Maui School Garden Network
April 8, 2020
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Acai Berry Select - What Is All The Fuss?

Author: Administrator
Unless the aliens just released you from extended space captivity, you have undoubtedly run into umpteen different news stories, press releases and advertisements about the acai berry (pronounced ah-sigh-ee). This little purple berry has become so popular in such a short period of time, it is on the verge of becoming a new food group all by itself. But what sets this berry apart from, say, a raspberry or even the almighty blueberry? Let's take a quick look at where this special berry comes from and the nutrients it contains.

The Brazilian rain forest is the ancestral home of the acai berry. It grows as fruit on the Amazonian Acai Palm and has been used for hundreds of years by the Brazilian people, not only as a significant source of food, but also for the berry's detoxifying properties.

The anti-oxidant agents in this particular berry put even the blueberry to shame. The nutritional content of acai even surpasses that of the kale plant, which has long been considered the nutritional holy grail. While both kale and acai contain cancer-preventing phytonutrients such as glucosinolates and methyl cysteine sulfoxides, the berry also provides heart-healthy nutrients like Omega 3, 6 and 9 oils not found in kale.

What are some of the benefits of this nutritional mighty-mite? Increased energy levels are a primary benefit of a diet that is high in acai nutrients. Because it is considered the perfect source of carbohydrate-fueled energy, the pulp of the berry is eaten before competition by Brazilian soccer players and other athletes.

The acai berries also contain such high levels of anti-oxidants, they provide additional energy by strengthening the immune system to a point where the body isn't constantly struggling to fight germs and disease -- the result is that more of the body's energy is freed up for other uses.

The health benefits of acai are related to the fruit's high levels of anti-oxidants. By attacking the free radicals that enter the body through environmental sources such as pollution, pesticides and cigarette smoke, the acai berry strengthens cells and fights disease and damage to the body's DNA.

The nutritional components of acai are also credited with fighting obesity. The fruit has a natural combination of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, amino acids, and phytosterols -- allowing the body to function at a higher level, process food more easily, and burn fat more efficiently.

The benefits of acai cannot be ignored, however, they can be improved. Some manufacturers are now combining extract from thus nutritious berry with other health-related supplements such as green tea, to create a kind of super-supplement. It is now obvious that all of the fuss being made about the acai berry is well worth it!

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