Today’s guest post was written by Matt Papa, PhD. Having worked in biology labs for more than a decade, Matt devotes much of his time reading and researching the scientific literature pertaining to diets and natural weight loss programs. He blogs about research findings in obesity-treatment and gives away a Medifast discount coupon and a Nutrisystem coupon, two leading portion-controlled meal replacement diet plans.
About Acai Berries – Why Are They so Good for Your Health
Botanical-rich diets have been shown to have numerous health benefits, and acai is one botanical product that is garnering a great deal of attention. The acai berry, fruit of a palm tree indigenous to the Amazon River area of South America, has been praised by experts for its health benefits.
The purple fruit is considered a superfood and is widely consumed as a dietary supplement because of the many therapeutic properties it is believed to possess. Marketed mostly as an effective supplement to induce weight loss, scientific studies are now recognizing other significant health benefits of the acai berry.
Berries, including the acai berry, receive their vibrant red, blue, and purple colors from a phytonutrient known as anthocyanin. In clinical trials, biochemical analysis, and animal and cell-based studies, anthocyanins have been shown to possess several important biomedical functions.
In addition to anti-inflammatory and anti-cardiovascular properties, anthocyanins have been demonstrated to decrease cancer cell growth by more than 50%. They also have significant potential as an anti-aging supplement, as they can reduce the oxidative stress associated with aging, improve neuronal and cognitive brain function, and repair and protect DNA – all of which are associated with aging, especially the accumulation of DNA damage or mutation.
Scientific Study Finds Acai Improves Longevity
The free radical theory addresses the issues of DNA mutation accumulation and oxidative stress mentioned above. This theory postulates that free radicals cause oxidative damage, which results in aging. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules responsible for cell damage, including oxidative harm to macromolecules like DNA. As an organism ages, this oxidative stress accumulates in the cell. Based on this theory, treatments that reduce oxidative damage should be effective aging interventions. This has been supported through animal experiments that have shown reducing oxidative damage increases lifespan.
A study recently published in the January 2010 issue of Experimental Gerontology examined acai berry’s potential as an aging intervention. This groundbreaking animal study looked at the anti-aging effect of acai in Drosophila melanogaster, otherwise known as the fruit fly. Acai’s anti-aging effect was evaluated under two different conditions.
Condition 1. Flies fed a high fat diet. Condition 2. Flies pre-conditioned to experience extreme oxidative stress.
Acai Counteracts High Fat Diet’s Damaging Effect
Conjecturing that acai’s beneficial phytonutrients and its robust anti-oxidant activity would reverse the harmful effects of a diet high in fat, researchers manipulated the diet of fruit flies. All flies in the experiment were placed on a diet high in saturated fat; compared to a standard diet, one high in saturated fat is known to shorten lifespan by 19%. The flies were divided into two groups, one of which had their high fat diet supplemented at 2% with acai pulp.
Compared to the flies who did not receive the acai supplement, those in the supplementation group saw a 22% increase in lifespan. In effect, supplementing with acai restored lifespan to a normal length, counteracting the damaging impact of a high fat diet. The researchers’ search for the mechanism responsible for this positive effect on longevity found that the acai diet resulted in increased activity of anti-aging genes.
In addition to a shortened lifespan, high fat diets are associated with a heightened risk for a variety of health problems. One common result of a chronic high fat diet is the development of insulin resistance, which eventually leads to type 2 diabetes. Dr. Sun, the study’s primary investigator, is hopeful “that acai pulp may be effective in prevention and control of type 2 diabetes,” as the findings seem to suggest. Acai pulp has demonstrated promise as a medicinal food that can inhibit a high fat diet’s detrimental health effects.
Acai Found To Reduce Oxidative Damage
The researchers also proposed that the survival of flies in oxidative stress would be improved by the administration of acai pulp. They tested this by using a model of oxidative stress commonly used in the biological study of aging. The model relies on fruit flies which, as a result of genetic modification, contain a dysfunctional Superoxide Dismutase enzyme (SOD). This enzyme is essential to the flies’ ability to reduce the cellular damage done by free radicals as well as to repair cells that do sustain damage. The genetically modified (SOD-mutated) flies live under constant oxidative stress because they do not have the ability to repair oxidative damage.
The SOD-mutated flies were placed in two groups. One group received 2% acai pulp for the duration of their adult life, while the control group received no supplementation. Comparison of the groups showed that flies who had received the acai supplement lived approximately 18% longer than those in the control group, suggesting that acai alleviates oxidative stress and thereby improves survival.
According to the researchers, the anti-aging properties demonstrated by acai may be due to its high level of polyphenolics, which give it the ability to function as a hunter of free radicals. Another polyphenolic compound shown to have similar anti-aging benefits is resveratrol. Supplementation with resveratrol increased longevity in mice fed a diet high in fat.
This study, the first to examine the effects of acai’s anti-aging properties in an animal population, joins over 20 other peer-reviewed studies that refer to acai berry’s antioxidant properties and potential benefits to human health. In addition to these benefits, acai is currently being tested for its effectiveness as a weight loss tool. Although research in this area is still ongoing, the inclusion of berries and other fruits is known to be an important component of any healthy weight loss diet.
Even though research on the weight loss effect of acai is not complete, anecdotal evidence and reports from real-life experiences suggest that it may help shed unwanted weight. The popular fruit is being recognized as a superfood with health benefits that include increased longevity, possible disease prevention, and the potential to aid in weight loss. Read Steve’s article where he clearly explains how the Acai berry speeds up weight loss.
– Açai palm fruit (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) pulp improves survival of flies on a high fat diet. Sun X, Seeberger J, Alberico T, Wang C, Wheeler CT, Schauss AG, Zou S. Exp Gerontol. 2010 Mar;45(3):243-51.
– What is the açaí berry and are there health benefits? Marcason W. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Nov;109(11):1968
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Acai is one of the top 5 foods you can eat for good health and it speeds up fat loss too!
Acai berries help to speed up fat loss considerably when you follow a healthy exercise and diet plan. As a bonus, the high concentration of antioxidants in acai will keep you feeling healthy and looking young as you grow older!
Acai is at present the food with the highest antioxidant concentration across the planet. The benefits from such a high antioxidant concentration, combined with an excellent nutritional value, make acai berries one of the most beneficial supplements you can take.
In recent years the acai berry diet has quickly become the most popular diet in the world, while the acai berry itself has become the most popular antioxidant diet supplement in world.
Combined with a colon cleanser, a sensible diet, and a moderate exercise routine, the acai berry can help you lose fat faster than you ever thought possible, and its antioxidant health properties will keep you feeling youthful and energized every day.
With just Acai Pills you can lose up to 15 pounds in just 30 days.
Combine Acai with a Colon Cleanser to lose an additional 5-10 pounds.
Combine Acai with the diet and fitness routines I’ve outlined below and the fat will simply melt off you.
Acai berries – acai is pronounced ‘a-sigh-ee’ – are small, black, and round, and they resemble small grapes. There is not much acai fruit on each individual berry. Rather, each acai berry has a large seed that is surrounded by a small amount of pulp.
Harvesting. When harvesting the acai berries, harvesters must remove the pulp from the outside of the berry, and process it immediately into an acai product or flash freeze it for shipping to a manufacturing facility. The acai fruit will spoil if left unprocessed for several days.
Acai Products. The fruit from the acai berry is often used in a variety of dietary supplements, healthy foods, ice cream, sorbet, juices, and other common grocery store items. Best of all, the acai berry is the most important food used with the acai berry diet. With the highest antioxidant concentration of any known food, the acai berry is now known as the most important superfood for a maintaining proper health.
Bad Products. Some common commerical acai products, like Monavie and Amazon Thunder are just juices, which really don’t have a place in the acai berry diet. Juice is, after all, full of sugars and other un-diet-like ingredients. Some of the products like Leanspa Acai, Acai Burn, and Acai Plus are now known as scams. They get you to buy into a 6 month supply, send you an initial shipment, then take the rest of your money and run.
Good Products. One of the best products I’ve had a chance to use is Acai Berry Select, which contains is 100% pure concentrated acai – a complete antioxidant, weight loss powerhouse – plus high effective energy boosters and other great thermogenic ingredients.
Another awesome product is Pure Raspberry Ketone. This has a highly potent combination of 5 popular superfoods:
African Mango and Raspberry Ketone are both fairly new to the super-food world. African Mango extract is really high in antioxidants, while Raspberry Ketone is an effective FDA approved fat loss supplement.
Sambazon acai juice is the best juice product I’ve tried, but it does contain extra calories so is not the best product for an acai berry diet.
The Health Benefits of Antioxidants
I am psyched because I am always talking about the benefits of antioxidants, and in particular how acai is currently the food with the highest antioxidant concentration in the world. The ORAC rating for acai beats out even that of pomegranate and blueberries!
The antioxidant benefits of the acai berry rival several other superfoods, including:
and pretty much any vegetable you can think of
The super healthy vitamin, mineral, and macronutrient concentrations in acai berries blend together in your diet and in your body, to exert a powerful effect on your mind, body, health and overall well-being. For those of us looking for protection from cancer, weight loss, help with diabetes, better cardiovascular health, or just to look and feel healthy, should consider giving the acai berry a try. Learn more about the history of the acai berry itself on WikiPedia.
Oxygen Radical Absorbence Capacity, or ORAC, is the measurement of the antioxidant concentration of individual foods. The foods that have a higher ORAC value have a higher concentration of antioxidants, which means they are more effective at fighting the cellular damage caused by free-radicals. We want to load our diet up on fruits and vegetables if we wants to fight skin wrinkles, cancer, and various other diseases associated with toxins and aging.
As you can see by the chart below, the acai berry’s powerful 18,400 ORAC rating is the highest of any known fruit or vegetable. As a side note, I should let you know that the Maqui berry has taken over the ORAC crown, but acai berries are still better for weight loss.
When used in amounts up to 1000 mg a day, acai berry supplements will help to decrease the cell oxidization damage caused by free radicals pretty significantly, even when used for just 14 days. Of course, long term use is recommended since the antioxoidant benefits will cease a couple days after you stop using acai. Even WebMD agrees that the acai berry diet is the healthiest nutrition plan to follow for life.
In our generation, the world is full of chemicals, phytoestrogens, pesticides, herbicides, nuclear waste, and other harmful environmental toxins. Personally, I enjoy the acai berry diet because it allows me to maintain a healthy low body fat, and my antioxidant intake is sky-high. Even at age 33 I feel like I am still 21!
Anyone specifically looking to combat the effects of aging, recover from injury, and lose excess bodyfat should definitely looking into using the acai berry, temporarily if not indefinitely.
Other reasons you should try the acai berry diet:
again, if you need to lose body fat, and quick!
combat the pain and suffering caused by fibromyalgia
you are looking for better control over diabetes
you live with the daily strain of arthritis
if you have a desire to feel and look years younger
I wrote earlier that acai berry supplements are a great weight loss aid, but I didn’t get into all the details. Well, here are the specific details about why the acai berry is so helpful when you are trying to lose fat.
The acai’s natural concentration of fiber, fatty acids (including essential fatty acids – EFAs), raw amino acids, and phytosterols work in unison to assist your body with burning fat more efficiently. All of these nutrients will help your digestive system to process food faster and more efficiently, which will help your body to burn its stored fat quicker than diet and exercise alone.
85% of the carbohydrate content of acai is dietary fiber. As we all know, fiber helps your body to move food through the digestive tract. Excess food and calories are therefore eliminated quickly, rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream and stored away as excess adipose tissue (fat mass).
A high fiber diet is also known to reduce hunger, curb the appetite, and eliminate cravings. Make sure your regular diet is full of healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; then supplement with acai berry every morning and you’ll be virtually guaranteed to lose weight and maintain regular bowel movements.
Fatty Acid Content
56.2% of the fat content of acai is oleic acid, which in simple terms, is olive oil. Know how nutritionists are always telling us to use olive oil in our recipes because it’s so healthy? Well there you go! Supplementing with acai berry is like supplementing with olive oil. But that’s not the best part…
Additionally, your body is unable to produce Omega 3 or Omega 6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) naturally, which means you’ll have to make it a point to supplement with fish oil or eat foods with high concentrations of those EFAs. Conveniently, these EFAs are plentiful in acai berries, making up the additional 43.8% of fat. That means you can say supplementing with acai berry is like supplementing with fish oil!
Just some of the benefits of supplementing with EFAs include:
improvements in the cardiovascular and circulatory systems
reduction in the chance of developing blood clots
decreased inflammation and relief from arthritis
healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels
healthy heart, brain, and memory functions
decreased insulin resistance, better control over diabetes
optimal development of a child’s brain, nerves and eyes while breast feeding and during pregnancy
Acai berries are chalk-full of amino acids, widely known as the building blocks of protein. In order for your muscles to recover from workouts or even just to function properly, you need an adequate intake of amino acids. I recommend .8 grams of protein in your diet per pound of goal body weight, so that’s a lot of amino acids.
Furthermore, when dieting, a lack of amino acids leads to muscle catabolism (muscle loss), which in turn leads to a slower metabolism, less stamina, fatigue, and loss of strength. Supplementing with acai berry gives you those extra amino acids that your body needs to function at optimal levels, especially when following a regular exercise routine.
Phytosterols such as ß-sitosterol, which is prevalent in acai, decreases cholesterol levels by inhibiting cholesterol absorption in the intestines. When phytosterols are absorbed in the intestines, they are transported into the cell membrane where they bind to micelles in place of dietary cholesterol. This means that when your diet contains cholesterol, it is more likely to be transported from the body, rather than absorbed into the bloodstream.
There are 2 ways to add acai berries to your daily diet:
Disgusting, harmful toxins infiltrate your body at work, at home, in the car, when you eat, when you sleep, and even when you breathe. They are on the vegetables and fruits you buy, they are in your meat, in your dairy products, on your clothes, in your deodorant and perfume, and even in the air.
Furthermore, in westernized culture, we eat more sugary, processed, and fried food than ever. We poison our bodies with a variety of sedatives, stimulants, pain relievers, and a million other medications. A high percentage of these medicine and food toxins build up in our liver, kidneys, and colon. They pollute our body and stress out our digestive systems.
To combat these toxins, we sometimes resort to enemas, detox diets, cleansing drinks, and colon cleansers. Our main goals is to cleanse the colon walls of stagnant toxic waste build up, which we can do cheaply and comfortably by using a colon cleansing dietary supplement.
By using a colon cleanser you will increase your vitality, improve your digestion, and lose weight. When combined with an acai berry diet, using a colon cleanser regularly will help to keep your intestines clean and your body free of toxins. It is recommended to use a colon cleansing supplement for 14-30 days, 4-6 times a year.
While not mandatory for the acai berry diet, using a colon cleanser will make the detox process much easier and faster, and it will help your efforts to lose weight. I’d choose a colon cleanser before I’d choose an enima, that’s for sure.
There are 2 ways to add colon cleansing to your daily diet:
Step 3: Fat Loss Workout Routine to Use With the Acai Berry Diet
To maximize your weight loss on the acai diet, you should be working out at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes per session. Exercise is not mandatory on the acai berry diet, but it will help you lose fat even faster.
The best fat loss workout routines on Project Swole are:
These routines prescribe 6 days of exercise per week, and consist of 3 intense full body weight training workouts and 3 cardiovascular routines. Use these workouts to kick your fat loss into overdrive!
Step 4: Intermittent Fasting to Accelerate Fat Loss Even More
An intermittent fast is the best approach to losing fat quickly on the acai berry diet. Intermittent fasting calls for a 6-8 hour feeding window, where you eat all of your calories for the day in 2 or 3 meals. Don’t eat after 8pm or before noon. Drink only water, tea, or coffee in between.
Like colon cleansing and the fat loss workout routines, fasting is not mandatory for the acai berry diet. However, intermittent fasting is a great lifestyle eating plan if you can get accustomed to it. Whole-day fasts are not typically recommended for those of us looking to build or maintain muscle mass, but intermittent fasting is a great solution.
How to Order a Free Trial or a Full Supply of Acai and Colon Cleanse
Once again, here are the instructions for ordering the best acai and colon cleansing supplements online. The free trial offers provide you with an inexpensive solution, while a full order will let you stock up and possibly get a couple free bottles. Just click on a link, submit your address, and away you go!
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about acai. You can read the whole list here: Acai Berry FAQ
Q: How much acai berry should I take each day?
A: It is recommended to take between 500 mg and 1000 mg (1 g) each day. This can be taken all at once or divided into several doses. See the previous question for more information on timing your acai intake.
Q: How much weight will I lose by taking acai?
A: You can lose between 1-2 pounds a week on a healthy diet and exercise plan. When taking acai you may lose at least twice that many pounds. You could definitely lose up to 12 or even 15 pounds a month by using acai, as long as you continue eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
Q: Will I gain the weight back after I stop using acai?
A: As long as you maintain a healthy diet and keep exercising, you will not gain fat just because you stop using acai. You might experience decreased weight loss or a plateau in your fat loss progress, but you will not suddenly start gaining it back.
Q: Can my pre-teen or teenage, son or daughter use acai?
A: Acai berries are fruit just like blueberries, oranges, and apples. It makes sense that if you are old enough to eat other fruit, then you are old enough to eat acai. The one caveat is that the supplement must be 100% pure acai. If your acai pill or juice contains other ingredients like Hoodia, caffeine or another thermogenic compound, I can’t promise it will be good for your kid.
Q: What are the side effects of acai berry supplements?
For 100% pure acai supplements, there are no side effects, just as there would be no side effects to taking a highly concentrated blueberry supplements. Sometimes acai berry pills have added ingredients such as caffeine, green tea, or hoodia, which could cause some acai berry side effects like increased energy and heart rate. This doesn’t make them dangerous by any means, but it should be noted that some acai berry supplements do have added ingredients.
Q: When should I take my acai berry supplement?
A: If you have an acai supplement with added ingredients like caffeine and hoodia, then you should only take your acai berry supplement in the morning. If you have a 100% pure acai supplement, then it is OK to take it in the morning and before bed, however I recommend you consistently take your acai supplement once per day, in the morning with breakfast.
Q: How many calories are in the acai berry supplements?
A: There are a ton of calories in the acai juices. Upwards of 200-500 calories per serving, depending on the product. I don’t recommend the juices for a weight loss diet, although they can fit nicely into a regular breakfast or as a pre-workout drink. The acai berry pills have negligible calories in comparison, and even then the calories are attributed to fiber, healthy fatty acids, and amino acids, as I mentioned above.
Q: Is the acai berry a scam? A: No! This question frustrates me, because the acai berry diet is now receiving unnecessary negative publicity thanks to a few shady businesses. The acai berry received a bad rap in recent years because some companies took huge orders over the course of several months, shut down their customer service departments, and ran for the hills.
When you consider the health benefits of the acai berry itself, the proof is in the pudding… the acai berry pudding. Antioxidants are very real, and the acai berry is very high in antioxidants. If you ever wanted to take a supplement that could help you lose weight, stay healthy, and feel young, then the acai berry is for you.