Over the past five years, the acai berry has gained widespread popularity, being advertised as a “wonder fruit” that can cure virtually every illness known to man. While scientists agree that the acai berry has an amazing nutritional profile, there is little clinical evidence to support these claims.
A small, purple fruit that grows on the Euterpe oleracea palm tree, the acai berry has been popular among the locals due to the alleged energizing powers it has. The latter, though, is mostly due to the fact that the acai berry has a high content of essential fatty acids and other nutrients, a fact revealed by scientific studies.
The same studies also uncovered that the acai berry has a high level of antioxidants, with some claiming that they contain almost ten times that of blueberries and others stating a lower content. The problem, though, is that any form of processing causes the breakdown of antioxidants leading to a much lower content of these beneficial molecules. Since the acai berry is quite a delicate fruit, it does not travel well, which is why it is usually available only in processed or frozen form.
The Value of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that halt the harmful chain reactions caused by an excess of free radicals in the human body, which they achieve by inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Free radicals are a byproduct of practically every process in the human body and can be caused by anything from stress, pollution and exercising.
However, not all free radicals are harmful and only when there is an excess of these molecules in the body do they set off chain reactions that can cause damage to cells. Damage caused by free radicals has been linked to many diseases from arthritis and cancer to Alzheimer’s. They are also considered to play a key role in the aging process.
A High Intake of Antioxidants Can Improve Health
While there is no evidence to support the miraculous curative powers of the acai berry, scientists unanimously agree that a diet high in antioxidants can improve health over time and protect against many common diseases. Since the acai berry contains a high level of antioxidants, it is considered to be a valuable dietary supplement that can promote cardiovascular health, a stronger immune system and even protection against cancer.
However, it should be noted that the acai berry has not yet been proven to actually cure any disease, which is why one should take the myriad marketing claims with a grain of salt. While this unique berry is showing amazing potential, it will be some time before there is concrete proof of the benefits the acai berry can provide.
Cinergy Health & Life Insurance Agency is dedicated to providing quality health and life insurance plans for people in a variety of life situations. For more information on a selection of health and insurance topics, visit the Cinergy Health & Life Learning Center at http://www.cinergyhealth.com .