What is Acai Berry- Facts About the Little Fruit With Big Nutritional Benefits
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What is acai berry? Although relatively unknown to the Western world, this little fruit has been harvested in the Amazon for centuries. It is prized by the natives of that region for its medicinal benefits, and is used by them to treat a variety of conditions. Research in recent years has revealed a surprising fact about this obscure little berry- it turns out that it is one of the most nutritionally powerful foods on earth. It is, in fact one of the world’s superfoods.
What is Acai Berry? Little Fruit, Big Nutrition
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The acai berry grows on the acai palm tree in the Amazon rainforest. The process of harvesting and processing this berry is time-consuming and expensive, as only 10% of the fruit is edible and must be separated from the seed. Acai berry is also extremely perishable. It only lasts about a day unless frozen or processed into powder or liquid beverages.
Thus, you will not see fresh acai berries at your local grocery store. You will, however, find acai in a variety of juices and supplements. So what makes this little berry so popular with the medical and health food community? Acai is densely packed with antioxidants, anthocyanins, omega fatty acids, amino acids, protein, plant sterols, vitamins, minerals and fiber. It is hundreds of times more potent in fighting free radicals than blueberries or cranberries.
Free radicals cause many of the most common diseases and signs of aging in humans. Everything from skin wrinkles to cancer can be attributed to the oxidative process which produces free radicals. Acai berries absorb free radicals at a phenomenally higher rate than any other known food. Thus they can also be used as a preventative measure against inflammation, infection and other precursors to serious health problems.
Acai Berry Packs A Big Nutritional Punch
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What else makes acai berry special? Fifty percent of this powerful little fruit is omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids, essential for cardiovascular health. Seven percent of the berry is made up of amino acids. In fact, at least 19 different amino acids have been identified in the acai berry. Why is this important? Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, the main cell builder in the human body.
Other nutritional components of the acai berry include plant sterols for heart health, large amounts of vitamins and minerals, fiber for digestive health and weight loss and anthocyanins, which are flavonoids that fight free radicals. Anthocyanins are found in high amounts in red wine. Acai berries contain about 20 times more of these protective compounds than red wine.
OtConsidering how much nutrition can be found packed into this little fruit, it’s no wonder that the humble acai berry is being referred to as a “superfood” by doctors and nutritionists around the world. Superfoods are some of the most nutritionally perfect foods known to man. One look inside this tropical berry reveals why it has gone to the top of the list of superfoods, and is recommended for anyone looking to improve health and prevent disease.
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