A small round purplish fruit that resembles a grape, Acai berries have suddenly been thrust from their usual ignominious growth in the rainforests of Brazil, to the world of glamour, blitz, sport and entertainment. In fact, the acai berry is now the new ‘in vogue’ material in the world of dieticians. After being endorsed by celebrities like Oprah, acai berry products like the acai berry power 500 have been accepted by the general population at large as one of the best diet courses ever. Previously confined to one of the obscure corners of the planet, the Acai berry is local to the South American continent, where it grows in the rainforests. These berries have been known to be an important constituent in the food intake of the natives, occupying as much as approximately 40% of their diet. Even the juice and the pulp of the berry are immensely useful and is commonly used in sodas and other drinks.
The benefits of acai have been established by extensive scientific research, which has shown that it contains uncommonly high levels of anti-oxidants and anti inflammatory agents. Apart from that, it has Omega 6 and 9, which act as highly effective anti cholesterol agents. The anti oxidant, anthocyanin, is present in large concentrations. Anthocyanin, which is also present in red wine, prevents oxidation of connective tissue while damaged proteins in blood vessel walls are being repaired. Its high concentration in acai berries has made them one of the most nutritionally powerful foods in the world. The anti-oxidants also fortify the immune system, guarding them against free toxins and radicals in the system and improving the overall metabolism of the body. Other health benefits derived from the acai include improvement of mental clarity, peaceful and undisturbed sleep and is a source of several essential vitamins required by the body. It increases the level of energy, and the juice extracted from the berries helps in digestion. Acai berries are also said to help the body in the ageing process. It also strengthens the body’s defenses against cancer, diabetes, cholesterol, etc. Acai berry side effects are almost as good as non-existent. Extensive studies into the berries have not been able to isolate any harmful effects as such. Acai berry supplements do help in the process of weight loss, both by curbing your appetite as well as enhancing the burning of excess calories stored in the body. However, the the acai berry weight loss diet must be accompanied by a proper level of commitment and discipline by the individual.
However, not all acai berry supplements are trustworthy. Some of the supplements have only negligible amounts of the berry extract, and are designed only to maximize the manufacturer’s benefit, without any regard for the customer’s health. Recently, several cases of acia berry scams have been exposed, where the distributors lure unsuspecting customers into supposedly free trials for a month, but end up charging them for months on end, if the user forgets to cancel the subscription after the trial period is over.