Acai Fruit

                                                                                                        
       

 

Superfood No. 1: Açaí

Nature's Energy Fruit

It may seem odd to start this list of superfoods with one you’ve likely never even heard of. But studies have shown that this little berry is one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world! Açaí (ah-sigh-ee) is the high-energy berry of a special Amazon palm tree. Harvested in the rainforests of Brazil, açaí tastes like a vibrant blend of berries and chocolate. Hidden within its royal purple pigment is the magic that makes it nature's perfect energy fruit. Açaí is packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Although açaí may not be available in your local supermarket, you can find it in several health food and gourmet stores (often in juice form). A new product featuring the unsweetened pulp is now also available, and I highly recommend that you choose this form of açaí.

Açaí pulp contains:


The fatty acid content in açaí resembles that of olive oil, and is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid. Oleic acid is important for a number of reasons. It helps omega-3 fish oils penetrate the cell membrane; together they help make cell membranes more supple. By keeping the cell membrane supple, all hormones, neurotransmitter and insulin receptors function more efficiently. This is particularly important because high insulin levels create an inflammatory state, and we know, inflammation causes aging.

Acai is an all natural energy fruit from Amazon palmberries. Wild Harvested in the rainforests of Brazil, açai tastes like a vibrant blend of berries and chocolate. Hidden within its royal purple pigment is the magic that makes it nature's perfect energy fruit. Açai is packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential omegas (the good-for-you fatty acids). 

Analysis reveals that Acai pulp contains:

A remarkable concentration of antioxidants, to help combat premature aging, with 10-30 times the anthocyanins (purple colored antioxidants) of red wine. A synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols, to help promote cardiovascular system and digestive tract health. An almost perfect essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, vital to proper muscle contraction and regeneration.

The result of this special blend is:

Sustained energy and strength

Heightened sense of awareness and improved mental focus

A massive attack on vitality-robbing free radicals

Acai is a dense source of particular class of flavonoids called anthocyanins (red-blue phenols with potent antioxidant properties)

Anthocyanins are a group of phytochemicals in red wine thought to contribute to the French paradox, i.e. France has one of the lowest incidences of heart disease of any westernized society despite a prevalence of smoking and a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol.  Acai pulp contains 10-30 times the anthocyanins of red wine per equal volume.

The primary anthocyanin in Açai is cyanidin-3 glucoside. Cyanidin-3-glucoside has been found to be 3.5 times stronger than Trolox (vitamin E analogue) and the predominate anthocyanin found in red wine (malvadin-3-glucoside) in an ORAC analysis (measure of antioxidant capacity).

Anthocyanins have been found to “exhibit numerous potential therapeutic effects including treatment of diabetic retinopathy and fibrocystic disease of the breast in human”. “Other potential physiological effects of anthocyanins include radiation-protective, chemoprotective, vasoprotective and anti-inflammatory agents” .

The fatty acid ratio of Acai resembles that of olive oil, which is thought to be a contributing factor to the low incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean populations.

60 percent Oleic (Omega 9) a monounsaturated, essential fatty acid, helps lower LDL (harmful cholesterol) while maintaining HDL (beneficial cholesterol) levels.

12 percent Linoleic (Omega 6) a polyunsaturated, essential fatty acid, has been found to lower both LDL and HDL levels.

Fatty acids aid in the transport and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins i.e. Vitamins A, E, D, and K.

Acai contains valuable phytosterols

Sterols are components of plant cell membranes providing numerous benefits to the human body, namely the reduction of blood plasma cholesterol.

Sterols are currently being used to treat symptoms associated with BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia).

Preliminary evidence suggests that beta-sitosterol (the predominant sterol in Acai) may help prevent immune weakness resulting from severe physical stress.

Acai is a good source of fiber.

Fiber promotes a healthy digestive system. Low fiber in the American diet is thought to be a contributing factor to the high incidence of cancer and heart disease. Soluble fibers may help lower blood cholesterol; insoluble fibers are thought to help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers.

 

 Acai growing in the Amazon


           


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