Benefits of Acai BerryPublished:October 30th, 2011
Acai berry is a reddish-purple fruit of the acai palm tree. It is about 1 inch long and native to Central and South America. Research in acai berry is focused on its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help prevent disease related to oxidative stress such as heart disease and cancer.
Acai berry is rich in anthocyanins and flavonoids. Anthocyanins cause the bluish hue in many fruits. Anthocyanins and flavonoids are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help defend the body against life’s stressors and play a role in body’s cell protection system. Antioxidants specifically work against free radicals. Free radicals are harmful byproducts that cause oxidation of a normal cell. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants neutralizes free radicals and slow down aging process.
According to Dr. Perricone’s website acai berry has
- A remarkable concentration of antioxidants that help combat premature aging, with 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine.
- A synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health.
- An almost perfect essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, vital to proper muscle contraction and regeneration.
Studies have shown that the acai fruit pulp has a very high antioxidant capacity with even more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, or blueberry. There are several studies that show the benefit of following a diet rich in antioxidants. There is no doubt that berries and other fruits are a key part of any healthy diet promoting weight loss.
The acai berry also contains phytosterols, a group of plant phytochemicals that reduce cholesterol absorption in the intestines. Studies have shown that these plant compounds can reduce cholesterol in humans by up to 15 percent. The fatty acid content in acai is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid, which helps omega-3 oils penetrate the cell membrane. Together they help make cell membranes more agile. By keeping the cell membrane supple, all hormones, neurotransmitter and insulin receptors function more efficiently. This is particularly important as high insulin levels create an inflammatory state which speeds up aging process.
The acai berry also helps with the digestive process. The high fiber content in acai berry promotes normal colon functions. It also contains enzymes and other vital nutrients that aid in the digestion process which reduces the occurrence of acid reflux.
Acai oil is used in some cosmetics and beauty products. Acai oil is a big source of antioxidants. The antioxidant levels of acai oil remains high even after its processed and stored for a long time. Studies show that acai oil may be a safe alternative to other tropical oils used in beauty products such as facial and body creams, anti-aging skin therapies, shampoos and conditioners, and other products.
One minor complication that has been reported is for people with pollen allergies, may find that their condition is aggravated somewhat by acai berries. If you have known allergies to berries, you may want to avoid this fruit. The number of reports has been very small and the symptoms have been minor. As always if you are unsure about your reaction to acai berry then talk to a medical doctor or nutritionist.