For generations, acai (ah-sigh-EE) berries have been celebrated by natives of Brazil as a fruit with healing powers. Now, just like the earlier Brazilian export of soccer great Pele, the rest of the world is hyping the acai berry as a savior. The berry is a bit smaller than a grape or blueberry and much darker in black/purple color, but is heralded as 10 times more powerful as an antioxidant than a grape and twice that of a blueberry. Even Oprah has taken notice and put it atop her Top Ten Super Foods list. So maybe it is good enough for the rest of us, too.
The acai berry’s resume is quite impressive, although there have been very official few research studies performed on it. It has been around for many years, but only recently has it gained worldwide attention. Health-yeilding claims of a few scientists and health experts have been tossed throughout the media in the past year demanding the spotlight for the acai and its informal "King of Super Foods" title. Though much research is still needed to officially prove the berry’s healing and preventative care qualities, the buzz of the acai is worth listening to and maybe even trying out. After all, at the very least it is a fruit and fruits are an essential keystone to good health. So, it can’t hurt. And if provides all the other stuff people say it does, then... wow.
Acai berries are a major source of antioxidants, something we all have heard plenty about in recent years when blueberries were announced as the best on the planet at providing them. Now, claims that acai packs twice as much as blueberries are making expensive 100% pure blueberry juice and supplements seem less important, which they certainly are not. Its like casting Angelina Jolie to headline your film, and shortly after casting Julia Roberts to play along side her. Can either (or a combination of the two) be a bad thing?
Beyond its antioxidant qualities, acai also contains large amounts of fiber, amino acids, protein, healthy omega fats, plant sterols (good for your heart and digestion), as well as vitamins and minerals (A, B1, B2, B3, C, E, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, and zinc). All of this nutritional and health value helps the human body operating naturally and at optimum capacity, including increasing your energy, stamina, and libido. It can heighten your immune system, work as an anti-inflammatory, and make make your hair and skin healthier and shinier. The acai can even help to decrease the effects of aging on the body and brain, and spark your sex drive and potency... or so some of the proclamations say.
Because of limited research, the specific power of the acai really can’t be substantiated yet. But the fact that it contains powerful antioxidants (and a bushel-full of other healthy qualities) is not disputed, nor is the potential for what value this stuff can have on the human body. There has even been an investigation at the University of Florida promoting acai berries fighting cancer cells in test tubes, but like all the other claims, more research is needed before the global scientific and health communities will officially embrace acai as the number one super food in the world. That’s not to say they are challenging the potential power of the berry. Many feel it is just a matter of time before the research is out there, the products are widespread and the world is celebrating the acai.