Many products in the market promise to be power foods for the brain and in most cases they don´t deliver.
The acai berry is an exception to this rule. Acai berries have been used by so many different companies that some people now become apprehensive when they see the name. It´s reputation has been damaged by campaigns promoting it as a weight loss supplement. Consumers became disappointed with the results and blamed the berry, which is not fair since the acai berry can not solve over weight problems on its own, it is nevertheless one of the most valuable power foods for the brain!
The acai berry is a grape-shaped fruit growing on acai palm trees, which are native to the rain forests of Central and South America. It´s related to the cranberry, blueberry and some other dark purple fruits. The name ‘acai’ originates from the Portuguese adaptation of the word ‘iwacai’ – ‘the fruit that cries or expels water’.
The fruit itself is round, black-purple in color and 10-15 mm in diameter and harvested from branches that hold around 700 fruits. The a single seed is about is about 7–10 mm in diameter and makes up about 80% of the entire fruit.
Acai berries help with various health conditions. They contain substances called anthocyanins and flavonoids which are responsible for the red, purple color. Foods that are richest in anthocyanins – such as blueberries, red grapes, red wine and acai – are very strongly colored, ranging from deep purple to black.
Studies show that the level of antioxidants in acai fruit pulp is even higher than in cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries or blueberries. “At least a dozen articles in the conventional medical literature talk about the valuable effects of the berry,” says Valencia Porter, MD, director of women’s health at the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, Calif.
Another merit of the acai berry is its anti-inflammatory effect. As the name implies, anti-inflammatories reduce inflammation, which is linked to a number of health problems like heart disease and stroke. Many of the over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can potentially be replaced by the acai berry.
To get the full benefits of acai berry, I suggest that you get it fresh or flash-frozen. If those forms are not available, you’ll have to make do with what’s available in your area. However, I do not recommend health pills that claim to have some levels of acai berry. You need something that hasn’t been overly processed to get the brain-healthy benefits.
One good alternative is 100% Organic Acai Berry powder which has been freeze-dried instantly after harvesting to preserve the active components and is not overly processed which often results in degradation of its valuable components.
You will find more tips on power foods for the brains in the “Increasing Your Brain Power” eBook.