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February 26, 2009 at 5:32 PMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Acai Berry - More to it than Easy Weight Loss

By Katie from SLN More Blogs by This Author

Americans have always loved to lose weight, and lately, we love to be healthy as well. The thing is, we often take our health and diet tips from the media and celebrities, and sometimes, we don't get the whole story. Fortunately, the acai (ah-sigh-ee) berry craze is somewhat less complicated than things like low-carb and all-liquid diets. And while a lot of the hype is no more than . . . well, hype, the acai berry itself is a wonderful little fruit.

Where Acai Comes From

The acai berry grows in the rainforests of Brazil, where for centuries the natives have enjoyed its health benefits. Resembling a blueberry or small grape, it is said to taste like berries and chocolate. The edible flesh makes up only about 10% of the berry, while the pit is the other 90%. Once picked, the acai berry generally spoils within a day. Because of that, the acai berry - in its purest form - is difficult to get. Some companies are managing to harvest, package, and ship quality acai products to consumers willing to spend the money. But numerous others are jumping on the bandwagon, offering products that are mostly filler with little actual acai. Buyer beware.

The Benefits of Acai

Still, celebrities like Oprah and Rachel Ray have publicized the weight loss benefits of acai berry, and America is responding with its own success stories. The berry does contain elements that boost metabolism and suppress appetite, but experts feel the weight loss claims have been exaggerated. As a health trend, the acai berry is a contemporary of the pomegranate and blueberry. All are rich in antioxidant properties, though acai scores higher than both. Just to give an idea, using the USDA's Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) scale, blueberries scored 32, while acai berry scored 167. The following is the list of potential acai berry health benefits:

  • Supports the immune system
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Improves digestion
  • Reduces pain and soreness
  • Promotes healthy sleep
  • Increases energy and stamina
  • Increased libido
  • Fights cancer and disease
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Fights aging and inflammation
  • Protects against heart disease

Other Celebrity Diet Tips

With credentials like that, the acai berry is indeed an incredibly nutritious fruit. As long as we consumers do our homework, and know the quality of our chosen acai berry products, the health and weight loss benefits are ours for the taking. Just for fun, we're including some celebrity diet tips that might go well with an acai berry regimen. Interestingly, most of them are about what you should eat, rather than what you shouldn't.

  • Eat Breakfast: Eating within the first half-hour after waking jump starts your metabolism and gets you going. Whole wheat toast, scrambled egg whites, fruit, and oatmeal provide beneficial protein and fiber.
  • Choose the Healthy Carbs: White pasta, bread, and rice, as well as sweets like cake and cookies have lots of sugar and very little nutrition. Eating them causes your body to use that quick burst of energy rather than your fat stores. Get your carbs through whole wheat products, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Be Veggie Particular: Trade gas-producing vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower for watery ones such as lettuce, celery, and cucumbers. Also, green beans and asparagus are high in fiber, but won't expand your stomach.
  • Add Some Spice: Cayenne pepper, jalapenos, and other spices boost the metabolism, and also add to your satisfaction while eating, which can discourage overeating. Herbs and spices are a great way of adding flavor without fat or salt.
  • Snack Between Meals: Noshing on healthy tidbits during the day can help you resist overeating at meals. Keep portable snacks like berries, crackers, or low-fat string cheese on hand when you're on the go.

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  • Very interesting! This is defiantly something I want to learn more about!

    Where would one purchase this wonderful berry?

  • I tried one bottle of the acai berry and no weight loss for me! That's all you get from me is one chance!

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