the free radicals and may stopping the damage that they do to healthy cells.
Experts are divided on just what effect antioxidants have on cancer cells in the human body, because of the many other lifestyle factors that have to be factored into the equation.
Many anecdotal claims have been made for the acai berry. And traditionally Indians in the Brazilian rain forest have used it in ways as diverse as food, house thatching, drink, diarrhea, jaundice, fevers, and as a treatment for many other health diseases.
The University of Florida study is a welcome step towards getting away from some of the claims of acai and subjecting it to controlled studies.
“A lot of claims are being made, but most of them haven’t been tested scientifically,” Talcott said.
“We are just beginning to understand the complexity of the acai berry and its health-promoting effects.”
However, one should remember that there is no FDA approval for most of these claims, as is the case with many of the berries that are counted as health foods.
In any case, being a natural product, there is no reason to worry about any side-effects.
Acai Berries—Where to Get Them
One of the biggest problems with the acai berry is that it is highly perishable. After it is plucked from the tree, it needs to be consumed within 24 hours.
The degradation process begins after that and then the berry becomes useless. That is the reason why this berry wasn’t found out of Brazil much so far.
Notwithstanding, now, several enterprising businesspeople have started preparing products from the acai berry that have a high state of preservation.
This includes freeze-dried powders, pulps, juices and so on. In most cases, acai is mixed with other healthful berries in these products so as to enhance their value.
If you are living outside Brazil, then the best way to get acai is through the Internet. Products are shipped to various destinations around the globe by these companies.
Recently, several stores have started stocking acai products as well. Costs of these products differ. Most of them are priced between $30 and $40 for a month’s supply.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
Health Benefits of Acai Berries
- These are mostly anthocyanins
- It has antioxidants
- It is able to improve the various metabolic activities
Benefits Ascribed to Acai Berry
- The acai berry can bring about a significant amount of weight loss.
- The acai can also suppress hunger.
- The acai berry is also helpful in preventing early signs of aging.
- The acai berry helps in improving mental concentration.
- Acai berry is also a cleanser of the body.
- The acai berry can improve the sexual life of a person
- The acai berry can help fight cancer.
Brazilian Superfruit Found to Kill Cancer Cells
The study showed extracts from acai berries triggered a self-destruct response (apoptosis) in up to 86 percent of leukemia cells tested.
– Are there acai berries products available in your area?
– Do you consume acai berries?
– Are there other berries you can gobble up instead?
– Are there alternative antioxidants source you can eat?
HERE ARE THE DOWNLOAD LINKS: