Acai Berry: The Miracle Fruit?

acai berry

So what’s the real deal with this berry? Why is it suddenly an ingredient of our recipes, drinks, health products, anti-aging products and our diet/weight loss programs? Can it really help bring about the results we are looking for in our purchases?

Discover health asked National Body Challenge Online Community Fitness Expert Jonathan Ross to zero in on this so-called miracle fruit.

The fruit

The Acai (pronounced "Ah-Sah-Yee") is a berry native to the Amazon rain forest. It has:

  • a cocoa-berry taste
  • plenty of antioxidants (a little higher than blueberries and pomegranate in antioxidant content)
  • healthy fats
  • a small amount of proteins
  • dietary fiber

Health Benefits

The Acai berry reportedly benefit the heart, cardiovascular system and cholesterol levels because it contains high levels of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids and compounds called anthocyanins, which is also found in red wine.

It is also reported to help slow down the aging process, again due to anthocyanins and its strong antioxidant vitamin content. (Source: health.learninginfo.org)

Not miraculous

Jonathan Ross explains that berries are generally great sources of various nutrients, and that, as a berry, the Acai is very healthy and good for us. As thus, it is not the miracle fruit that some manufacturers claim it to be. As Ross puts it, "It will not help you lose weight unless you eat it instead of deep-fried chicken wings."

Ross also adds that just because some foods come from exotic locations doesn’t mean they are healthier than their more ‘common’ counterparts. "It is marketing…nothing more." (Source: health.discovery.com)

Image source: Discovery Health