The supermarket shelves have filled in the past few years with a number of products featuring exotic sounding fruits and berries, such as pomegranate or goji fruit. However, none have caught a buzz quite like the Acai berry. It seems that every product you see, from juice to yogurt to sorbet, is now flavored with this amazing Amazon fruit. Claims surrounding this fruit from the tops of Brazilian palm trees include younger looking skin, better digestion, protection against disease and reduction of wrinkles. Is this an anti-aging miracle berry? Or are the list of claims too good to be true?
The acai berry is a recent discovery in most parts of the world, although those native to the Brazilian Amazon rainforest have been eating the black and purple fruit for generations. The fruit is rather unique and delicate in how it must be harvested and processed, which may be why it costs a bit more for products containing this fruit. Native workers must scale 60-to-90-foot trees to reach the fruit, then the berries must be processed within 12-24 hours after picking in order to preserve the fruit’s nutrients. The acai fruit then becomes the featured ingredient for a host of familiar products.
Items on the shelf containing acai vary greatly, from juice to eye cream. Nutritional products include those that contain acai in powder form, acai as a supplement, and acai as an ingredient in smoothies, frozen treats or drinks. Because of acai’s skin benefits, many new skin care products containing this fruit claim to be anti-aging. Because of acai’s high antioxident levels, higher than many other so-called superfoods, the fruit is thought to help promote healthy, smooth skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and provide a host of health benefits inside and out. Since antioxident-rich foods are recommended as part of a healthy diet for their ability to protect against disease and help combat free radicals in the body, acai berries would be an important addition to your diet. Acai berries feature fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and 10 times the antioxident level of red grapes or blueberries.
Nutritional fads and finds come and go quickly, but some have staying power. With its numerous health benefits and its importance as both a nutritious addition to your diet and a powerful ingredients in anti-aging skin care products, acai berries seem to be a superfood that is here to stay.