Acai berries are touted as one of the highest sources of antioxidants. But are they as good as everyone is saying they are? Are there other foods high or even higher in anti-aging properties? Maybe something a little less expensive? Acai berries are considered to be a “super-food.” But is all the hype giving them a super price?
What are antioxidants and why are they good for you?
Antioxidants are nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage. Antioxidants are the scavengers of free radicals. They prevent and repair damage done by free radicals. Many major health issues such as heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, and cancer are all to some extent caused by oxidative damage. Oxidation is thought to be the basis of the aging process. Antioxidants are known as the anti-aging nutrients.
Foods that are high in antioxidants – a short list of examples
Berries (cherry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, crowberry, blueberry, bilberry/wild blueberry, black currant), pomegranate, grape, orange, plum, pineapple, kiwi fruit, grapefruit.
Kale, chili pepper, red cabbage, peppers, parsley, artichoke, brussels sprouts, spinach, lemon, ginger, red beets.
Apricots, prunes, dates.
Broad beans, pinto beans, soybeans.
Nuts and seeds:
Pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, ground nut, sunflower seeds.
Barley, millet, oats, corn.
Cloves, cinnamon, oregano.
Acai berry the new super food – or is it?
Acai berries are harvested in the rainforests of Brazil. It tastes like a rich blend of berries and chocolate. Acai is packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Acai may not be available in your local supermarket, but you can find it in several health food and gourmet stores. Acai juice is more available than the raw berries.
Acai berry lawsuits – not everyone believes they are as good as some say they are. Some producers of Acai berry products use celebrity endorsements. Some of those endorsements are not legal. The celebrity, in fact, did not endorse the product. So you as a consumer must realize that you might be hearing a lot of hype about the Acai berry. They may not be as good as marketers say they are. They are claimed to be extraordinarily high in antioxidants, full of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health. They are also touted as a complete source of amino acids. The list of benefits seems too large to be true. But, they do serve to raise the price of the product to the consumer.
Weight loss Doctor Terry Simpson recommends blueberries…
…a higher source of antioxidants. Some call blueberries “natures antioxidant superfruit” because they contain more antioxidants than acai berries, The blueberry’s anti-aging and health properties are greater than the acai berry . In a USDA Human Nutrition Research Center laboratory, neuroscientists discovered that feeding blueberries to laboratory rats slowed age-related loss in their mental capacity. All berries are high in antioxidants. Blueberries just may be the highest. The best part is, not only can you get them inexpensively from any grocery store, in many places you can pick them wild in nature at their highest potency…for free.