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The Acai Fruit and its Many Benefits

The concept of super foods is something that has hit the health world like a meteor hits the earth.  They have had a huge impact on the way that naturopathic doctors and medical doctors look to treat patients. And, they have an effect on consumers as well: some prefer to choose the healthiest way to introduce natural disease fighting antioxidants into their system while others are simply following the latest trend. One super food that has received a lot of attention is acai. Let’s take a closer look at this fruit and its many benefits . . .

Acai, pronounced ah-sigh-ee, is a high-level energy berry that comes from the Amazon palm tree in Brazil, which can grow to an amazing height of up to 82 feet.  Not only does the acai pack a real health-punch, but it has a taste-bud bonus in that it tastes like a combination of berries and chocolate (yum).  You cannot eat these berries direct from the tree, however; they first need to be processed.

Like the blueberry, the acai is a dark purplish-color fruit that has similar health benefits.  It is full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids.  The most popular form of this fruit can be found in juice, which is widely available in health food stores as well as gourmet food stores.  Although rarely found in the conventional grocery store, the popularity of this wonder fruit almost guarantees it is sure to hit shelves soon in its pure form. Until then, it seems like every commercial juice now contains it!

You are already aware of the health benefits of omega-3s, and the acai is a crucial component of the absorption of these omega-3 fatty acids.  It is similar to olive oil due to the same richness of monounsaturated oleic acid.  These monounsaturated oleic acids assist with the omega-3 absorption mentioned above, but also help with producing a more flexible cell membrane, which in turn allows for everything from hormone to insulin receptors to function at a higher rate. 

The acai fruit claims to contain 10 times the antioxidant power of both blueberries and grapes.  In recent times, the acai has sparked interest with researchers in the United States and has been studied extensively to verify the health claims of the naturopathic world.  Preliminary studies show this wonder fruit to have virtually obliterated leukemia cells. While these are just initial studies they are still promising as a possible contribution to a breakthrough cure for cancer.

Some of the other alleged benefits of the acai fruit include:

•    Improves digestion
•    Enhances mental concentration
•    Supports with sleep
•    Natural detoxifier
•    Immune system booster
•    Anti-aging benefits
•    Eases diabetes
•    Balances cholesterol levels
•    Circulation enhancement
•    Assists with healthy heart function

Some people who have introduced acai to their diets have also claimed to observe such health benefits as:

•    Lessening of arthritis pain
•    Reduction in incidence of seizures
•    Combats depression
•    Supports weight loss programs

Studies have also shown that there are virtually no side effects to taking acai as part of a healthy diet, so talk to your medical doctor or your naturopathic doctor about the benefits and add acai enriched juice to your grocery list.

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