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Acai
Overview

The acai berry has been well known for years in Brazil, but it is only recently become popular in America. Scientists, nutritionists and countless media outlets are all espousing the health benefits of its superior nutritional content.

The fruit is only 10 percent of the actual berry with the other 90 percent made up of the seed or pit. When the pulp is separated from the seed a thick edible puree is produced.

The Wall Street Journal published an article stating that in health bars all over the country, the acai berry is replacing wheatgrass as the beverage of choice. It has become the newest addition to weight loss regiments with scientific evidence proving that several key ingredients in the acai berry suppress the appetite, build muscle tone and raise metabolism.

This newfound popularity of the acai berry has been reinforced by best-selling author, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, in his book “The Perricone Promise.” He is known for his anti-aging expertise and in appearances on TV shows such as Oprah even declared it the “#1 super food in the world.” This may seem like an exaggeration but research studies are revealing that this tiny berry is actually packed with extraordinary amounts of antioxidants. The acai berry is now credited with containing the most optimal nutritional value of any known fruit.

The acai berry grows in the Amazon Rainforest. Grape sized and small, the berry has been harvested by natives and used as part of their diet for centuries. Unlike some sources of antioxidants the acai berry actually has a delicious taste that has been described as a blend of berries and chocolate.

 
arw Support the immune system
arw Aid in weight loss
arw Improve digestion
arw Reduce pain and soreness
arw Promote healthy sleep
arw Increase energy & stamina
arw Increase libido
arw Fight cancer & disease
arw Lower blood pressure
arw Fight aging & inflammation
arw Protect against heart disease
What is Acai Berry ?
The acai berry is a small grape-sized berry that grows in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil. Natives of the region have harvested this berry as part of their diet for hundreds of years.

The much desired acai fruit is only 10% of the actual berry. The other 90% is made up of the seed or pit. The acai berry is harvested by the thousands and put through a process that separates the pulp from the seed to produce a thick, edible puree.


Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a method used by the USDA of measuring antioxidant capacities of different foods. As you can see below, other popular fruits don’t even come close to the antioxidant power of the acai berry.

acai

Benefits / uses

Acai Berry Increases Energy & Stamina
Jiu-jitsu fighters and soccer players in Brazil often have a large meal of acai berry pulp before a competition. Why? Aside from being a perfect source of nutrition and carbohydrates, the high levels of antioxidants in the acai berry lead to a drastic increase in energy levels and stamina. Taken on a regular basis, the acai berry strengthens the immune system to the point where the body isn’t constantly fighting off infections and disease. This frees up even more energy for other uses.
Acai Berry Fights Cancer & Disease
Free radicals are nasty little molecules that come from pollutants, pesticides, cigarette smoke, etc. They attack the cells in the body, cause diseases, and can even damage DNA. Antioxidants are the body’s fuel for strengthening cells and fighting off free radicals. As you know by now, the acai berry is jam packed with these powerful antioxidants.

Acai Berry Fights Obesity
The acai berry's natural combination of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, amino acids, phytosterols, and amino acids work together to help your body function better, process food easier, and burn fat more efficiently. It's one of the best things you can put into your body to keep it healthy. Subsequently, when your body is healthy and well-balanced, it will be much easier for you to reach your perfect weight.

Acai Berry Boosts the Immune System
The powerful antioxidants in the acai berry antioxidants in the acai berry, combined with the essential fatty acids, work as an anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent while simultaneously boosting the immune system.

Acai Berry Maintains Good Cholesterol & Fights Heart Disease
The essential fatty acids and antioxidants in the acai berry fight bad cholesterol (LDL) while simultaneously maintaining good cholesterol (HDL) and fighting heart disease. The same fatty acids also aid in the absorbency of necessary vitamins like Vitamin A, E, D, and K.
The acai berry also contains phytosterols, a group of plant phytochemicals that reduce cholesterol absorption in the intestines. Studies show that these plant compounds can reduce cholesterol in humans by up to 15%


Acai Berry Improves Vision
British pilots in World War II reportedly ate large amounts of bilberry jam before dangerous missions as they swore it drastically improved their night vision. Billberry is also popular in Japan where it is used to relieve eye strain from excessive staring at computer monitors. Modern scientists have tracked these results down to a rare type of antioxidant in the bilberry called “anthocyanins”. Not surprisingly, these antioxidants are also found in the acai berry. On a somewhat related note, other antioxidants in the acai berry fight various eye related diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Acai Berry Helps With Digestion
The acai berry contains enzymes and other vital nutrients that aid in the digestion process. A functioning digestive system will not be plagued with acid reflux and other ailments. Acai also contains a healthy amount of fiber which helps your digestive tract process food.

Acai Berry Promotes a More Peaceful Sleep
Your ability to sleep can be frequently affected by stressed muscles. Acai contains amino acids that relax your muscles and allow for a more restful sleep. It also contains Vitamin B which helps to regulate the dopamine and serotonin (both neurotransmitters that impact sleep) production in the brain.

Possible Side effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions:
The berry by itself is side effect free, however caution should be used if the acai product also contains guarana. Guarana, another Amazon Rainforest “wonder plant” is a syrup, known for its stimulant and appetite suppressant properties. Because it contains caffeine, those prone to caffeine sensitivities should avoid acai products that are mixed with guarana.

People taking high blood pressure medication have voiced concerns regarding the possible side effects of adding the acai berry to their regiment. Again, as long at it is not mixed with guarana it is completely safe.

In order to avoid side effects and the ingesting of harmful ingredients, stay with a high quality supplement that contains only acai berry.


Research studies / References
arw Murrieta RSS, Dufour DL, Siqueira AD (1999). "Food consumption and subsistence in three Caboclo populations on Marajo Island, Amazonia, Brazil". Human Ecology 27: 455–75.
doi:10.1023/A:1018779624490.
arw Bounds, Gwendolyn (19 March 2007). "Running the Show". The Wall Street Journal.
arw Engels, Gayle (2010). "Açaí". HerbalGram, American Botanical Council 86: 1–2.
arw "Amazon Case Study". Retrieved 16 September 2005.
arw McDonnell, Patrick J. (21 September 2008). "Humble Berry Now a Global Superfood". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA).
arw "‘Superfood’ Promoted on Oprah’s Site Robs Amazon Poor of Staple". 14 May 2009. Retrieved 30 Dec 2009.
arw a b Silva, S. & Tassara, H. (2005). Fruit Brazil Fruit. São Paulo, Brazil, Empresa das Artes
arw Dyer, A. P. 1996. Latent energy in Euterpe oleracea. Biomass Energy Environ., Proc. Bioenergy Conf. 9th.
arw "Açaí Fruit". Retrieved 2010-04-21.
arw Plotkin MJ, Balick MJ (Apr 1984). "Medicinal uses of South American palms". J Ethnopharmacol 10 (2): 157–79. doi:10.1016/0378-8741(84)90001-1. PMID 6727398.