The Acai Berry has been touted as the weight loss Super-food of the twentieth century. The Question is whether such billing is fact or hype. A quick search on the Internet would give an idea of the magnitude of the Acai's popularity. It stands to reason that the individual, seeking to lose weight, can become overwhelmed by all the "hoopla." Yet a cool head and a little research may yield some very interesting results about this Brazilian berry.
So, exactly what is Acai Berry? This fruit of a Palm, native to the Brazilian Amazon, is more than 90% seed and about 5% edible flesh. The dark purple color is indicative of the fact that the Berry is rich in anthocyanins, a potent antioxidant. Other nutrients contained in the fruit are associated with its anti-aging, weight loss, and cancer-fighting properties. Researchers at Texas A&M University, in a 2004 report, found that the antioxidants found in acai berry are highly absorbable and therefore, beneficial for human consumption.
It should be noted, however, that none of these nutrient compounds have been found to directly contribute to weight loss, even though it was shown that acai does seem to aid the body's metabolic process. Of the many compounds found in the berry, more than 65 have yet to be studied scientifically. As yet none of acai's compounds have shown to be direct weight loss enhancers.
Elsewhere, more recent Research at the University of Florida (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2006) have found that the berry shows promise in the treatment of a range of diseases including cancer, leukemia and diabetes. Of course, there are other factors that affect the working of various nutrients in the body. These factors include absorption, assimilation and reaction with other substances in the body.
If you are seeking to lose weight the acai berry, as well as a number of other familiar fruits, should be a part of a healthy diet. However, do not follow the hype associated with the acai berry weight-loss diet. There is a lot more research to be done before the true benefits of acai, in weight-loss, are known. One factor hindering faster research, is the fact that the berry is highly perishable. This means that the berries must be processed immediately upon harvesting in order to preserve many of its nutritional compounds. It also means that much of the research work may need to be carried out on location, that is, closer to where the berries are harvested. A balanced and sensible nutritional approach is preferred here.
Since research is currently scant, it may be a wise course of action to consider using Acai in conjunction with other weight loss enhancers and not be taken in by all the advertising hype. As demand for this assumed super-food increases there may be attempts by some to dilute the contents of each pill in order to meet the rising demand. It must be remembered that it is the pulp of the berry that contain the nutrients and not the leaves, stems or roots. So products offering these leaves, stems or root extracts, must be rejected as worthless.
Already, there are the numerous complaints from users of acai weight loss products, that the results do not to match the claims. This may be an indication of one of two reasons. One reason is that the acai content of the particular product is woefully low. Check the label to determine the exact content of each capsule. The other reason may be an indicator that the berry itself may not boost any significant "lose-the-weight" nutrients. To date there is no known conclusive study supporting acai berry as a genuine weight loss super-food.
There are a great number of foods on the market, and acai berry could just be part of a well-balanced diet. This article proposes that lasting weight-loss is only effected with a balanced synergistic approach. An approach that incorporates both good nutrition and targeted physical exercise.