Acai berries frequently appears on top 10 Superfood lists as being one of the most powerful and nutritious superfoods on the planet. Dr Oz, Dr Mercola and David Wolfe also endorse these high-energy low GIberries of the Amazon rain forest that have been used for centuries by the natives of Brazil as 40% of their diet and sustained them in times of famine.
Acai Berry Statistics
Acai berries come from the Acai Palm (Euberpe badiocarpa and Euterpe Oleracea) and can grow from 50 – 80 feet tall. 4-8 trees often grow from 1 seed. The tree produces brownish-purple flowers that produce large bunches of berries that when ripe are dark blue-purple in colour and are about the size of a large blueberry. The edible pulp is thin surrounding a large seed. Once the berries are picked they have a 24 hour shelf life. This is the reason that most products are freeze dried into a powder or juice as soon as they are picked to keep the integrity of the nutrients intact.
Acai palm is a climate specific tree that can only grow in tropical regions near the equator. The UV rays are so intense there that the berries have to protect themselves in order to grow. They do this by producing their own “sunscreen.” The “sunscreen” factors they produce are “antioxidants.”
Antioxidants are needed to mop up free radical damage that causes inflammation that leads to disease and premature aging. It is estimated that we need 6000 ORAC’s per day. ORAC’s are a score of antioxidant quantity given to foods and plants. For example, an apple has an ORAC value of 218.
The ORAC value in 100g of Healthspark’s Acai berry products is 70,000!
This is x10 more than red grapes and x10-30 of anthocyanins of red wine.
As well as being high in antioxidants Acai berries also contain 19 amino acids, dietary fiber, the essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6 and the omega 9 monounsaturated fatty acid know as oleic acid a beautifying oil. Oleic acid helps omega 3 fish oils penetrate the cell membrane and together they make the cell membrane more supple. A supple cell membrane helps hormones, neurotransmitters and insulin receptor sites function more efficiently. Reducing inflammation and premature aging. They are also rich in minerals and vitamins especially calcium, phosphorus, beta-carotene and vitamin E.
Jack F Bukowski MD, PhD former Harvard Professor and currently Director of the Nutritional Science Research Institute says “while additional research is still needed, pilot studies suggest in otherwise healthy overweight adults, daily consumption of pure organic sugar free Acai reduces cholesterol and several markers of metabolic syndrome associated with increased risk of diabetes, and stroke” This is due to the plant sterols present, especially beat sitosterol that inhibits the absorption of excessive animal food based cholesterol in the GI tract.
According to research Acai appears to help regenerate stem cells. These are the embryo cells that help rejuvenate and heal us faster by becoming any cell needed in our bodies.
With all this in mind Acai berries are a very helpful addition to a well balanced diet to promote a healthy cardiovascular system, radiant skin and increased energy and wellbeing.
Healthspark’s Acai berry products are “Sustainably grown (certified USDA ORGANIC), wild-harvested, collected and manufactured in a Fair-Trade supply chain (certified by Eco-Cert) that supports over 10,000 family farmers and protects 1.6 million acres of Amazon Rainforest Sustainable Amazon Partnership).”
At HealthSpark we only sell freeze-dried pure Acai Berry. Be careful not to buy a cheaper extract, where the antioxidant capabilities of the berry will be lost in manufacturing.
Try our incredible Weight Loss Salad dressing recipe
3oz Acai juice (mix 100g HealthSpark Acai powder with 25ml water)
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
dash of garlic powder
dash of onion powder
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp tahini
Whisk all the ingredients together and pour over a salad.
D Wolfe, (2009): Superfoods: North Atlantic Books; California
http://www.acai.org (accessed 9 May 2012)
“Brazilian Berry Destroys Cancer Cells in Lab.” Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. (filed under Research, Health, Sciences, Agriculture on Thursday, January 12, 2006) http://news.ufl.edu/2006/01/12/berries/
MJ Plotkin, MJ Balick; Vol 10, Issue 2, Journal of Ethnopharmacology; (1984); Medicinal Uses of South American Palms; http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0378874184900011 (accessed 9 May 2012)
Opray Winfrey’s Top Ten Superfood list http://www.oprah.com/health/Acai-Dr-Perricones-No-1-Superfood (accessed 9 May 2012)
http://www.sambazon.com (accessed 9 May 2012)
The Acai Research Organization www.acairesearch.org (accessed 9 May 2012)