The acai berry (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) has become very popular in recent years. There are many questions that come to mind about the berry – what it is, what is all the fuss about, what it is used for and how to buy it. We will answer some of them here.
What is the acai berry?
It is the small purple fruit of the acai palm which is native to South America and grows naturally along the banks of the Amazon. It looks similar to a grape but is smaller and has one large seed; only 10% of the fruit is actual pulp.
Why is it so popular?
It is popular because of the health benefits of the fruit. People, who have used acai products, claim a variety of benefits from increased energy to arthritic pain relief, increased strength to weight loss.
Why does it work?
Indigenous people of the Amazon have revered the acai berry for thousands of years and Western scientists have now confirmed that it may be the most nutritional food yet tested. It contains many ingredients that give its health benefits.
* Essential fatty acids (Omega 3)
* Amino acids
* Vitamins and minerals
* Complex carbohydrates
* Dietary fiber
* Trace minerals – calcium, potassium, sulphur, magnesium.
What are the benefits of buying acai?
There is nothing better to invest in than your health and that of your family. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, but with foods like the acai berry, it is easy to provide the things our bodies needs. It has been called a super food and it is certainly a rich cocktail of good nutrients.
Antioxidants – the acai berry is high in antioxidants like Vitamins C and E which help the body fight off free radicals from the environment which are harmful to the body. Acai has up to 9 times more antioxidants than any other fruit, and you will see benefits such as fewer colds and flu(antioxidants strengthen the immune system), a healthier skin and increased daily energy.
Calcium – the berries have significant calcium levels. Calcium strengthens bones and teeth, helps prevent osteoporosis, fractures and gum disease.
Lower Cholesterol Levels – Acai can help to lower cholesterol because of the high fiber content. The berries contain Omega-3 fatty acids which also lowers cholesterol.
Macro minerals – we need high amounts of the minerals found in acai and it is an easy way to ensure that we get the necessary quantities. Sulfur helps with skin problems and acne; magnesium assists women in menopause and potassium is known to improve heart health.
Low glycemic index – acai has a low glycemic index. Foods (carbohydrates) with a low glycemic index are slower to be digested and absorbed into the bloodstream which maintains more balanced blood sugar and insulin levels. This assists in weight loss because you feel fuller for longer.
How do I buy acai berry?
There are numerous companies which produce and /or market products made from the berry. Search online for these companies which may also have an online ordering procedure. Many of the suppliers of acai products are MLM companies with independent distributors as the contact point for customers. You may be able to contact such companies for a local distributor’s details.
There are different products made from the berry. You can buy the juice, freeze dried concentrated powder, capsules, tablets and the pulp. Some companies blend the it with other fruits, and this juice may not contain the same benefits as pure acai.
As with any product you buy, you will find a great variation in quality, concentration and price. Read the label and make sure you are paying for the acai berry and not a mix of other cheaper products. Look for how it has been manufactured and the percentage of fresh berries used. Some of the health giving ingredients could be damaged in processes involving high heat.
What can I make with the acai berry?
Drink acai as a refreshing juice any time of the day. Add the pulp or powder to smoothies with milk and yogurt for a delicious and healthy pick-me-up. Stir the powder or pulp into a plate of your favorite yogurt for a quick breakfast or snack. Make an acai sorbet for a refreshing summer dessert.
Buy the acai berry and try it in any of a number of ways and you will feel a noticeable difference in a few days.
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