The popular acai berry is believed by many experts to be a nutritional powerhouse but it is important to separate the true benefits of this remarkable fruit from the overly aggressive health claims that are so prevalent on the internet today. The fact is that the acai berry is loaded with many nutrients but its main benefit is its unusually high level of antioxidants.
The acai berry contains a wide array of nutrients including B vitamins, minerals, all the essential amino acids, and Omega3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. But its the berry’s high level of antioxidants which has caused the excitement. The free radical theory of aging holds that antioxidants reduce the damaging effects of free radicals in the human body and by doing so we increase our chances of better overall health and longevity.
The acai berry, which grows only in the Amazon rainforest region of Brazil, is said have a higher level of antioxidants than any other fruit, including blueberries. It has twice the antioxidant value of blueberries and ten times that of red grapes.
For much of the past year the internet has flooded with many unsubstantiated health claims about acai. The fruit has been presented in advertisements as a magic weight loss substance and as a cure-all for a variety of diseases. But the truth is that there have not been any studies done to investigate whether or not acai has any influence on weight loss or any other disease, except one well publicized in-vitro study for one particular type of cancer. But studies on actual human beings just don’t exist yet so all of these health claims are unfortunately just hype.
That being said many people report increased energy from taking acai on a regular basis. And if that increased energy leads to less couch potato time and more activity, such as walking and other forms of activity, that can only be a good thing for our health.
So take acai for its extraordinary nutritional value and maybe to increase your energy but beware of overly aggressive health claims.
Chaz Sanderson is public relations director for AcaiBerry-Products.com, an international distributor of organic freeze-dried acai berry products