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Acai Berries - Small Seed, Large Quantities of Antioxidants

by Donna Jennings(more info)

listed in antioxidants, originally published in issue 175 - October 2010

Remember as kids our parents were always encouraging us to eat more fruit instead of sweets?  We never really knew why sweets were harmful to us and the only answer I ever received was "they will make you fat".  This may be a satisfactory explanation for a two year old, but as I grew, I started to discover the massive benefits of fruit and the recent media explosion of acai berry has had me more than a little intrigued.

Acai Berries

So...What Have I Discovered?

My research regarding the acai berry revealed some startling revelations concerning the amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals they contain.  Take a look at some of the nutrients these small but 'mighty powerful' berries hold:
  • Over 10 times the oxidant level of red wine grapes;
  • Over 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine;
  • Over 19 different amino acids;
  • More protein than an egg;
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin C, Vitamin E (tocopherol), iron, potassium, phosphorus and calcium;
  • The essential fatty acids Omega 6 and Omega 9i.
To achieve this level of goodness by eating raw fruit and vegetables alone, you would need to consume a meadow full of spinach, kale, green beans, grapes and blueberries to receive only a fraction of the goodness contained within these berries.

Where Do Acai berries Come From?

They grow on acai palm trees deep in the Brazilian Rainforest. The palm leaves bear acai berries only twice per year and local farmers harvest the fruit within 24 hours. They have to act quickly as the valuable nutrients within the berries have a very short lifespan. The fruit is then quickly loaded into baskets and sailed to local processing plants. The pulp is separated from the seed of the berry, and frozen or pasteurized to preserve the goodness. The puree may then be consumed or manufactured into powder or tablets.

Are the Acai Trees Protected in the Rainforest?

Yes they most certainly are!  The farmers and local villagers earn a living by harvesting acai berries. Therefore, this wondrous fruit benefits both the environment and many poor families.

Why do Web Sites Claim that Acai Berries are a Quicker Way to Lose Weight?

By taking this fruit in tablet or juice form, manufacturers say that you stop your body from working hard to obtain the goodness that it needs. If you rarely eat fruit or vegetables, you lack the enzymes necessary to break down fatty foods quicker. This means that the fat becomes stored on the body and you increase in size, especially around the hips, bottom, stomach and thighs.

The only way to dissolve fat is to eat an abundance of raw fruits which make fat busting enzymes. Sounds easy, but it takes a long time for just one handful of grapes to convert into a natural enzyme. The manufacturers claim that acai berries are packed with the equivalent of over 13 different fruits to provide a massive surge of enzymes into your body and thus reduce weight quicker.

I Eat Cooked Fruit and Vegetables - Isn't this the Same?

No, sadly the enzymes in cooked food are destroyed by heat, so you will not have enough enzymes in your body to break down the fat that you want to lose. You will also find it difficult to break down toxins which have been ingested either through alcohol or processed foods. Toxins form a barrier and stop enzymes from being able to break down fat which is then stored on your body.

There is no scientific evidence to state that acai berries produce an abnormally large amount of enzymes.  You can just as easily flood your body with enzymes by stocking up on plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.  For a surge of goodness, you could make some great vegetable/fruit smoothies or salads instead of investing in a product which is being highly over marketed

Below are Examples of Great Enzyme Making Foods
  • Root vegetables - turnips, parsnips, suede;
  • Stalk vegetables - asparagus, celery;
  • Flower vegetables - cauliflower, broccoli, artichoke;
  • Leafy vegetables - cabbage, lettuce;
  • Bulb vegetables - spring onions, leek;
  • Fleshy fruit - peaches, apricots;
  • Tropical fruits - pineapple, kiwi;
  • Berry fruits - blueberries, grapes, strawberries;
  • Seed fruits - apples, pears;
  • Beans -  mung beans, runner beans;
  • Corn on the cob;
  • Fresh fish.
Acai berries have the potential to work with everyone as long as they combine their daily intake with some physical exercise, a healthy diet regime and a positive mental attitude towards becoming leaner. 

If you are like me and absolutely hate the thought of exercising but feel guilty for not doing so, acai berries may solve the problem.   I noticed that after taking this fruit for a few days, my energy levels had increased fourfold.  In fact, I was abound with so much vitality that I actually wanted to go for a long walk, play badminton and work out at the gym

Not only do these berries have the potential to make you look good physically but you could also look forward to younger, fresher looking skin and a general feeling of well being.  My skin is positively glowing since taking this fruit which is now being dubbed as the 'miracle berry'.  However, this could just be down to a healthier lifestyle and the subconscious mind 'wanting to believe' that the tablets are working in all of the right places i.e. weight, skin, energy...  Skin will glow just as radiantly with eight glasses of water per day.

As you get older it is often harder to lose weight as you become accustomed to carrying around those extra pounds and they start to feel like good friends.  When you want to say goodbye to those misleading 'pudgy' pals you need to see them off with a product that truly wants to help.  This could be through taking acai berries or trying out any of the  diet products available on the market today.

Losing weight does not have to be just wishful shrinking and dieting is not a piece of cake, but the foods that you thought were your best friends and gave you comfort, could also be your worst enemy!

I didn't want to dig my grave with my teeth by continually eating unhealthy foods and adding extra pounds to my already increasing waistline, but I didn't want to stop eating the foods that I enjoyed either.  I still eat everything as normal but I have cut down on my indulgences.

Depriving the body of your favourite treats could result in a dramatic fall in blood sugar, and you could start craving the foods which were probably the cause of your weight gain.  This could lead to bingeing and is where most diets swiftly come to an end.

A diet product provides that extra support when I am watching the calories and psychologically, I feel that it assists me in my quest to lose those unsightly spare pounds.  A constant stream of web ads and unwanted emails concerning acai berries pricked my curiosity (although I am not an advocate of spam), but I wanted to know if they were as good as the hype

I went mad and ordered free samples online (minus a small postal charge) and stocked up with acai powder and pills.  I ordered from three different companies (even one that ships from the States to the UK) and received my trial sizes within the same week, all in discreet packaging.

The juice tastes like a champagne and caviar cocktail of pear laced with apple which dances on the tongue and makes smiling the second thing that I do with my lips.  Another good thing about the juice is that it is rich in Vitamin A and contains a lot of minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc.  The label says that a 100g serving of dried powder also contains a whopping 14 grams of dietary fibre.

Why do we Need Fibre?

It binds all of our waste food together and quickly flushes it out of our system. This means that any saturated (bad fats) are quickly released from our bodies before they can be stored as excess weight.  Fibre also fools the mind into believing that it is full so you are less likely to reach for a cake or a packet of crisps as a snack.  Doctors say that a diet rich in fibre can help in the prevention of certain cancers. However dietary fibre can just as easily be obtained from the following foods
  • Bran;
  • Wholewheat bread;
  • Fresh and died fruits (eaten with the skins on - dried figs in particular);
  • Vegetables (eaten with the skins on - greens in particular);
  • Nuts (just a palmful if you are dieting);
  • Seeds;
  • Berries.

Tablets vs Juice - Which is best?

All depends upon preference. The tablets are incredibly easy to swallow which is a bonus, as I find it hard to take any tablet orally. Make sure that the tablets you purchase are dark purple in colour as they should exude the same hue as red wine grapes.

Tablets slip easily into your handbag and are a great way to maintain your acai berry intake when at work.  One disadvantage to the tablets is the fact that they could be coated with preservatives and sugar.  They could even be less potent due to the fact that they are exposed to intense pressure during the manufacturing process.

If you purchase tablets which have not been coated or diluted with dyes, sugars or water you will find that they are significantly lower in calories than juice. However, they do not contain the fibre which is present in juice, as this is removed during the dehydration process.

Almost everyone enjoys a glass of fruit juice so it is difficult to determine which form of acai berry is the most convenient. Some people hate the taste of acai berry as a drink and opt for a tablet; the choice is an individual thing. If you are unsure, you could take juice in the morning and a tablet at night as there is nothing wrong with mixing combinations. Ensure that the juice you purchase contains only 100% pure acai berry.

Is this Product Expensive?

Pure acai berry juice is more expensive than its weaker counterparts but if you want to see if it will work, it is essential to purchase the raw product  Freeze dried acai berry is significantly the most expensive as you purchase the whole berries which are freeze dried on the day of harvesting. This makes it easy to whiz up your own natural acai berry juice in a jiffy

I admit that I am a bit of a sucker for natural remedies, but there are a lot of products on the market today which claim to work wonders and fail to live up to their expectations.  I stuck religiously to the grapefruit diet for nearly two months, but the only way that I detoxified my body was by constantly running to the toilet with an upset tummy.

I try every new diet product with scepticism and keep an active record of my progress so as I can give a fair and unbiased account of those natural remedies which work and those that did not live up to their claims.

It is a fact that obesity is becoming very widespread....if you pardon the pun....and with so many health risks at stake from being overweight, it is worth giving some of the natural diet remedies a try.

I have seen a small reduction in my weight since taking acai berries, but I have not been taking them long enough to give a more positive representation. Remember...what works for one, may not always be the miracle cure for the other! 

To sum not let any website mislead you into buying acai berries. Any outlandish claims of weight just falling away are just gimmicks to encourage you to part with your money. The only way to find out if this product works is to try it for yourself with an open mind. 


  1. Free Samples? said..

    Hi,i found this article on Acai berries very interesting but forgive me if I`m wrong but I don`t believe there are free samples as such because all the sites I have looked at will only send free samples only if you sign up to recieve more and more is quite expensive.

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About Donna Jennings

Donna Jennings writes on a variety of Nutritional subjects and may be contacted on

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