If you haven’t heard of the Acai Berries, you are way out of today’s loop! These remarkable, power-packed, little berries from the Acai Palm tree are native to the forests and flood lands of Central and Southern America. The berries are dark purple and grow in clusters just like those of grapes. They resemble grapes but are smaller and more purple. They have an extremely large seed, not much pulp and were usually made into a wine. The acai have been around for years but were only introduced to the western world in the 1990’s.
The natives of the Amazon have consumed these berries for centuries and have realized the excellent health benefits that come from them. The tribes people used the acai berries to provide energy, build the immune system, kill infection, protect the heart and control prostate enlargement. This information was given from generation to generation by their tribal medicine people.
At some point, the Brazilian beach goers discovered the energy boost of the Acai Berries and added the acai to smoothies. They say the acai tastes like effervescent berries with a hint of chocolate. The smoothies became very popular among the trendy, beach people. Researchers soon discovered the magic little berry and found that, in addition to providing an energy boost, the acai is rich in proteins; fibre; minerals, such as potassium, iron, phosphorus and calcium; Omega 6, also known as linoleic acid; Omega 9, also known as oleic acid; and including these vitamins: B1, B2, B3, C and E. The Acai Berries also have up to thirty-three times as much Anthocyanin as red wine grapes.
Anthocyanin is a Greek word meaning plant blue. Anthocyanin is a very strong antioxidant. Antioxidants are known to defend the body against stressors and help with our cell protection systems. Free radicals in our environment and those produced as byproducts by our bodies are harmful to us. Antioxidants found in the Acai Berries are thought to neutralize them, thus lessening their destructive capabilities and lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer.
In addition to anthocyanin, the Acai Berries are used to produce an antibiotic to help kill Staphylococcus aureus infections. Other uses are to enhance digestion, increase mental focus, aid with sleep, and maintain normal cholesterol levels. Acai is thought to play a role in the maintenance of the vascular system, leading to better circulation. Scientists and doctors are still testing the Acai Berries to determine if they are beneficial in arthritis patients and if they can actually cure or prevent this condition as well as many others.
In summary, although the jury is still out, most will agree that the Acai Berries are definitely excellent for everyone.