An InDepth Look at Acai Berries

As many of you know, I am diving deep into the pool of wellness and seeking answers to the hard questions about which foods are healthiest to eat, and more importantly, how often can we eat them.  So many times we find out that this, or that fruit, herb, or grain is great for our bodies and we eat it every day.  (Or, maybe that was just me…)

However, as the old maxim states, Everything in moderation.

This is true even in the case of Acai Berries which according to Dr. Brent A. Bauer, writing for the Mayo Clinic’s website, “Acai is safe to consume, as long as you’re not allergic to the fruit.  But, use caution when consuming products made with acai that may have other ingredients, such as caffeine.”  [Obvious advice, but here’s the real question, Why would you add caffeine to a product with Acai in it??]

Okay, Dr. Bauer, you’re telling us Acai is safe. Great!  So, what are they?  And where do these berries come from?  The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) tells us that the acai (a-sigh-ee) berry comes from the acai palm tree which is “native to tropical Central and South America, [and] produces a deep purple fruit.  The acai fruit has long been an important food source for indigenous peoples of the Amazon region.”  The NCCIH also let’s us know that acai fruit pulp has been “used experimentally as an oral contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs).  Therefore, if you have an MRI scheduled and you’re using acai products, please tell your doctor.

The NCCIH also states that a preliminary study shows that a juice blend with mainly acai berry juice in it has an antioxidant effect in humans.  This is good!  WebMD tells us that antioxidants protect our bodies from harmful molecules called free radicals (me speaking: free radicals wreck havoc on our bodies!).  And HealthLine tells us that acai berries “contain high levels of important fatty acids such as omega-3, omega-6 and monounsaturated oleic acid.  [All of which are] essential for good health.”  Healthline also states that the acai berry would not be what it is without its blue-purplish skin.  “Like many other fruits, the skin contains fiber, and various nutrients, and most of the antioxidants.  If you’re buying a supplement, or a drink made from acai, you’ll want to make sure the product contains plenty of skin.”

I am comforted to know that while there may not be a lot of peer-reviewed studies about acai berries and their effect on humans, what is known is both positive and very encouraging.  What the doctors and scientists have already shown us is that acai berries, due to their high antioxidant properties, along with the other high level of vitamins and minerals contained within acai berries (like other berries contain) have the following health benefits:

  1. Great for Your Skin
  2. Powerful Anti-Oxidant
  3. Provides a lot of Energy
  4. Helps You Look Younger
  5. Reinvigorates Your Immune System
  6. Is a Cancer-Fighter

 

One last thing.  Acai berries spoil within a few days of being picked.  Therefore, when we here in America consume Acai, it’s most likely going to be in the form of a capsule, pill, powder, or a juice.  It goes without saying that acai can be quite costly especially since it is being shipped from Brazil, and other similar places.  Shop smart and check labels to ensure the product contains acai berry skin.

You can read more about Acai Berries by clicking on the links below.

7 Powerful Health Benefits of Acai Berry (Food Matters blog)

Acai Berry Juice Benefits (LiveStrong.com)

What Are Acai Berres: Do they have health benefits? (Mayo Clinic)

What is the Acai Berry? (HealthLine)

Alrighty folks.  I’m sold!  I’m going to run over to Amazon and pick up some powdered Acai Berry powder today and I’ll let you know how I feel and what I think in the weeks to come.

Ta-ta for now,

Rochelle

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