Acai is the most recent best thing in organic health, sharing a long tradition of superfoods with mangosteen, pomegranate, and vitamin E, and, in case you go back far enough, cod liver oil, kelp, and even lard. But are the purported acai berry health benefits real?
In case you are a fruit fly or a lab rat, you can be assured that acai berry has clinically proven health benefits for you. One study discovered that acai berry extract helps fruit flies live longer on a high-fat diet. For fruit flies that live in the dumpster behind McDonald’s who can buzz over to the dumpster behind the local juice bar, this is great news.
Another research found that a diet that gets 5 percent of calories from acai berry protects against N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine-induced esophageal cancer in lab rats. (The same study found that strawberries, wolfberries, blueberries,and blackberries work equally well.) And just one more research has discovered that frozen acai berry pulp slows down damage in aging rat brains. If you are an old lab rat with a drinking problem, acai is clearly for you.
But what about mankind? Is there any real proof of acai berry health benefits for humans?
In a word, no. Acai berry juice tastes good. It is sustainably harvested with sensitivity to the surroundings and with respect for the people who gather it. More people like a little acai in their juice than like a lot, but it is great way to add variety to healthy beverages.
The thing is, acai isn’t a clinically proven superfood. And it’s not a diet food. To quote the world’s most famous promoter of acai berry, Chris Kilham (who introduced me to acai berry around 10 years ago): “Just a quick word about the acai diets that everybody has been spammed over. Useless. Acai is not a diet magic. It is a great, good tasting, highly beneficial fruit that gives you energy and makes you feel good. But don’t be bilked by companies that want you to believe it is the key to weight loss. It isn’t.”
Buy acai berry. It’s a delicious fruit, and every purchase you make helps struggling native people earn a living honestly and honorably while preserving the Amazon rainforest. Be careful about getting the juice on your countertops and clothes, because the stain is hard to get out. Just be aware that the amazing antioxidant power of acai berry is balanced by the fact that most acai berry products contain just about 5% acai berry juice.
For amazing health benefits, pick the right combination of foods, herbs, and nutritional supplements. Never depend on a single product, no matter how miraculous it may seem to be.