Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Acai The Gift Of The Jungle

Acai is another nutrient that we recommend. It is available as either a juice by itself or blended with other fruits such as blueberry, pomegranate, mangosteen and goji. Acai is one of our top choices for nutrient honors, yet it is a substance that many of you may never have heard of. In 2004 the New York Times stated "Rich in Antioxidants and amino acids acai is thought to be one of the most nutritional fruits of the Amazon Basin." In 2005 Oprah named acai the #1 super food.

What are the possible health benefits of acai? Advocates claim that acai:
  • helps maintain the healthy function of the body's systems
  • increases energy, libido and stamina supports the immune system
  • is a powerful anti-inflammatory reduces pain and soreness
Are all of these claims valid? We honestly do not know, but we believe that there is credibility in the story line about acai. We have pointed out the difficulty of finding valid clinical data  not only on acai but on  almost all food supplements. We take acai ourselves. Read on to learn why.

The Acai is a palm tree native to tropical Central and South America.  Studies of the traditional Cabocio native populations of the Amazon revealed that acai is a major component of their diet.  Incidentally these native tribes are incredibly health.

How potent is the acai berry? It has 10 times the antioxidant power of red grapes and twice that of blueberries. Tests have been developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to measure the potency of an antioxidant to neutralize a free radical. The most reliable test is the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity} The higher the ORAC rating the more potent the antioxidant. The current recommendation of the USDA is that we consume 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units daily. Unfortunately it has been determined that about 80% of the American population is consuming less than 1,000 ORAC units a day. These people will lose the battle against aging unless they change their eating habits.

Fruits and vegetables have the highest ORAC values. Per 100 grams apples score 218, bananas 221, blueberries 2,400. Fresh acai has an ORAC score of 5,500!

More about acai in our next post!

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