The berry is round, small and a very dark purple in color. It looks a little like a blueberry or grape although it is smaller and darker. This fruit of the acai palm contains a large seed with only a small amount of fruit pulp. It cannot be eaten straight from the tree - it is picked and processed before being made available as juice and pulp.
Studies have been conducted on the small purple fruit and have shown that the berry of the acai palm is one of the most nutritious foods in the world, with powerful and high energy properties. The acai berry is packed with high quality antioxidants, essential fatty acids and amino acids. The taste is said to be like a combination of various berries and chocolate.
The characteristics and health-giving properties of the acai berry include:
* A high concentration of antioxidants - acai berries have ten times the antioxidant benefits of red grapes and double that of blueberries. They also have from ten to thirty times more anthocyanins than red wine. Antioxidants help to combat the visible signs of aging by attacking free radicals in the body.
* A combination of monounsaturated fats, phytosterols and dietary fiber. These act synergistically to promote digestive and cardiovascular health in humans.
* Fatty acids found in the acai berry are very close in composition to those in olive oil, known as the "healthy oil" by nutritionist and dieticians. Acai is also rich on oleic acid - a monounsaturated fat that aids the penetration of omega-3 fish oils into cell membranes, helping to increase the suppleness of the membranes. When the cell membranes are supple there is more efficient functioning of the insulin receptors, neurotransmitters and hormones. Because high levels of insulin cause inflammation, and inflammation is a cause of aging, this aspect of the acai berry is especially important.
* Complex amino acids that are close to perfect for human health and vital trace minerals. These two ingredients work together to promote correct muscle regeneration and contraction of muscles during movement.
* Provides fiber and all the vital vitamins necessary for human health and effective functioning of the body. These two factors boost energy levels, improve digestive function and mental clarity.
* Regulates and normalizes cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels to alleviate diabetes and maintain healthy heart function.
* Strengthens the immune system, fights cancerous cell growth and minimises inflammation.
This super-food product is generally available at speciality gourmet stores and health stores, as capsules, juice and unsweetened pulp. It is also be used in health bars, icecream and mixed health juices which may be more widely available. There are numerous accounts of the benefits enjoyed by individuals who have been taking acai, and the general health of the South American population would attest to its efficacy and broad spectrum healthy attributes.
Lance Thorington's articles have been published on numerous places online including web sites, ezines, blogs and email lists. For more information on the acai berry visit http://www.acaiberryzone.com/