Thursday, February 25, 2016

Health Benefits of Acai

This describes the many health benefits of this unique fruit and berry. The acai berry or fruit grows on palm trees in the Amazon rainforest. A 1999 study of three Amazonian populations found that acai made up as much as 42% (by weight) of the people's diet. The health benefits of the acai berry include increased energy levels, improved sexual performance, improved digestion, high fiber content, improved skin appearance, detoxification, improved heart health, improved sleep, and reduction of cholesterol levels. These are opinions about acai.
Here are the facts about health benefits of acai. Protein is made up of a combination of amino acid in different ratios. The most ideal amino acid profile is in eggs. They used to have ads that say "the incredible edible egg." But each egg contains 250 mg of cholesterol. By dry weight (fruit contains a lot of water) the acai fruit has the same amount of protein as eggs. Also the amino acid profile of acai berries is almost identical to eggs. Plant foods contain no cholesterol.
You have probably heard about how healthy olive oil is. The olive oil is made up of different essential fatty acids. It is mostly omega-9, with a good amount of omega-6 essential fatty acids. It only has trace amounts of omega-3 so you still need to get omega-3 fatty acids from great sources like chia seeds, flaxseed or blue-green algae. The oil in acai has an almost identical essential fatty acid profile to the oil in olives so it has the same health benefits.
Oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid, and linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid, help lower LDL, and maintain healthy HDL levels. They also increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, E, D, and K, which are essential to good health. Research has even suggested that oleic acid may prevent against cancer and hypertension.
The acai fruit contains polyphenols (that are phytochemicals) such as procyanidin oligomers and vanillic acid, syringic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, protocatechuic acid, and ferulic acid. For more information on why berries like acai are the best food group for cardiovascular health, see my other webpage-- The Best Food Group for Cardiovascular Health.
Mayoclinic.com says "Acai berries are a good source of antioxidants, fiber and heart-healthy fats." Webmd.com says "Anthocyanins are responsible for the red, purple, and blue hues [colors] in many fruits, vegetables, and flowers." Acai berries are a dark purple color from the anthocyanins in them. They also say "Some studies show that acai fruit pulp has a very high antioxidant capacity with even more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, or blueberry."
Also webmd.com says "Anthocyanins and flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that help defend the body against life's stressors. They also play a role in the body's cell protection system. Free radicals are harmful byproducts produced by the body. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants may interfere with aging and the disease process by neutralizing free radicals. By lessening the destructive power of free radicals, antioxidants may help reduce the risk of some diseases, such as heart disease and cancer." 
I am a distributor in a company that has an all organic blend of juices from foods from the Amazon rainforest like acai, camu camu fruit, cacao and dragons blood (sangre de drago). The dragons blood is the sap of a tree that looks just like blood. It is 95% OPCs that they also get from pine bark and grape seeds. OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins) are phytochemicals that strengthen the walls of blood vessels like cappilaries and also make the walls of the blood vessels more flexible. So this makes it great for cardiovascular health.

Plant foods contain thousands of phytochemicals that have different health benefits. Some famous examples of them are lycopene in tomatoes, resveratrol in grapes, curcumin in tumeric and sulfurophane in broccoli sprouts. Over 900 different phytochemicals have been identified. John Hopkins Medical School has broccoli sprouts that are sold in supermarkets. They have a patent for being bred to be very high in sulfurophane. 

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