Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The Top 10 Superfoods You NEED to Know About

As promised, here is.....

Super-food #2. Acai Berry - The fruit is a small, round, black-purple fruit about 1 inch in diameter, similar in appearance and size to a grape, and the newest wonder food.

Acai is particularly rich in fatty acids, feeling oily to the touch. It contains high levels of the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid. It is also rich in palmitic acid, and the polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid. β-sitosterol (beta-sitosterol), a phytosterol that competes with dietary cholesterol for absorption and so may reduce blood cholesterol levels, is also unusually rich.

A recent study found 19 amino acids, with especially high contents of aspartic acid and glutamic acid. The dense pigmentation of acai has led to several experimental studies of its anthocyanins, a group of polyphenols that give the deep color to berries and other fruits, and are high in antioxidant value.

Twelve other flavonoid-like compounds were additionally found, including homoorientin, orientin, taxifolin deoxyhexose, isovitexin and scoparin, as well as several unknown flavonoids. Proanthocyanidins, another group of polyphenolic compounds high in antioxidant value are present, with a profile similar to that of blueberries.

A number of studies have measured the antioxidant strength of acai. A recent report using a standardized oxygen radical absorbance capacity or ORAC analysis on a freeze-dried acai powder found that this powder showed a high antioxidant effect against peroxyl radical. This is approximately 10 times more than blueberries or cranberries.

Only 10% of acai's high antioxidant effects could be explained by its anthocyanin content, indicating that other polyphenols contribute most of the antioxidant activity.

Acai was found to have a higher amount of "slow-acting" antioxidant components, suggesting a more sustained antioxidant effect compared to "fast-acting" components.

Acai containing polyphenolics could reduce proliferation of HL-60 leukemia cells in vitro. The acai berry contains similar properties as red wine in controlling fats in the blood and is a fair contributor to go up against the wine diets of the Mediterranean people. In addition, Acai contains anti-inflammatory agents that inhibit COX 1 and 2 enzymes, thereby making it effective against arthritis, allergies, and other inflammatory diseases.

Please note: Beware that recently, unscrupulous marketers are currently trying to deceive you into thinking that acai pills are some sort of "miracle weight loss cure"... They are even making up fake blogs about people supposedly losing ridiculous amounts of weight simply by popping an acai pill daily (and then they try to sell you these supplements)... These are FAKE stories, and you should realize that although acai is a very healthy antioxidant food, it is NOT a miracle weight loss cure!

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