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Health Seekers Buy Acai Berries, Juice for Reputed Weight Loss Boost
Superfoods are big news in natural health circles, with exotic foods like goji berries and raw cacao flying off of shelves even at exorbitantly high prices. Acai berries are one of the latest health food crazes. Featured on Oprah and promoted by numerous health experts, acai berry juice is said to provide energy, vitamins and essential nutrients, antioxidants, and even help with weight loss.
What is Acai Berry?
Acai (also spelled açai and pronounced “ah-say”) is the fruit of a palm tree that is native to South and Central America. The berries are harvested from eight species of acai and have traditionally been used for food by many native tribes. Mythology surrounding the tree has it that the berries were discovered by a chieftan’s daughter and saved a tribe from starvation during a terrible famine.
Whatever their true history, the fruit grows in clusters of 500 to 900 berries and may be served as juice, whole fruit, or pulp, often with either tapioca or granola. In the past few years, the fruit has come to the attention of natural health markets worldwide and there has been a dramatic increase in the number of acai juices, powders, and pills being promoted for health benefits.
Acai Berries, Juice, and Antioxidants
One of the best things about the acai berry is its rich load of vitamins and antioxidants. According to Oprah.com, the berries contain ten times the antioxidant power of red grapes – natural chemicals that fight damage to cells, acting as anti-aging, energy-giving compounds. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, the berries are “nearly a perfect energy fruit,” giving athletes “a competitive edge.”
They are also rich in fiber, omega fatty acids (which are vital for healthy skin, brain, and nervous system function), monounsaturated healthy fats, an almost ideal amino acid balance and vital trace minerals.
Acai Weight Loss Products
Among the many claims made about acai is the dubious advertising that promotes the fruit as a weight loss aid. Claims that the berry will help people “lose 30 pounds in 30 days” may help sell acai juice, pulp, powder, and other products but they are based on no scientific evidence. Health experts, including Dr. Mercola, maintain that these claims are nothing more than false advertising.
Other apparently false marketing about acai juice include claims that it can reverse diabetes, chronic diseases, and sexual problems, none of which have been substantiated.
Acai Supplement Quality
For those seeking to add acai power to their health regimen, the most recommended products to deliver the real antioxidants and energy boost of the whole fruit are those that include acai juice or pulp, and that are not too diluted with other fruits or filler ingredients. Look for products with a deep, dark purple color and with no added sugar, dairy, or preservatives.
- Mercola, Joseph, “Discover the Truth About Acai…” Mercola.com.
- Oprah.com, “Dr. Perricone’s No. 1 Superfood: Açai,” Oprah.com.