The Acai (ah-sigh-ee) Berry

It never ceases to amaze me how people go crazy over things that have been in existence since time began, as if they were just discovered yesterday. The acai berry is no exception.

Is this tiny berry, the indigenous form of the civilized blueberry, nutritious? Yes.

Is this ah-sigh-ee berry healthy for you? Absolutely.

Is the little power-packed berry new to healthy diets? Of course not.

Berries and their seeds are one of the most nutritious staples in most other countries that don't have golden-fast-food-arches, pizza parlors in the public schools, or diet colas as their main source of hydration. Natural fruits and berries are a given, and their fantastic claims of "weight loss" are due to the fact that you are finally eating something natural and super nutritious as opposed to pre-packaged vending machine food or drive-through fat-patties on a white bun plus super-sized fries with a diet cola.

Modern Americans might be a little slow to figure out what all other animals in nature eat for healthy survival, and aren't aware of what the more down-to-Earth cultures have been eating for centuries; but, better late than never, I say. Welcome on-board!

And even though the popularity of the acai berry in America is primarily due to its weight loss benefits, the health attributes of eating all natural berries with super-power seeds is phenomenal.

So, now that natural fruits and berries are on your radar, let's keep them there.....

The acai berry has a tangy taste of berries with a hint of chocolate. It has been around for many thousands of years, but South American travelers only introduced it to the western world in the 1990s. The acai berry has tremendous healing properties, and has been used by the tribes of the Amazon jungle as a cure for many ailments. The beautiful birds of the Amazon feed on these berries, and drop their seeds on the bottom of the Rain forest floor, where they replenish and grow.

Acai berry fruit grows on the Acai Palm in swampy floodplains in Rain forests of tropical Central and South America, from Belize south to Brazil and Peru. It has been a staple of the local native diet for thousands of years. The branches at the top of the trees hang down like ribbons, and the acai berries hang from the branches in clusters that look like groups of blue bottles. These berries are loaded with protein, essential fatty acids and a plethora of nutrients; therefore, it has been used as a healing food for many ailments.

The properties of the juice from the acai berry is only active within 24 hours after picking, so now that the berry has been discovered and is a highly sought after crop, it may become mass produced, and this may lessen its healing qualities. Remember that in most countries less urbanized than the large, global metropolitan areas, foods are gathered for market on a daily basis, so they are fresh and still bursting with nutrients. The farther natural foods travel from their sources and the longer they sit on a shipping dock, in storage, or on the grocery shelves, the less potency they retain.

The acai berries must be loaded into baskets and onto boats soon after picking. Just to get them to the markets in Brazil, the berries have to be transported over night. So, the best berries are eaten fresh soon after they have been picked.

Modern food technology can capture the original nutrients in the berries if they are freeze-dried soon after harvest and then placed into a powdered form. The berries can also be frozen soon after picking. If their juices are extracted from the berries soon after harvest and bottled, the bottles should be sealed well and refrigerated after opening. This is true for all natural fruits.

The acai berry, like many fruits, vegetables, and berries, has natural antioxidant properties and helps control cholesterol. These berries can build the immune system, fight infection, and suppress prostate enlargement while increasing libido, naturally. The acai berry is rich in essential nutrients and trace minerals, and is a source of natural energy. In South American countries, it is also used to produce an antibiotic that helps to fight against Staphylococcus aureus.

The acai berry's fatty acid ratio resembles that of olive oil and contains similar properties to red wine in controlling fats in the blood. Its essential Omega oils help protect against heart disease.

Known as the miracle fruit in South American countries, with antioxidant properties five times more potent than gingko biloba, acai berries have been known to aid in the prevention of cancer.

And weight loss? Well, eating natural foods, drinking pure water, having more energy to exercise more (at least take the stairs instead of the lift), enjoying a healthy libido, circulating more antioxidants which provide more oxygen to your body, feeling more positive about yourself - yea, weight loss should be the next logical side-effect of introducing healthier foods into your diet.

Ditch the diet colas, the super-sized fries and greasy burgers and replace your daily meals with fresh fruits and vegetables. The ah-sigh-ee berry just might be your new friend for dinner tonight!

For what I consider the best dietary guidelines, see my pH Test Kit which includes my 75/25 Eating Plan and the Richardson Cancer Prevention Diet.

Posted November 2008 | Permanent Link

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