SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: ACAI BERRY
By Stefanie Cassetto
There is one thing that many superfoods have in common. Antioxidants. These powerful nutrients counteract the damage from the normal effects of the physiological process of oxidation in animal tissue. Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that play a role in preventing diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cataracts. This nutrient seems too good to be true with those kind of superpowers.
This week we turn our focus to another fruit that is loaded with these desired antioxidants. Known as one of the most antioxidant rich foods, the acai berry has made a lot of news. Researchers have found that this fruit contains 30 times more antioxidants than red wine and is more powerful than ginko biloba.
Traditionally used by tribes in the Amazon, the berry comes from an indigenous palm that produces about 44 pounds of fruit per year. It was introduced to the western world in the 1990’s where it has become a popular diet supplement aimed at fighting infection, protecting the heart, and battling the war on cancer.
The health benefits of the acai berry are numerous. Acaí berries contain compounds like resveratrol and ferulic acid. These anit-free radical compounds fight against aging, inflammation, and cancer. Acai berry is also rich in healthy fatty acids, such as oleic acid and linoleic acid, one of the same oils found in olive oil. These fatty acids help prevent heart disease and reduce bad cholesterol. Although the acai berry is no larger than a grape — it also contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron, niacin, vitamin B-6 and riboflavin. These vitamins and minerals help to control the heart rate, blood pressure, metabolism, and fats.
While finding raw acai berry in the local grocery store is difficult, you can find acai berry products like puree, juice, preserves, and supplements. You can also find dark chocolate acai berry or yogurt covered acai berry at the local health food market.
So if you’re ready to give your body a boost with antioxidants add acai berry products to your recipes A.S.A.P. The benefits are too good to pass up!
ACAI BERRY BREAKFAST BOWL
- 1 cup acai berry pulp
- ½ cup soy milk or 2 fruit juices (¼ cup each)
- 1 banana (sliced)
- ½ cup oat flakes (or wheat germ, quinoa, granola)
- Slices of fresh fruits
Blend acai berry pulp, soy milk or fruit juices and sliced banana in a blender. Pour in a bowl and top the mixture with the corn flakes and fresh fruit slices.
Link to recipe: http://www.acaiberrytime.com/easy-acai-berry-recipes.html