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Acai Health Benefits

The Acai Berry (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a nutrient packed fruit that is found in the flood plains of the Amazon Rainforest. It is a traditional staple of the Amazonian diet but has only gained prominence in the West in recent years. Its rise to prominence started when it was named as one of the top 10 superfoods on the Oprah Winfrey Show and endorsed by Dr Nicholas Perricone, a leading dermatologist and author of The Perricone Promise.

Acai is packed with more antioxidants than blueberries or pomegranates, plus loads of healthy Omega fats, protein and dietary fibre making it one of the most nutritious foods on earth.

Laboratory tests show that acai is a rich source of antioxidants called anthrocyanins, which are the same phytochemicals that provide the healthy benefits of red wine. Acai pulp contains more antioxidants than blueberries or red wine. Tests also show that acai is rich in unsaturated healthy fats with a fatty acid ratio similar to olive oil, which is considered to be contributing factor to the low incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean populations. Acai pulp contains omega 6 and 9 fatty acids – making the fat in acai supremely healthy for you.

This healthy fat content means that the fresh fruit goes rancid if not consumed within 24 hours. However, recent innovations in food preservation have meant that a processed version of the fruit can be enjoyed by consumers around the world using a technique called freeze drying which preserves the fruit but also maintains its nutritional benefits.

The high concentration of anthocyanins that act as antioxidants and are responsible for many of the health promoting properties of the berry. Reported health benefits are wide ranging and include:

1) Positively impacting on cholesterol levels
2) Improving sex drive
3) Enhancing digestive function
4) Improving energy levels and mental acuity
5) Improving skin condition and reducing premature aging

It is important to note that the amount of research that has been carried out on the Acai Berry is still relatively limited with most of the health claims being based on anecdotal reports rather than peer reviewed scientific studies or other credible sources. However, Sambazon have recently setup a Scientific Advisory Board.