The Brazilian beauty berry
Lindsey Duncan, ND, CN
The acai berry is one of the world's most unique foods and one with amazing health benefits. Many consider it to be the world's most complete food.
For thousands of years the people of Brazil have known about the many beneficial secrets of the small purple acai (pronounced ah-saw-ee) berry. This amazing berry grows in the Eastern Amazon region and in Northern Brazil. To the people of South America, acai has been a mainstay for centuries.
The acai berry is one of the world’s most interesting and unique foods—and one of the healthiest. Packed with antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids, this tiny berry delivers a nutritional profile rarely seen in the natural world, and many consider it to be the world’s most complete food.
Antioxidants are found in the acai berry in a remarkable concentration, with three and a half times the anthocyanins of red wine per volume. Anthocyanins offer protective benefits to the cardiovascular system, digestive organs, brain, blood, cells, and tissues, as well as exhibiting strong anti-inflammatory and antiaging properties.
Acai also contains an almost perfect amino acid profile, including phenylalanine, proline, and glycine. Phenylalinine is crucial for brain and behavioural health and serves as a precursor to numerous neurotransmitters in the human body. Proline is one of the main components of collagen, the connective tissue structure that binds and supports other tissues. Glycine is utilized in liver detoxification and is essential for the biosynthesis of nucleic acids and bile acids.
Acai is very similar to olive oil in fatty acid content. The berry contains 60 percent oleic acid, an omega-9 monounsaturated essential fatty acid; and 12 percent linoleic acid, an omega-6 polyunsaturated essential fatty acid. Essential fatty acids are crucial for human life and are responsible for hundreds of physiological processes in the human body including reproduction, fertility, immunity, and communication between cells.
Plant sterols found in the acai berry also enhance immune response by increasing T-cell division, enhancing secretion of lymphokines involved in cellular immunity, and boosting the activity of cytotoxic cells (a key to fighting pathogens). Last but not least, this amazing berry contains a full array of natural vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and significant amounts of dietary fibre. Most noteworthy, acai contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, C, and E; as well as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
To ensure you gain all these amazing benefits from acai, be sure to choose a 100 percent pure acai juice, which should contain at least 30,000 mg of pure acai per 1 ounce serving.