News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Superfood - Açaí : Nature's Energy Fruit

In late 2004, Dr. Nicholas Perricone appeared on Oprah to promote his book “The Perricone Promise: Look Younger-Live Longer in Three Easy Steps” in which he lists the Ten Super Foods to Rejuvenate the Body. He rated the Acai Berry as #1, calling it one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world. This deep purple, grape-sized, nutrientdense berry grows at the top of towering palm trees in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil. It boasts the protein profile of an egg; a fatty acid ratio similar to olive oil and has more than 30 times the antioxidant power of red wine.

For centuries, Brazil’s indigenous people have used the phytonutrient-rich Acai Berry as medicine for many conditions, including as an aphrodisiac for ancient warriors.

In 2004, NBC Today’s Matt Lauer hosted an Amazon Rainforest road show from Brazil, reporting that locals now call the legendary Acai Berry the “Viagra of the Amazon.”

Articles about the popularity of the Acai Berry appearing in the popular press include: The Times, UK, 9/20/03; Wall Street Journal, 4/18/03; The Washington Post, 8/11/02; Vogue, 6/03.

Studies have shown that this little berry is one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world! Açaí (ah-sigh-ee) is the high-energy berry of a special Amazon palm tree. Harvested in the rainforests of Brazil, açaí tastes like a vibrant blend of berries and chocolate. Hidden within its royal purple pigment is the magic that makes it nature's perfect energy fruit. Açaí is packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Although açaí may not be available in your local supermarket, you can find it in several health food and gourmet stores (often in juice form). A new product featuring the unsweetened pulp is now also available, and I highly recommend that you choose this form of açaí.

Açaí pulp contains:
  • A remarkable concentration of antioxidants that help combat premature aging, with 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine.
  • A synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health.
  • An almost perfect essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, vital to proper muscle contraction and regeneration.
The fatty acid content in açaí resembles that of olive oil, and is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid. Oleic acid is important for a number of reasons. It helps omega-3 fish oils penetrate the cell membrane; together they help make cell membranes more supple. By keeping the cell membrane supple, all hormones, neurotransmitter and insulin receptors function more efficiently. This is particularly important because high insulin levels create an inflammatory state, and we know, inflammation causes aging.

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