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Nov 29, 2011

Survive or Thrive: The Acai Berry--Deserted Island Option or Everyday Essential?

You’re stranded on a deserted island.
If you could have just one food with you, what would it be?

There might be a new answer for this age-old question. Having gained a reputation as one of the world’s top superfoods and boasting a complete complement of nutrients, the acai berry is not just a wise choice for “What if?” scenarios.

For centuries, the people of the Amazon have revered the acai berry for its nutritional properties. Their tribal healers used acai to promote health and longevity, and their warriors consumed it as a source of strength, energy, and vitality. Today, the remarkable health benefits of acai have been studied by modern science. And because of its unparalleled antioxidant levels and superior nutrient content, acai is now being cited as a highly beneficial addition to a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

View "Healing Quest: Acai Herbal Insight with Mark Blumenthal"

Among the beneficial nutrients in the acai berry are antioxidants and phytonutrients.

  • Antioxidants are an invaluable tool in the fight against free radical damage, which is so pervasive in today’s world where pollution, sun exposure, and convenience foods are prolific offenders. Free radicals can cause cell damage, which can lead to a variety of health issues. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, thereby reducing their damaging effects on the body.
  • Phytonutrients, also known as phytochemicals, are the compounds found in fruits that give them their color (pigmentation). Their role in nature is to protect a plant’s tissues, fruits, and seeds from invasion by microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. When we eat fruits, the protective properties of their phytonutrients are conferred to us, thus promoting good health. One important class of phytonutrients is anthocyanins, which have received considerable attention for their ability to decrease health risks associated with aging. Boasting an anthocyanin level of up to 20 times that of red wine, the acai berry appears to be unmatched in the world of fruits.

Increasing your daily intake of a variety of fruits high in antioxidants and phytonutrients is one of the best ways to protect your long-term health. The acai berry is also rich in many other nutrients, including essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber, amino acids, and complex carbohydrates. Few foods can lay claim to the nutritional properties of this remarkable berry.

And while it’s unlikely that you will ever be stranded on a deserted island, it’s worth including in your daily diet those foods deemed among the best—foods that will help you look and feel your best. The acai berry from the Amazon rainforest certainly qualifies as one of these foods. Teeming with exotic wildlife and pristine plant life, it’s as if the Amazon rainforest is making a statement—by offering to the world a summary of all its rich goodness—in the form of the acai berry.

Acai is a welcome discovery at a time when most of us are seeking not merely to survive, but to thrive. Now more than ever, people are stepping up to accept responsibility for the foods they ingest. Why not be one of them? Choose to include “deserted island foods” in your daily diet, and make a positive contribution to your healthy and active lifestyle.

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