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Acai Berries Health Benefits

Are acai berries really “miracle berries”?
(July 7, 2010)

The Acai berry is the fruit of the acai palm tree that is native to South America and Central America, forming an important part of local cuisine. The acai berries are similar to grapes but smaller and are colored dark purple or green based on which variation of the species they belong to. Like grapes, these berries tend to grow in clumps which make the fruit easy to collect. Among tribal communities in the areas where the acai palms are grown, the fruit forms a backbone of the local cuisine. The berry tends to be protein rich.

The acai berry is being increasingly consumed in the form of juices and smoothies. Juices and smoothies created from the pulp of the acai berry are considered to be extremely healthy and are reputed to have good antioxidant qualities. These claims have now been contested.

Recent studies have shown that the claims that the acai berry is a miracle berry are in fact false. When compared to some other food items, the antioxidant capacity of the acai berry is not exceptional. It does contain a certain amount of antioxidants but it cannot be considered to be a prime source for antioxidants. It can be said that the hype surrounding the reportedly amazing properties of the acai berry is the real reason behind it being considered to be a super fruit. This is actually a marketing strategy of companies selling acai berry products. In reality, the acai berry is not a miracle fruit, but it does have nutritional qualities similar to other fruits of the same class.   

Acai berries have also gained a reputation as a fruit that should be consumed in order to lose weight. Again, this claim is based on little scientific evidence. The reality is that the acai berry contains a good amount of sugar as well as dietary fiber. Because of this, if one consumes this berry as a tea time snack, the amount of calories consumed may be less if one feels full due to the fiber content in the food. This essentially means that one is consuming fewer calories compared to junk food that one might consume at such a time. This actually illustrates the ill effects of unhealthy snacking rather than the good effects of the acai berry. Some studies suggest that consumption of the acai berry will improve the body’s metabolism performance. While this can contribute to weight loss, the actual process of losing weight is also governed by the food that one eats along with such berries.
Submitted by S M on July 7, 2010 at 07:54


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