More and more people are beginning to experience the health benefits of superfoods like goji berries, noni and acai berries. A superfood can be defined as a food that has a high nutritional value relative to the calories it contains. Acai berries are considered one of the best berries for their incredible antioxidant properties and are said to have many other health benefits.
Unfortunately, this has led to many supplement manufacturers and distributors making shocking claims about the berry’s miraculous benefits. Whenever a product becomes as popular as the acai berry, false claims seem to be everywhere. But before we look into that, let’s learn more about acai berries.
The acai berry is a dark purple fruit shaped like a grape. These berries grow in huge clusters near the tops of palm trees in the Amazon rainforest. Each acai berry contains only 10% of the fruit and pulp and one large seed, with no benefit whatsoever. Harvesting the fruit is very laborious because the trees have no branches and each bunch of berries needs to be cut and felled by hand to preserve the fruit and pulp.
The acai berry has evolved from obscurity in the rainforests to Brazil's cities, where it's blended into wholesome smoothies. Surfers and athletes claim it boosts their energy levels. Eventually, scientists caught on and discovered that acai berries do have some beneficial properties.
What are the benefits of acai berry (acai)?
When acai is processed and ground into a powder, its flavor is often described as a fruity red wine flavor with hints of chocolate. The acai berry's nutritious pulp and peel are packed with antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, making it a nearly perfect energizing fruit.
The popularity of the acai berry is mainly due to its very high concentration of antioxidants. Simply put, antioxidants are molecules that prevent other molecules from oxidizing. Oxidation produces free radicals, which can damage cells and glands in our bodies, making us more susceptible to illness and aging. Since our bodies are exposed to various toxins and produce trillions of free radicals, it is important to take steps to reduce the effects of free radicals in the body. An antioxidant-rich diet is the first step, and introducing acai berries into your eating habits is another possible way to prevent free radical damage.
Acai berries are recognized as one of the foods with the highest ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) in the world. ORAC is a measure of an antioxidant’s ability to neutralize free radicals. The higher the value, the better the body can use it to fight free radicals. Acai berries have more than twice the antioxidant content of blueberries and nearly ten times that of grapes.
The antioxidant anthocyanins found in acai berries are great for heart health. Heart disease is increasingly becoming a problem in the world, and finding natural ways to keep your cardiovascular system healthy is a great option. Additionally, anthocyanins help prevent cholesterol from oxidizing. When circulating cholesterol, regardless of whether its levels are high or low, is oxidized, it can stick to artery walls, causing artery narrowing. The buildup of plaque can eventually lead to high blood pressure, which is certainly dangerous.
- The fiber in acai berry skin and pulp can aid digestion. Fiber can help prevent or relieve constipation and help support a healthy cardiovascular system.
- Acai berries are naturally rich in essential fatty acids, with a fatty acid profile similar to that of olive oil. The link between essential fatty acids and heart health and a healthy nervous system is well documented.
- Acai berries contain amino acids that help promote muscle performance, energy production, endurance and strength.
- Acai berries contain as much vitamin C as blueberries and are a source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and E. It is also a source of calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper.
With such an amazing nutritional profile, it’s easy to see why acai berries are so good for your health and may help slow down the aging process.
Why is the acai berry getting so much hype?
The health benefits of acai berries are unquestionable. Unfortunately, when a product becomes very popular, this can lead to misleading information and claims.
First, the biggest target area for acai berries is weight loss. There are many websites that claim that taking acai berry in liquid or capsule form can help with weight loss. It is estimated that a large number of adults are considering losing weight at any given time. So is it surprising that Acai is targeting this audience?
In fact, acai berries contribute to the body's overall health and should not be relied upon solely for weight loss. A healthy lifestyle that includes a variety of vegetables, high-quality proteins, and fruits, along with some form of exercise, will go a long way. I'm not denying that acai berry may have benefits, but it shouldn't be relied upon solely for weight loss. Yes, antioxidants do help neutralize the byproducts of fat burning, ensuring that the body can continue to burn fat. The fiber content of acai berries will help cleanse the colon, which is one of the steps in achieving weight loss since many of us have slow digestion.
Acai berries are expensive because the berries must be freeze-dried within 24 hours to keep their nutritional content intact. Freeze-drying preserves the essence of the acai berry skin and pulp, but not the juice.
Many products containing acai berries use only small amounts of acai berries and add other fillers or juices to the product.
There are many manufacturers claiming that acai berries can help treat arthritis, aid depression, and increase libido. Frankly, I'm skeptical of these claims.
So what are the best acai supplements?
There are obviously many acai berry supplements on the market, and acai berry powder is recommended. This product offers 100% organic acai berry powder that has been immediately freeze-dried to preserve the active ingredients and is not over-processed, which often causes the degradation of its active ingredients. To summarize, acai berries:
- Helps increase antioxidant levels and helps neutralize harmful free radicals.
- Boost your energy levels.
- Support your immune system.
- Helps promote a healthy digestive system.