Written by Laura Isherwood
The Acai Berry
Now more than ever, the world is experiencing the health benefits of superfoods, including Goji, Noni fruit and Acai berries. Typically, superfoods cen be defined as a substance which offers superior nutritional value with the amount of calories that they contain. Acai berries are considered one of the top superfoods due to the high antioxidant properties, alongside having numerous health benefits.
The Acai berry is a dark purple coloured fruit and shaped like a grape. They grow in huge clusters on the tops of palm trees. The berry contains 10% fruit and pulp and a large seed, to which has no benefits. Therefore, harvesting is fairly laborious since the tree has no branches and the clusters need to be cut manually in order to preserve the main ingredients.
Due to the high demand and mass of superfoods, numerous manufacturers and distributors are making outrageous claims about the wonders of this berry. Acai evolved from obscurity of the rain forests and was served within health-giving smoothies. Surfers and sports people claimed it boost their energy levels, it was later revealed that the berry does have scientific beneficial properties.
The taste of Acai berries is often described as a fruity red wine flavour with chocolate overtones. They are highly perishable and therefore should be consumed within 24 hours. Within the nutritional pulp and skin, Acai berries are packed with antioxidants, amino acids, fibre, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals making it a near perfect energising fruit.
The popularity of Acai is primarily due to its very high concentration of antioxidants. Briefly, antioxidants are molecules that prevent the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation produces free radicals which can damage the cells and glands within our bodies making us more prone to disease and ageing. Since our bodies are exposed to a variety of toxins and produce trillions of free radicals, it is important to take steps to reduce the effect of free radicals in the body. Having a diet rich in antioxidants is the first step and introducing Acai into your regime is another possible way of preventing free radical damage.
The antioxidants found in Acai berry, anthocyanins, are excellent for heart health. Additionally, anthocyanins are also good at preventing the oxidation of cholesterol. When circulating cholesterol, no matter whether you have high or low levels, gets oxidised, it sticks to the walls of arteries causing their narrowing. This build-up of plaque eventually leads to high blood pressure which is of course dangerous.
#1 The fibre found in Acai berry skin and pulp can aid digestion. Fibre can help prevent or relieve constipation and may help support a healthy cardiovascular system.
#2 Acai is naturally high in essential fatty acids having a fatty acid profile similar to olive oil. The link between essential fatty acids and heart health and a healthy nervous system is well documented.
#3 Acai berries contain amino acids which help promote muscle performance, energy production, endurance and strength.
#4 Acai berries contain as much Vitamin C as blueberries and is also 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 is not difficult to understand why Acai berries can be beneficial for your health and may help slow down the ageing process.
Which Acai Product Should You Use?
There are obviously many acai supplements on the market however the one that I recommend is 100% Pure Organic Acai by Myprotein. This product provides 100% Organic Acai Berry powder which has been freeze-dried instantly to preserve the active components and is not overly processed which often results in degradation of its active components.
To Summarise, Acai Berry:
#1 Helps to increase your antioxidant levels to aid in neutralising damaging free radicals.
#2 Boosts your energy levels.
#3 Supports your immune system.
#4 Helps to promote a healthy digestive system.