Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Acai Berry and Your Health

Dear Healthcare Lady,
What is the acai berry? Is this some new kind of wonder fruit? What is all the fuss about? Jim

Dear Jim,

The Acai (A-sigh-ee) berry is a fruit that grows on the same palm trees that give us hearts of palm. It is a tiny purplish red fruit similar in size to a cranberry or blueberry and is grown in Central and South America. Only the skin and a small part of the pulp is edible, but you really get a bang for your buck when you consume this fruit! Researchers in Texas have recently established that the ACAI BERRY is absorbed by the body and not thrown off like some other nutrients. This raises exciting new possibilities for the use of this fruit!

Some people describe the tast of the Acai berry as a mixture of red wine and chocolate. It is marketed in the United States and can be found as a juice drink. Beware of unsubstantiated claims that this fruit will increase weight loss. At present the acai berry appears to be an excellent source of antioxidants needed to prevent diseases caused by oxidative stress such as heart disease and cancer.

Research at present is focused on the antioxidant properties of the acai berry. Your body produces free radicals as a byproduct of stressors. It is believed that the antioxidant properties of the acai berry will prove to be a strong deterrent to free radicals and interfere with the aging process. However, at present there is no known health benefit to the use of the acai berry. The jury is still out on the health benefits of the ACAI BERRY but it looks very promising.

Texas A&M AgriLIFE/Acai Research
Web MD: Acai Berry

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Image retrieved from Creative Commons Google Images March 11, 2009

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