These dark purple in color acai (ah-sigh-EE) berries are fruits that are grapelike in appearance and can be reaped from acai palm trees. These palm trees are found all over South America, mostly in the areas near the Amazon River. These trees can reach from 40 to 80 feet in height without branches.
Acai Berries contain polyphenolic anthocyanin compounds such as:
- Cyanidin-3-galactoside (C3G)
- Ferulic acid
They also have proanthocyanidin tannins such as:
- Ellagic acid
- Protocatechuic acid
They are also rich in:
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, and E
- Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9
- Trace minerals
Among all the fruits that have been categorized and tested for Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity or ORAC score, acai berries gained the highest score.
This fruit, which is full of antioxidants, has been used for centuries for stimulating the immune system, for healing and for boosting energy. Acai berries are closely related to blueberries and cranberries. According to studies, acai berries may have the capacity to help in preventing certain diseases that are linked with oxidative damage, not to mention the several other health benefits listed below:
- Help Fight Cancer
A Pharmaceutical Research conducted last March 2010 suggests that consumed acai berries had helped in inhibiting the growth of esophageal cancer among rats. Researchers reported that this is due to the high antioxidant levels in acai berries. The study was conducted using seven various kinds of berries, all of which have shown to have the same effect in the prevention of cancer, which indicates that acai berries is not that better with cancer prevention as compared to other berries.
- Boost Immune System
The Agricultural Communications Department of the Texas A&M University conducted a study last October 2008, and they have found out that the antioxidants derived from the juice and pulp of acai berries can be absorbed successfully by the human body. Antioxidants, which are normally in the form of vitamins and minerals, acts to protect the immune cells from free radicals in the body. So therefore, the antioxidants in acai berries can provide the same benefits with those of other berries.
- Fight the Free Radicals that can Cause Diseases
Acai berries contain great levels of anthocyanin that helps in eliminating free radicals that may lead to harmful diseases and disorders like heart disease. Anthocyanin can also help in lowering blood cholesterol by sifting some of the damaging LDL cholesterol from the walls of the arteries, lowering the chances of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.
Acai berries also contain high levels of plant sterols that acts as a vasodilator, which aids in relaxing the blood vessels to lower blood pressure, stop blood clots that may result to heart attacks and strokes, and mostly improve blood circulation and oxygenation.
- Reduce the Risk of Cognitive Decline
Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care review last January 2009 stated that berries that are packed with antioxidants such as acai berry are helpful in sustaining cognitive functioning among aging animals. Particular antioxidants are believed to relax stress-related neural signaling and maintaining the capacity and overall health of neurons through the process of aging. So consuming acai berries, which are packed with antioxidants, on a regular basis, is helpful in preventing age-related cognitive decline.
- Enhance Skin Health
The association concerning antioxidants and skin health is known. Oils derived from acai berries are usually used in modern cosmetic products since the antioxidants found in the oil can help get rid of irritation and redness and helps in moisturizing the skin. And, consumption of acai berries can give the skin a healthy and striking glow.
- Aid in Digestion
Acai berries have also been found out to be good in detoxifying the human body; they aid in cleaning the digestive system of the body and take away harmful toxins that have accumulated. Acai berries also have great amounts of natural fiber that helps in the absorption of nutrients and proper digestion of food. The fiber adds bulk to stool, which will result in more regular bowel movement, lowering the chances of getting constipation and other digestive problems. And if people experience loose bowel movement of diarrhea, eating acai berries or other foods that are rich in fiber can provide more bulk to the stool and lower the chances of getting diarrhea.
- Improve Cellular Health and Metabolism
The antioxidants found in acai berries is by far its most important aspect, for it can encourage healthy metabolism and functioning of the cells. It lowers the risk of unhealthy cell death or apoptosis and raises the effectiveness of absorption rate of cells and the subsequent conversion into valuable energy.