What Acai Is and What it Does
Acia is a type of berry which grows on the acai palm trees found in areas of swamps and floodplains in South and Central America. The acai berries produced by these trees are small, purple and round and produce a sweet juice which is frequently used to make drinks in the countries where the trees are found. Beyond this however, the health benefits of acai have long been recognised and the berries are now also used in various products – including juice drinks, tea bags and capsules. To have an acai diet is becoming increasingly popular amongst people who want to increase their over all wellbeing.
When it comes to considering exactly what acai does in terms of benefiting the health of those who consume the berries, it is important to separate proven scientific facts from some of the more unsubstantiated claims made for acai. Despite some claiming otherwise there is no concrete scientific evidence that acai is an aid to weight loss and any product sold by a company which makes such a claim should be treated with caution.
What acai has been proven to do is to act as an antioxidant within the body. What this means is that it helps to break up and kill those molecules, usually referred to as ‘free radicals’, which have been linked with a number of diseases – including cancer – as well as less serious illnesses. The berries contain anthocyanins, which are a primary factor in their ability to kill these molecules, as well as other vitamins and minerals. These anthocyanins are developed within the berries to help them withstand the UV rays of the sun in the areas where they grow – areas in which the sunlight is particularly strong – and they perform the same antioxidant service for the berries here as they do for the body when consumed as a drink or a capsule.