Acai berries are just being discovered by people of the West, thanks to the warm endorsement of celebrities like Oprah and Rachel ray. But, ancient cultures knew about the health benefits of acai berries long before ‘modern science’ chanced upon them.
Recently there have been a lot of products offering an Acai Berry diet solution. Let me state it quite clearly: these claims are NOT founded on any science. Eating Acai berries for weight loss is not a wise choice. There’s nothing about these berries that promotes weight loss apart from them being otherwise healthy. The endorsement of Oprah and Rachel Ray did not extend to any of these Acai berry scams.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t eat it. If you read this article, you will learn exactly what is true about this berry and what is a mere marketing ploy.
The acai berry may look puny what with its extra large seed making up 80% of the fruit. But, that does not stop the fleshy pulp from delivering a whopping health punch! Let’s see what gives this punch its power.
Health benefits of Acai Berries
Acai berries are rich in anthocyanins – the same compounds that give red wine its goodness. But these berries surpass both grapes and blueberries in their concentration of anthocyanins. According to experts, acai berries have 30 times more anthocyanins than red wine!
Acai berries contain high concentrations of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. These fatty acids play an important role in lowering cholesterol levels and have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health. Since they can lower cholesterol levels in the blood, these berries help prevent arteriosclerosis.
Acai berries also contain compounds that have anti-aging effects. In fact, acai berries have been touted as one of the most effective anti-aging foods, thanks to the high concentration of anthocyanins and antioxidants contained in the berry.
Since acai berries have high concentrations of antioxidant minerals and vitamins, they have the ability to fight cancer causing free radicals in the body. (note, for another berry rich in antioxidants go here: Goji Berry health benefits)
Acai berries are one of the rare fruits to contain high concentration of proteins. Thus, they are excellent for muscle repair and maintenance.
Acai berries have very high fiber content. Due to this, they improve digestion, aid regular elimination and flush out toxins from the body.
Due to the natural sugars and minerals present in the fruit and its high levels of antioxidants, taking in acai berries may provide a fast energy fix. It is said that people start feeling energized within hours of taking the berries. This is because the antioxidant activity of these berries starts within two hours of consumption. Natural sugars in the fruit have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels and are therefore helpful for diabetic patients.
Acai berries are said to promote good sleep and are known for providing mental clarity and focus.
The vitamins in acai berries may strengthen the immune response of the body.
How to Eat Acai Berries
Acai berries are not very easy to find. They grow in countries like Peru and Brazil and so were mostly ignored until recently. You can now find them in various forms in health stores and online.
Raw berries are good to eat when they are fresh. Acai berries have a slightly bitter aftertaste like chocolate, so don’t be alarmed by it.
Acai berries may be frozen and preserved. If the fruit pulp is frozen immediately, it does not lose much of its nutritional benefits. These berries are commercially available in sodas, fruit juices and smoothies. Make sure that the Acai berry juice that you buy has a high concentration of the berry and not other foods.
The juice of acai berries may be put in salad dressings, fruits salads, smoothies and cocktails. Dehydrated acai berries are more commonly found in food stores.
The nutritional benefits of acai berries are impressive. Eating these berries is one of the easiest ways to stock up on essential nutrients. However, despite their many health benefits, it is much better to use a healthy diet plan such as the Every Other Day Diet by Jon Benson than to fall for any of the Acai weight loss products on the market these days.