Acai – Is There any Nutritional Value?

Super Fruit: Brazil’s little acai berry packs a big nutritional punch
acai-berries

By Melissa Heckscher, Staff Writer, Sambazon

Article Last Updated: 05/12/2008 06:18:44 PM PDT

Move over, pomegranate.

Take a seat, mangosteen.


There’s a new “superfruit” in town and it’s called acai.

Pronounced ah-SIGH-ee, this Brazilian berry is being infused into seemingly everything, from juices and smoothies to cereal and nutrition bars.

And it’s no wonder. Acai is touted as having up to 30 times the antioxidant power of red wine, as well as large amounts of protein, amino acids, trace minerals, dietary fiber and phytosterols – all important in promoting cardiovascular, muscular and digestive health.

In fact, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, author of “The Perricone Promise: Look Younger – Live Longer in Three Easy Steps” (Grand Central Publishing, 2003), has called acai the No. 1 “superfood.” Other foods on his list of “Top 10 Superfoods” include barley, lentils, buckwheat, hot peppers and kefir.

“Acai contains high amounts of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories,” Perricone said via e-mail. “Both qualities maintain cell health.”

The acai berry is about the size of a blueberry but is tart and slightly chocolaty in flavor. It grows high atop Amazon palm trees and historically has been used in Brazil to treat digestive disorders and skin conditions.

U.S. studies are promising. A 2006 University of Florida study found that acai berries may destroy cancer cells.

According to Stephen Talcott, assistant professor with the university’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, extracts from acai berries triggered a self-destruct response in cultured human cancer cells. The response happened in 86 percent of leukemia cells tested.Talcott warned, however, that the study doesn’t prove that eating or drinking acai will prevent or cure cancer.

“This was a only a cell culture model, and we don’t want to give anyone false hope,” Talcott said in a statement. “We are encouraged by the findings, however. Compounds that show good activity against cancer cells in a model system are most likely to have beneficial effects in our bodies.”

The food industry has responded accordingly.

Leading the pack is California-based Sambazon, one of the first to publicly market acai products outside of Brazil.

Formed in 2001 by Southern California surfer Ryan Black and his brother Jeremy, Sambazon – which stands for Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon – is now responsible for about 80 percent of the acai imported into the United States.

Other companies have jumped on the bandwagon. Campbell Soup Co. recently released an acai blend of its V8 Fusion drinks; Haagen-Dazs has an Acai Berry Sorbet; and Luctor International, makers of Van Gogh Vodka, launched the first acai-flavored vodka in 2007.

Of course, nutritionists say acai is no panacea.

“It’s definitely a healthful food,” said Andrea Giancol, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “Is it a miracle cure? Probably not.”

The American Cancer Society recommends eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day to help prevent cancer. In general, those with the most color – green, red, yellow and orange – have the most nutrients.

“Any vegetable or fruit that scores high in antioxidants is going to be valuable,” said Carolyn Katzin, a nutritionist and spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society. “There is no magic bullet. There is no magic food.”

There is one thing for sure: The growing popularity of the acai berry is good for the Amazon rain forest, since acai farming can provide a sustainable alternative to logging, cattle farming and other industries that cause deforestation.

Sambazon, for instance, buys its acai directly from farmers who, in turn, agree to designate part of their land as ecological reserves.

And the Los Angeles-based Bossa Nova acai beverage company recently teamed up with the Rainforest Alliance to preserve one Amazon tree for every bottle of acai sold.

… meet the other superfruits

POMEGRANATE

pomegranateWhat is it: An apple-size red fruit – the name comes from Latin “pomum” (apple) and “granatus” (seeded) – native to the Himalayas, pomegranates are a tart but sweet fruit containing clusters of small edible seeds.

>Sold as: Juices, whole fruits, seeds. >Benefits: Contains almost three times the antioxidant levels of green tea or red wine. Studies on mice and humans show pomegranates may help lower cholesterol.

———

GOJI BERRY

gojiWhat is it: A small red berry commonly used in Asian cultures for herbal soups and teas.

>Sold as: Dried whole fruits, juice, powder..

>Benefits: High in amino acids and trace minerals, and a rich source of beta-carotene and vitamin C.

MANGOSTEEN

mangosteenWhat is it: A plum-size red fruit that comes from the mangosteen tree native to Southeast Asia.

>Sold as: Whole fruit, juice, powder.

>Benefits: Rich in xanthones (highly potent antioxidants). Contains compounds said to have antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Melissa Heckscher


Caralluma Fimbriata – What You Need to Know.

Caralluma fimbriata is a succulent plant, in the cactus family, that has been used as a natural appetite suppressant in India for centuries.

It’s a new arrival in the family of cactii and succulent plants that are becoming increasingly popular for their appetite suppressant, and weight loss properties, as well as their ability to lower blood sugar. Supplements made from the popular hoodia gordonii cactus from the Kalahari Desert in Africa, are, for example, growing in popularity and usage in the U.S. and Europe.

Like hoodia, caralluma fimbriata has been used to suppress appetite, and as a portable food for hunting. It is used to suppress hunger and appetite, and enhance endurance throughout India. It is also sometimes considered a “famine food,” used during periods of famine to suppress appetite.

For centuries, people in rural areas of India have eaten Caralluma fimbriata, which grows wild over various parts of the country. Caralluma fimbriata is cooked as a vegetable, used in preserves like chutneys and pickles, or eaten raw. Caralluma fimbriata is believed to block the activity of several enzymes, which then blocks the formation of fat, forcing fat reserves to be burned. Caralluma fimbriata is also believed to have an effect on the appetite control mechanism of the brain. Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medicine) experts have noted that there are no adverse effects when using Caralluma fimbriata, and the plant has no known toxicity.

A patented, tested extract of Caralluma fimbriata has been developed and standardized. by a company called Gencor. The extract delivers the plant in a concentrated form.

One of the only products available which combines the patented extract of Caralluma fimbriata with EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) from green tea. Together they reportedly have a synergistic effect on appetite control and weight loss. In several clinical trials this was shown to be effective in reducing body fat through appetite control. Click HERE to find out more


Caralluma Fimbriata – What is Dr Perricone Saying?

We have all seen Dr Nicolas Perricone talking on Oprah’s show about how to get healthy.


Dr Perricone says that Caralluma Fimbriata (an Indian cactus plant) can really make a difference in your body fat.  Used for centuries in India it’s now readily available to you in easy capsule form.

CarallumaSlim has the extra benefit of including green tea in it’s formula.

This natural secret blocks fat formation and suppresses appetite so you’re just not hungry. Increases your energy levels so you actually burn off more fat.

Without a doubt one of the best strategies for losing body fat and increasing muscle mass. A double bonus.

See what another researcher has to say…


Acai Berry – Who is Talking About Acai?

Here is a summary of who is talking about Acai berries and, more importantly, what they are saying:

Brad Pitt – used acai berry to help weight loss when he needed to get fit and reduce body fat to star in the recent movie “Burn After Reading”.  Sure he exercised as well, acai berry products gave him the energy to train, and helped him slim down.

Angelina Jolie – used acai berry to slim down after the birth of her babies.

Dr Nicholas Perricone – introduced acai berries to Oprah and the world. He has called acai berries the number one superfood.

Sumner Redstone – the 85 year old media mogul behind Viacom and CBS called acai berries like “a miracle drug” (* just for the record it’s totally natural, not a drug). He says, he’s never felt better. “I know I look a lot younger than I am,” he says. “I feel like I’m 40 years old.”

Rachel Ray – Featured acai on her show.

Lailina Wisoff, a Kaiser Permanente dietician  says – “Whether they drink it as a juice, or whether they use it in a smoothie or take it as a supplement, it will boost the antioxidants in their diet. It has been recommended by the USDA to increase our antioxidants. High antioxidants in the blood have an inverse reaction to disease”

Keri Glassman, dietician who reported on “The Early Show” – “Acai berries are among the most nutritious foods of the Amazon, rich in B vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Acai berries also contain oleic acid (omega-9), a beneficial fatty acid (often mistakenly referred to as essential).”

Wall Street Journal “Acai Replaces Wheatgrass At Juice Bars” – “At juice bars and health stores around the country, the hip new taste is açaí, (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) a grape-size, deep-purple berry that grows atop palm trees in the Brazilian jungle.”

ABC News – Chicago “Superfoods For The New Year” – January 7, 2007 – “Let’s move from the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany to the vast, dark regions of the Brazilian rain forest where we discover the new superstar of super foods, acai (ah-sigh-ee). You’ll be hearing a lot more about this rain forest fruit going forward. Acai is the off the chart for almost everything that kale is, in addition to naturally occurring Omega-3, 6 and 9 oils.”

“It’s not only good for you, but many world class athletes drink it while training because it’s so loaded with nutrition and protein it can be a complete meal. But you don’t have to be an athlete, maybe just a busy mom or kid.”

NBC Today Show “Five Life Changing Foods” November 26, 2007 – “Studies show that the acai berry is one of the most nutritious foods in the world. The high-energy berry of as Amazonian palm tree, acai is harvested in the rainforests of Brazil and tastes like a vibrant blend of berries and chocolate.”  “Acai pulp contains 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine; a synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health; and an almost perfect essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, vital to proper muscle contraction and regeneration.”



White Tea with Acai – A Powerful Combination

The Perfect Marriage of Two Wonderful Superfoods – White Tea and Acai

  1. White tea is made from leaves of the tea plant Camellia sinensis. The leaves are harvested while very young, and the buds covered in very fine, white hairs. These hairs are what give white tea its name.
  2. The acai berry is known to have the highest nutritional value of any fruit in the world, which makes it one of the most important superfoods.

White tea undergoes less processing than other teas.  Tea leaves destined to be sold as white tea undergo even less processing than green tea leaves. Instead of air-drying, the unwithered leaves are merely steamed.

The result? A pale tea with a sweet, silky flavor. People who have tried both note that white tea lacks the “grassy” aftertaste so often associated with green tea. Furthermore, studies indicate that white tea is better for you. Leaving tea leaves so close to their natural state means that white tea contains more polyphenols, the powerful anti-oxidant that fights and kills cancer-causing cells, than any other type of tea.

Acai Berry – If you haven’t heard of this Amazonian berry you have been missing out. Acai berries are produced by a palm tree known scientifically as Euterpe oleracea, common in floodplain areas of the Amazon River. When ripe, the berries are dark purple and about the size of a blueberry. They contain a thin layer of edible pulp surrounding a large seed. Acai berries, said to taste like a comination of berries and chocolate have been proven to be a fruit with one of the highest levels of antioxidants.

Wow, what a powerful combination!  So, what can it do for you?

Help you lose weight – read the testimonials HERE

  • Increase your energy levels
  • Enhance your immune system
  • Rejuvenate your skin – Reduce fine lines and wrinkles

The almost magical combination of white tea and acai berry has a host of other health benefits – read more HERE


Wu Yi System – The Secret Weapon Unveiled

Hollywood celebrities use Wu Yi Tea as their secret weapon, so why not you?

Forget about chemical so-called weight loss pills or other fad diet products, they’re not good for your health or sustainable in your diet.

Despite being as easy as boiling a kettle of water, Wu-Yi Tea delivers fast and effective weight loss with just two servings a day along with our system.   The results have been scientifically proven.

The Wu-Yi Weight Loss System truly is the next generation of weight loss and it’s changing the way women across the world lose weight and get in shape. In fact, there are nearly 1,000 women per day choosing Wu-Yi Tea as their new weight loss aid of choice. Plus, you can drink your Wu-Yi tea whenever it’s convenient for you. You can drink one cup of delicious Wu-Yi in the morning with breakfast, and one in the afternoon to relax – no more handfuls of embarrassing pills, and no more inconvenient dosing schedules! You can take Wu-Yi Tea with you anywhere you would take a thermos of coffee, so it’s easy to use and transport. Nothing could be more convenient! And it’s good for your overall health, totally unlike those chemical products.

There is also a surprise product – with the combined benefits of green tea, acai berry and other natural extracts – which will boost your fat burning potential. Find out more HERE.


Dr Perricone – The Weight Loss Diet



Green Tea, Dr Perricone & Oprah – The Transcript


I’m not going to add much, I’ll just let the doctor have his say in this partial transcript from an Oprah Show episode featuring Dr Nicholas Perricone, which aired in November, 2004

“Oprah: Now I’ve read in your book that you said if I just replaced coffee with green tea instead, that I could lose 10 pounds in six weeks.

Dr. Perricone: Absolutely.

Oprah: Now really. How could that — what is the big deal about this?

Dr Perricone: Coffee has organic acids that raise your blood sugar, raise insulin. Insulin puts a lock on body fat. When you switch over to green tea, you get your caffeine, you’re all set, but you will drop your insulin levels and body fat will fall very rapidly. So 10 pounds in six weeks, I will guarantee it.

Oprah: I’m gonna do that. OK. That is so good! Whoo! That is great.”

— The Oprah Winfrey Show: “Look 10 Years Younger in 10 Days” – Nov 10, 2004

So, even if the doctor is only partly right, given that we’re all individuals who react differently, why wouldn’t you give green tea a try?