I have been reading articles with arguments that the acai berry is a scam. Can we have a small reality check or an episode of enlightenment? How can this small purple black berry from only the Amazon, a product of evolution, be a scam? If I was an acai berry I think I would be upset.
I grant that there are some natural products that may look enticing and fool the gatherer and consumer resulting in illness. Nature may have scammed early man. But surely in our prehistory there was quick learning and the word passed on. Do not eat that lovely juicy looking red thing. Common knowledge, probably more than research, has shown acai to be highly beneficial to the locals.
Ok, it is a widely known and marketed product and open for misuse of the super food concept by claims of being a weight loss product. Respectable vendors call it a weight loss supplement, because, that is what it is. But, why use the supplement? Is it not better to eat the berry? Yes it is, but you will have to go to Brazil. While nature has provided us with this wonderful fruit, she is not totally on the side of humanity in total, only the Amazonians. Once picked the berry degrades in a couple of days, and, so far, cannot be transported to the wider world as is.
What does the supplement do? Containing fibre, omega fatty acids and antioxidants, to name a few, it will help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism and detoxifying your system making you feel better and more active. It is higher in these essential nutrients than many other fruits and vegetables and, backed up by research that has shown the health benefits, it is considered to be a super food and an aid to weight loss, when taken as part of a well rounded diet.
But it is not the only one. To date it is 7th on the OracValue (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) antioxidant database list, developed in the United States National Institutes of Health. Acai has a value of 102700 units whereas the leader, ground cloves spice is listed as 314446 units. Keep the curry going.
The upshot is that there are many beneficial foods with some being good in specific areas. The Japanese enoki mushroom has high medicinal properties. The bilberry may have won the Battle of Britain. It is reported that British pilots had superior eyesight through having bilberry jam for breakfast. My own country may have many foods that could be high on the list, but they are less known and marketed to the western world.
But, some things work differently for different people. I particularly love this one.
Someone I know had a book along the lines of how to grow old looking young. Apparently the first page said to do what the Mediterranians do, because they are sensible and know the benefits. Drink red wine. He said that he never needed to read past page 1. It is another example of an extract from fruit where the antioxidant, in this case resveratrol, is taken from the skin and included in the wine. But, why can't he just eat the grape?
Back to acai. It is one of the top ones with many benefits packed into a small volume. It is readily available online to the western world from reputable companies. Judging by testimonials many have experienced the benefit. However, it may not work for you. Some people have allergies to some of these good foods. I have seen examples of peanut, garlic and spice allergies.
However, never regret what you have done, only what you have not done. You will never know unless you try it for yourself. If unlucky you may get some discomfort. But if it works for you, you could have a lot to gain.
By Dung Nguyen Ngoc
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