Acai is a fruit that is taking the health-food industry by storm. The fruit is a small, back-purple berry type fruit that resembles a dark grape. The fruit grows on the Acai Palm, which is native to Central and South America in the tropical regions. The Acai Palms grow tall, around 15-20 meters, with 3 meter long leaves. Each branch of the tree produces and astonishing 700 to 900 fruits!
The Acai fruit is popular among health food enthusiasts because it is high in many important vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and anthocyanin. Traditionally, Brazilians used the fruit to treat stomach disorders and skin conditions. The fruit is highly unstable when picked and rots easily, so it is rare to find the Acai fruit whole when you are not in the region where they are grown. Outside the tropics the fruit is usually found in either juice or pulp form. One popular use of the Acai fruit is to mix it in some sort of beverage. In North America, Acai is often blended into fruit smoothies and offered as a health drink.
Because Acai fruit are such a high source of antioxidants, health food proponents are selling many versions of them. The fruit also acts as a natural form of caffeine. Also, the high levels of Vitamin E in the fruit helps the immune system to function better. Some health food companies even claim that the Acai fruit helps with weight loss. And Acai fruit is a great place to find some of the essential fatty acids, such as Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9. Some people even use Acai as a facial astringent because the fruit has high anti-bacterial properties! Because of all these amazing health benefits, the fruit is sometimes called the "power berry." It is no wonder this amazing fruit is becoming so popular among health food enthusiasts.
Much study needs to be done about the possible health benefits of the Acai fruit. A recent University of Florida study found that the Acai extracts caused cultured human leukemia cells to voluntarily self-destruct! It is unclear at this time if the fruit has the same effect on cancer cells when they are in the body, but the study had promising results. Labs around the country are starting to test the Acai to find what possible medical uses it has. There is no doubt that this amazing fruit has a promising future in the medical world.
Today, health food stores sell Acai extract that can be mixed in smoothies and drinks, as well as many pills containing Acai. The products promise the consumer everything, from extra energy to anti-aging benefits. While more study needs to be done to prove the effectiveness of some of these claims, there is no doubt that adding Acai to your diet will improve your overall and future health! Check with your local health food store and pick up some Acai today!