Acai berry is a fruit from the Acai palm which is native to Central and South America. Generally popular to peoples belonging to these regions, it recently gained worldwide attention and is primarily used in beverages, medicines and dye. Acai berry is one of the most popular health foods being marketed today because of its antioxidant properties and other health benefits.
Shibu Poulose, PhD, a research associate in the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, a nutrition research center supported by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, presented a research study that promotes the consumption of berries with blue, red or deep orange coloration to protect the brain from memory loss and ageing. The Acai berry is one example presented by Poulose during the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. The study found out that the antioxidants in berries help maintain the body’s natural cleaning process which makes the nerves function more efficiently. The antioxidant properties of berries can recycle the toxic proteins that are attributed to age related neurodegenerative diseases.
Acai berry is a good source of antioxidants. Anthocyanin is one type of antioxidant present in Acai, and research shows it can improve cardiovascular health. According to TK, anthocyanin helps reduce inflammation, and strengthens and enhances the permeability of capillary walls, ensuring sufficient blood circulation. Anthocyanin also helps to inhibit platelet formation, which leads to blood clots, one of the primary causes of heart diseases and stroke.
Claims that Acai can treat cancer are not yet fully backed by scientific research but promising individual studies do show the berry’s potential ability to reduce the spread of cancer cells. A controlled experiment conducted at the University of Florida in 2006 found that the antioxidants present in Acai berry destroyed 56 percent to 86 percent of leukemia cells.
The calorie content of Acai berry is about twice as much as other fruits like the orange and apple, because Acai berries have an exceptionally high caloric content which is about 247 calories per half cup serving while the apple and orange have 130 calories and 80 calories per piece serving respectively. Calories are considered the energy factor in food. For health buffs and those needing the extra boost every day, more calories mean more energy to burn.
1. Natural and Nutritional Products Industry Center: The Future of Manufacturing Acai Supplements
2. Telegraph.co.uk: Eat berries to keep brain young.
3. Science Daily: Eating Berries May Activate the Brain’s Natural Housekeeper for Healthy Aging
4. Medical Nutritional Therapists, Inc. : Anthocyanins Offer Heart Benefits
5. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology: Anthocyanins and Human Health – An In Vitro Investigative Approach
6. US National Library of Medicine: Açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) Polyphenolics in Their Glycoside and Aglycone Forms Induce Apoptosis of HL-60 Leukemia Cells
7. What is Açaí, and Why is it so Great?
8. Nutrition Information for Raw Fruits
9. Kilojoules and calories explained
10. Acai Berries and Berry Juice: Are There Any Health Benefits or Side Effects?