The Truth About Acai Berry
by John Romaniello
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 3 years, you’ve hard of this “magical” berry. Every time you open a magazine, there it is, looking at you all seductively. You can’t read anything related to diet or fat loss without it showing up.
So let’s get the facts all straightened out.
To put it in terms that are more interesting—at least to me—Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee), is sort of like the Kim Kardashian (pronounced card-ASS-ee-in) of the anti-oxidant world; that is, they’ve both been around for a while, but until about two or three years ago, no one really knew about it.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Acai (and Kim) exploded into the mainstream.
Acai started dating rappers, showing up at all the best parties, and that —coupled with the release of the infamous Acai Sex Tape—made sure everyone wanted a piece of this, er…robust fruit. And its juices. Oh boy.
Better than berries.
Over the past several months especially, it seems like every where you look, every entertainment medium from trashy magazines to Oprah is talking about Acai and Kim K. Since you probably know all about the latter, let’s talk a bit about the former.
Before we go ANY FURTHER, let’s just put it out on the table and talk about what Acai is NOT:
DESPITE WHAT THE INTERNET ADS MAY TELL YOU….
* Acai is not a fat-burner.
* Acai is not going to make in you instantly slim
* Acai does not burn, trim, tighten, or firm
* Acai does not suppress appetite
* Acai is not a cure-all, or a quick fix
* Acai will not give you a bigger penis, harder erections, or more stamina
That should about cover what it’s not.
So the question is, if Acai doesn’t perform any of the aforementioned (awesome) tasks, then what the hell does it do, and why is everyone making a big deal about it?
Grown from the acai palm (a.k.a. euterpe), acai berries are a fruit native to Central and South America where they are both regularly available and consumed. In North America, acai has more recently made its way into fruit juice blends and nutritional supplements, with the mo st potent form being freeze dried powder derived from the fruit’s skin and pulp. The preliminary research on acai has been promising, particularly with regards to the fruit’s antioxidant properties.
Acai has been shown to:
THE GOOD STUFF (backed by actual science!):
* be abundant in many vitamins B1, B2, B3, C, and E
* possess high concentrations of the free radical scavenging anthocyanins cyandin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-rutinoside
* yield the highest oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) value of any fruit
* high activity20against superoxide, peroxil, peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radicals
* inhibit inflammatory cyclooxygenase enzymes COX-1 and COX-2; enzymes important in both acute and chronic inflamation
* stimulate production of macrophages, white blood cells extremely important to the immune system
* be potentially effective for anti-cancer supplementation due to activation of caspase-3, an enzyme important in apoptosis
Acai is certainly a super berry, super fruit, super antioxidant, super-any-way-you-look-at-it food.
So Acai is, after all, pretty cool–just not as cool as the supplement ads make it seems.
For fighting free-radicals and overall oxidative stress, you’re not going to find much out there that’s better as a singular addition to your diet or supplement article; however, it’s really important to note that most people eating healthfully probably don’t have to worry too much.
If you want to supplement with Acai for health benefits, the research is definitely. However, if you’re looking for a fat-burning aid, look elsewhere.