Amazon Energy- the acai (ah-SAH’-ee) fruit (berry) has become known as one
of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world. It comes from a palm plant that is widely
distributed in northern South America with its greatest occurrence and economic importance in Brazil.
The acai palm is described as being very ornamental, with multiple branches reaching up to 80 feet in
height. It produces small deep purple, almost black, acai fruit berries that grow in groups of 3 – 8 per bunch.
Acai tastes like a vibrant blend of berries and chocolates.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone, is the author of The Perricone Promise: Look Younger,Live Longer in Three Easy Steps.
He has given acai the title of “Superfood No1” because of the numerous outstanding health promoting properties inherent in the fruit.Many Reports have featured Acai as a very potent fruit calling it the "Viagra of the Amazon", “Amazon Thunder” ,
And “The latest look-better, live-longer superfruit?”Acai is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and touting it for helping with circulation, longevity and anti-aging.
Acai contains a remarkable concentration of antioxidants. In fact, it is probably one of the richest fruit sources known.
This is key because the importance of antioxidants for health cannot be overstated due to their ability to mitigate damaging free radicals, slow down the aging process and protect against many diseases.
The major source of antioxidants in acai is anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are the chemical components that give the intense color to many fruits and vegetables. These beneficial compounds are also found in red grapes which is why many doctors and health professionals recommend drinking red wine.
The acai berry, however, contains as much as 33 times more anthocyanins than grapes.
Healthy fatty acids are also an exceptional feature of acai. The fatty acid component of this amazing fruit looks similar to olive oil,and is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid. Research shows that this fat has the potential to support the prevention of
cardiovascular disease and cancer. The phytosterols block cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream .actually helping to lower cholesterol levels. Phytosterols also help prevent heart disease, help reduce inflammation in arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, and help to control blood sugar levels in diabetes. Together with its high fibre it helps to promote digestive tract heath.
Acai stores significant amounts of calcium, which is beneficial to prevent osteoporosis, especially in women.
Its high fiber and Omega-3 content helps to significantly lower cholesterol level in the blood.
This wonder fruit also boasts of the power of macro minerals- potassium, sulphur, magnesium, and phosphorous- which are needed to get rid of such problems like acne, menopausal and heart complications.
Modern science is beginning to recognize and validate the merits of acai. In fact, one recent scientific research study highlights the far reaching scope of this phenomenal fruit. The study showed that acai was able to destroy cultured human cancer cells.
Specifically, four out of six different chemical extracts made from acai fruit pulp triggered a self-destruct response in up to 86
percent of leukemia cells tested. Stephen Talcott, researcher and assistant professor with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences cautioned that the study was not intended to prove that compounds found in acai could prevent leukemia in humans. However, he said that compounds which show good activity against cancer cells in a model system have the potential to have beneficial effects on the physical body. Talcott was involved with another study,in 2006, to determine the effects of acai’s antioxidant properties on healthy human subjects with respect to how acai compounds are absorbed into the blood system, and their affects on blood pressure, cholesterol and related health indicators.In South America, where acai is grown, Natives of Brazil and Peru have long known the potent health-related benefits and nutraceutical properties of this extraordinary fruit. With modern science beginning to catch up in its understanding of the acai, we could be on the forefront of a major health promoting explosion.
Journal of The American College of Nutrition, 2005, Volume 24, pages 361-9
Nutrition Review, 2005, Volume 63, pages 374-86
The Perricone Promise Look Younger, Live Longer in Three Easy Steps, pages 62-6