Acai has an astounding number of health benefits due to its sizeable amounts of fiber, antioxidants, fatty acids, and proteins. The acai berries require humidity and wetland conditions to grow well. Thousands of palm trees per acre have been recorded in areas of the rainforest.
Acai berries begin as a green color and ripen to a deep purple. Each acai palm stem usually produces four to eight bunches of fruit during the average year with fruits ripening the heaviest in the dry season from July to December.
The acai palm thrives throughout the lowland flood areas where it forms in large groves. In one of nature’s wonders, when one of acai’s stems is cut, more stems will grow back and the cutting encourages more fruit to grow on the remaining stems.
Acai palm is now also the world’s main source of palm hearts. In Brazilian herbal medicine, the oil of the acai berries is used to treat diarrhea; the grated berry rind is used as a topical wash for skin ulcers; and the fruit seeds are crushed and made into a treatment for fevers.
Scientists are currently studying acai to determine just how nutritionally valuable it is. The researchers are discovering ways to use the acai berries to fight such diseases as diabetes, cancer, digestive issues, obesity, blood clotting ailments, obesity, and much more.
Experts are uncertain how much effect antioxidants have on cancer cells in the human body, because factors such as metabolism, nutrient absorption, and other biochemical processes may influence the antioxidants’ chemical activity.
Brazilians have long used acai berries to treat skin conditions and digestive disorders. Current medical research suggests acai products can help consumer’s lower cholesterol, get energized, and lose weight.
We are just beginning to understand all the health benefits of the acai palm. It can also be harvested for its delicious heart-of-palm, which tastes great in salads. In Colombia, where the acai palm grows along the Pacific coast, acai berries are turned into a popular drink.
In a University of Florida study, six different chemical extracts were made from acai fruit pulp and each extract was prepared at seven separate concentration levels. When applied for 24 hours, four of the extracts were shown to kill a significant number of leukemia cells. The UF study shows that research on foods not commonly found or consumed in the United States is extremely important, because it may lead to undiscovered health benefits of food nutrition.
Eating a balanced diet of at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables is recommended for promoting optimal health. Research on the effects of diet on chronic diseases show an increased consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with decreased risk for many illnesses.
One of a kind, acai berries also has a high concentration of essential acids, specifically monounsaturated oleic acid. This nutrient helps diminish inflammation, which is the leading cause of the detrimental health we experience, as we get older.
By: Tom Kranz