Acai Berry - Concentrated antioxidant goodness
Acai Berry (or more commonly, it's juice) has become increasingly popular over recent years, both as an antioxidant nutritional supplement and as an ingredient in everything from ice-creams to alchoholic drinks!
What is less commonly known, however, is that Acai (pronounced Ah-Sah-Yee) is a powerful source of many other beneficial compounds, including essential fatty acids, protein and resveratrol, that has been used for hundreds, if nto thousands of years by the natives in the marshy areas of South America where it is indigenous. As such, it has been the mainstay in the diet of many South American cultures, accounting for over 40% of their entire dietary intake in some cases.
All this suggests that Acai berry is seen by these cultures as being an important part of their diets and when we look at what it contains, it is not hard to see why.
Nutritional contents of Acai Berry
Dietary Fibre (almost 85% of the carbohydrate content of Acai is fibre, which accounts for its very low glycemic index - important for diabetics and others worried about excessive sugar intake)
Essential Fatty Acids - including delicate polyphenols and other vital ingredients of a healthy diet.
Protein - Acai contains, weight for weight, more protein than eggs and is a very important source of dietary protein for the native cultures that consume it.
Antioxidants - approximately twice as much as blueberries and 10-times as much as grapes.
Vitamins and minerals - many and varied trace minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E (essential for a health immune system).
Anthocyanins (some of the compounds thought to give red wine its supposed health benefits) - about 30 times as much as red wine!
Enzymes and co-factors - increasingly recognised as key contributors to health, such as co-enqyme Q10
What is of primary importance in Acai berry as with other whole-food superfood ingredients is that all of the above nutritional components are in a perfect, natural balance for maximum absorption and therefore benefit - unlike many acai juice products, which are made up from dried or otherwise processed berry extracts. As with many (if not most) other food processing methods, such techniques can damage, or even completely destroy the nutritional content of Acai, leaving the resultant products with limited, if any benefit - especially when compared to the whole-food in its natural state.
When balanced with the complementary benefits of other whole foods, as in the case of Kakadu complex, Acai is a powerhouse of intense nutrition and helps provide many of the ingredients essential to a healthy diet.
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