There has been a lot of talk about the health benefits of acai berries. Are they really any more beneficial than other fruits? The talk around acai berries includes using them for weight loss, in cosmetics and beauty products, for cell protection and to reduce the risk for heart disease and cancer.
Studies do show that the acai fruit pulp has a high level of antioxidant capacity and it is even higher than the blackberry, blueberry, cranberry, raspberry or strawberry. There are currently no studies to confirm that acai berries have any health benefits that other fruits do not have.
There are studies that show that the acai oil is a safe alternative to other tropical oils in cosmetic use.
The acai berry is reddish, purple in color and studies do show that dark purple fruit contain anthocyanins and flavonoids; substances that help the body defend itself against stress. They also play a significant role in the body’s cell protection ability. Those who eat a diet rich in antioxidants may reduce the effects of aging and help reduce the risk for some disease such as cancer and heart disease.
Research does support the role that dark fruits play in a healthy diet because they are rich in antioxidants. There are no studies to date that support the idea that eating acai berries or acai juice will lead to weight loss.
It is a well-known fact that foods rich in fiber are heart-healthy and acai berries are a good source of fiber. Any dietician will tell you that fruit is a part of any healthy diet. Acai berry products are widely available in local health food stores and gourmet stores. You can eat the berries, or drink the acai berry juice. The reason you won’t find acai berries in general grocery stores is that the acai berries spoil rapidly.
Consumer Report did a series on “Diet Trends” in which an article on The Acai Berry Diet an American Obsession? Appeared on November 29, 2009. The article reported the results of a 4-week test. The test consisted of taking daily Acai Optimum and Pure Cleanse pills. The result was an increase in energy, better sleep and weight loss.
WebMD Acai Berries and Acai Berry Juice – What are the Health Benefits? http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/acai-berries-and-acai-berry-juice-what-are-the-health-benefits
Seeram, N, et al. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Dec.13, 2006; vol. 54(25): pp. 9329-9339.
Mayo Clinic; Nutrition and healthy eating Acai berry products: What are the health benefits? http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/acai/AN01836
Consumer Report 2010 Top Diet Trends; The Acai Berry Diet an American Obsession? http://www.tophealthnews.org/