Acai: The Proposed Miracle Superfood

Acai has taken America, amongst other countries, by storm. New acai berry products have emerged almost over night, being touted as a cure-all superfood. These claims include weight loss assistance, disease reversal, cancer prevention, skin and appearance enhancement, and energy boosting. Such claims create quite a bit of hope and optimism; however, they are not supported by enough research as of yet. What we do know, on the other hand; is that even though the acai berry may not be the magic food it has been claimed to be, it is an absolutely healthy choice of food that does have many benefits.

The acai fruit is a berry similar in appearance to that of a blueberry, and it grows on the acai palm tree in Central and South America, primarily along the Amazon River. This small berry has an edible pulp around a large seed and is typically purple in color. This fruit contains many anthocyanins and flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that help defend the body from detrimental free radicals and life’s stressors. Anthocyanin is a word derived from two Greek words: plant and blue. It is responsible for the red, purple, and blue hues in many fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The foods that are richest in these antioxidants are also the richest in color, such as blueberries, acai berries, red grapes and red wine; typically reflecting a dark purple or even close to black color. Studies have shown that acai berries are higher in antioxidants than most other foods including: cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and even blueberries.

While free radicals can ultimately cause damaging destruction on the body, they are fought off by antioxidants. Stress, pollutants, unhealthy foods, and other natural imbalances increase free radicals which can lead to heart disease and even cancer. They typically create a domino effect by stealing healthy electrons on the body and causing more cells to turn into free radicals. They also cause oxidative stress in the body, an effect similar to that of rust on a car. Because of this, antioxidants are much needed to maintain a healthy body.

Acai berries also contain 19 different amino acids, making up approximately 7.5% of the berry’s weight. Amino acids act as building blocks for proteins, and acai berries pack a healthy 8grams of protein in each 100gram serving. Acai berries are also rich with many nutritional vitamins: vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C and E are all present, in addition to magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and zinc. There are 3 known plant sterols found in acai, which are attributed to the proper health of heart and digestive functions. As well, acai is a great source of healthy Omega fats with nearly 50% of the berry being fat, and 74% of that fat coming from healthy unsaturated fats such as Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9. This fruit is also a good source of fiber.

Nutritionally, it seems the acai berry has it all. Highly important vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, amino acids, omegas, and vital antioxidants are all packed into these tiny tasty berries. When considering the overall effects of these powerful assets, it is fair to say that the acai berry is, indeed, the perfect choice for a superfood. There may not be tests that directly correlate the berry with specific disease-oriented cures, however; basing a healthy lifestyle of proper diet and exercise is a key to a healthy life in general. Forging that diet to include the potency of acai berries will surely optimize health and ensure the deliverance of many positive effects. The strength and well being promoted by acai berries has long been appreciated. Though they are not in any way a magical food, they really are just shy of little miracles thanks to all the amazing components they consist of. So, indulge happily. Acai, to your health.