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Health benefits of acai berry

  • Acai berry has very good levels of anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have health benefiting and disease preventing properties.

  • Unlike other berries and fruits, acai has high caloric values and fats. 100 g of berries provide about 80-250 cal depending up on the preparation and serving methods. In fact, fresh acai berry has been the staple nutritious diet of native Amazonians for centuries. There is no research evidence that the use of these berries will help you lose weight.
  • Acai berry contains many polyphenolic anthocyanin compounds like resveratrol, cyanidin-3-galactoside, ferulic acid, delphinidin, petunidin as well as astringent pro-anthocyanidin tannins like epicatechin, protocatechuic acid and ellagic acid. Scientific studies on these compounds suggests that these compounds have been claimed to act as anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer functions by virtue of their anti-free radical fighting actions In addition tannins are known to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic properties.

  • Preliminary research studies suggest that ellagic acid in acai has anti-proliferative properties due to its ability of directly inhibiting the DNA binding of certain carcinogens, including nitrosamines toxins in the food.

  • Acai berry is also rich in medium chain fatty acids like oleic acid (omega-9) and linoleic acid (omega-6). These compounds help reduce LDL-cholesterol level and raise good HDL-cholesterol levels in the body as well as help prevent heart disease. In addition, they help prevent skin dryness by maintaining adequate moisture in the skin

  • Acai pulp has good levels of dietary fiber. Good fiber in the diet helps remove cholesterol in the stools.

  • ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of acai berry is thought to be at mid-level range for fruits, higher than that of oranges but less than pomegranate. USDA so far not validated exact ORAC value of acai.

  • Acai berries contain good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

  • They are rich in B-complex vitamins and vitamin-K. Contain very good amounts of niacin, vitamin B-6 and riboflavin. These vitamins are function as co-factors and help body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Acai uses in traditional medicine

  • Acai extracts has been used by Amazon basin tribes as treatment remedy for diarrhea, parasitic infections, hemorrhages, and ulcer treatment.

  • A kind of decoction obtained from crushed seeds has been used in the treatment of fever.

  • Decoction obtained from the roots has been used in the treatment of menstrual pain, liver diseases, malaria in Peruvian culture.

Here are some serving tips:

  • Acai juice is a refreshing drink commonly obtained from macerating ripe fruits. To prepare the juice the ripe fruits are soaked in lukewarm water to soften the thin outer shell. They are then squeezed and the large seeds strained out to produce a dense purple creamy liquid with a distinctive nutty flavor.

  • Acai drinks, either freeze-dried or powdered juice preparations, are quite popular in the Americas.

  • Traditionally, in tribal Amazon belt, acai extracts commonly mixed with starchy root vegetable called manioc and is eaten as a purple porridge.

  • It is mixed with sugar or sugar cane to sweeten and drunk as a beverage.

  • Its extract has been used to flavor ice creams, smoothies, shakes, liquor, and other desserts.

  • Further, the berries are being used as energy boosting nutritional supplements or snacks in the forms of capsules, tablets, and energy bars.

Acai palm hearts

The acai palm hearts are eaten as vegetable worldwide. They are obtained by cutting down the stem and removing the outer layers of bark leaving center core or palm heart. Palm hearts are the tender, whitish immature growing buds of the palm frond just above the growing point on each stem. Although they have no or little nutritious value, palm hearts have been a delicacy and priced very high.

Safety profile

Acai berry has no notified contraindications. It has been used by pregnant women safely in the Amazon basin. So far, no cases of allergic or toxicity cases notified so far.

True facts about Acai

  • Acai berry is the fruit from palm tree. As the fruits from any other similar palm family like coconut, date palm, oil palm, acai is no different in caloric and nutritional profile. It is high in calorie and fats. There are no established studies to show eating or drinking acai products results in weight loss.

  • Acai has been staple food of Amazonians for centuries. So it is treated more like a food item than a novel fitness fruit unlike blueberry, pomegranates etc which are, in fact, very low in calories.

  • Anti-oxidants levels present moderately in acai in contrast to claims made by certain companies, websites, articles etc. USDA has so far not even bothered to find out its nutritional profile and ORAC value. Nobody knows its exact ORAC strength. But there are countless herbs, fruits, berries and vegetables in nature that have antioxidants higher than acai (for example cinnamon has highest USDA documented ORAC value of 267536 trolox equivalents (TE), which is many hundred times more than in acai, chokeberry, apples etc.

  • Acai berry is high in calories and hence gives immediate strength and stamina. There are no known food items in nature, which are high in calories and fats yet known to reduce weight.

  • Acai berry has so far has no documented evidences to be used as aphrodisiac.

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