I keep getting these pop up adds for “the amazing nutritional supplement that made me loose 40lbs in a month” and knowing this is totally crazy and not healthy I usually just ignore them. This time however I chose to follow the link where a lady put up her blog about her weight loss story as a way of selling Acai Berry Supplements. It was obviously a sales scam, but it made me curious, so here is the real information on Acai.
What is Acai?
Acai is a dark purple fruit that grows in the Amazon rainforest. It grows at the top of a type of palm tree much like a coconut does(wikipedia). The natives eat it in its berry form, mash it up to a pudding consistence, or add it to other foods for meals. It has been used by the natives in a variety of ways, and they believe it to increase their health and vitality (antioxidant-fruits.com).
What is inside the Acai Berry? Why is it good for me?
The Acai fruit has many components that are believed to promote health and wellness, though testing on the exact results and benefits of consumption are still under study. The components thought to increase health and vitality are Antioxidants, Vitamins, Electrolytes, Protein, Fiber, and Omega-6 and Omega-9 Fatty Acids.
Antioxidants have the power to lower your risk for developing heart disease, certain types of cancer, and neurological disease. Antioxidants are found in most fruits and vegetables, but some contain more than others. Acai is one of the highest antioxidant fruits in the world. Acai has a higher antioxidant level than grapes (ORAC varries between 736 – 6,800) and blueberries. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants and one of the many types of antioxidant found in Acai. Anthocyanins are the antioxidant credited with why a glass of red wine on occasion can be a health boost to your heart and decrease your risk for cancer. Acai has between 10 and 30 times the amount of Anthocyanins you typically find in red wine. (http://www.powersupplements.com/acai/acai-orac.html )
The Acia Berry is also packed with vitamins. All people need good vitamins to maintain a healthy body, and Acai is packed full of vitamins. Vitamins B2, B3, C, D, K and E are all present in Acai (Long, Joseph). In addition, Acai has many electrolytes including potassium, calcium and magnesium, and the minerals copper and zinc.
Protein and Fiber:
Both protein and carbohydrates are necessary in every balanced diet, yet some types are better than others. Protein can be found in beans, grains, and yes even veggies & fruit contain protein. The protein that comes from these sources is currently viewed in the medical field as better for your over all health and well being than protein that comes from animal flesh and animal products. Once again it is all in moderation that counts. Likewise, fiber is a ‘good’ carbohydrate and adds many health benefits that other carbohydrates such as jelly-beans and white bread simply can not provide. Acai has both this healthy form of protein in a small amount, and fiber. (Diabetic Nutrition)
Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid that is considered a “good” fat and necessary for optimal health when taken in moderation. This fatty acid is credited with reducing the aches and pains of rheumatoid arthritis, relieving the discomforts of PMS and endometriosis, reducing the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis. It can also help to clear up acne, and prevent or improve diabetic neuropathy. In some cases it has been used in HIV/AIDS and cancer treatment. Most people do not have trouble finding this essential fatty acid as it is available in many forms of commonly used foods. (savvy vegetarian.com)
Omega-9 is another fatty acid found in Acai Berry. It has been credited with lowering cholesterol levels, reducing the risks of artery hardening, improving blood sugar maintenance in diabetics, improving the function of your immune system, and protecting the body from certain types of cancer.
Long, Joseph Nutrients in Acai Berry Online publication at: http://www.articlesbase.com/nutrition-articles/nutrients-in-acai-berry-793370.html