What is the Acai Berry?
- It is an inch long, reddish purple fruit that comes from the Acai palm tree, which is native to Central and South America.
- It is related to the blueberry, cranberry, and other dark purple fruits.
- It is often called the “miracle fruit” because many think it provides many health benefits.
- Health food stores sell these berries fresh, frozen, or dried. You can also buy them as a juice or in capsule form.
- Some research has shown that the antioxidants in the berry may help prevent heart disease and cancer, but this has not yet been proven.
TV and Media Claims
Although the media, including ABC News, CBS News, and Oprah, have promoted benefits of this “magic berry,” many of the claims are not scientifically proven. There are very few published papers about the Acai berry and its benefits.
False Claims and the Truth
Claim: Acai Berry Juice can help lower blood
pressure to the point where medication is not needed.
Truth: Studies do show that the antioxidants may lower the risk of heart disease and cancer and most people who drink Acai juice do have more antioxidants in their blood. But, there is still no proof that the juice alone can lower blood pressure and improve health.
However, there is evidence that antioxidants are good for your health, but only when whole foods (not juice) such as fruits, vegetables, or dark chocolate, are eaten. It is probably better to eat whole foods because they have less calories, are less expensive, and are less exotic because you will still get plenty of antioxidants from them.
Claim: Drinking 4 ounces of Acai Berry Juice per day gives you as many nutrients as eating 14 fruits per day.
Truth: Even though there are benefits to adding fruits to the diet every day, 14 may be too much and can cause possible risks. One such risk is that your kidneys and liver will have to work very hard to pump all the extra nutrients out of your body.
- More energy
- Improves digestion
- Helps you sleep better
- Detoxes your body
- Fiber rich
- Younger looking skin
- Heart healthy
- Helps with diabetes
- Reduces cholesterol
- Fights cancer
- Burns fat
- Treats/prevents acne
- Helps with aging and wrinkling
- Improves skin elasticity
References Acai Berry Juice: www.acaiberryeffects.com/acai-berry-power-500-pros-and-cons.html, www.webmd.com/diet/acai_berries-and-acai-berry-juice-what-are-the-health-benefits, longevity.about.com/od/antiagingfoods/a/acai_aging.htm. Nutrition Education for July 2009. Produced by Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County by Stefanie Johnson, a nutrition intern for Sherry Simon, R.D./L.D. For questions regarding nutritional information, please contact Sherry Simon, R.D./L.D., Director of Nutrition Services for Meals on Wheels, Inc. Tarrant Country at (817) 336-0912 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.mealsonweels.org