I enjoyed your recent article on the health benefits of blueberry juice. Can you suggest another healthy natural fruit juice that I might try – perhaps something unusual or exotic?
Have you ever tried acai juice? It’s great for your health, and every bit as delicious as blueberry juice. In fact, some describe the flavor as reminiscent of blueberry juice, suggesting a unique blend of blueberries and chocolate.
Acai juice is made from the berries of the acai palm (Latin name: Euterpe oleracea), sometimes referred to as the “tree of life.” Used for thousands of years by the tribes of the Amazon for medicinal and other purposes, the berries are currently cultivated as a crop in Brazil.
Acai berries contain high levels of a type of antioxidant known as anthocyanins, which can help protect your tissues from the damaging effects of free radicals. According to some researchers, acai berries have a higher anthocyanin content than red wine. As with blueberry juice, the many natural health benefits of acai – along with its succulent flavor and deep purple hue – will make you want to forget those oft-repeated claims that wine is good for your health. Acai juice is another delightful reminder that you can enjoy a beverage full of health benefits without having to ingest alcohol, a known toxin.
In addition to anthocyanins, acai berries contain the health-boosting antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E. They also contain omega 6 fatty acids, omega 9 fatty acids, and plant sterols, all of which can have positive effects on your cholesterol levels.
With their ability to prevent free radical damage, acai berries could theoretically decrease the risk of degenerative diseases such as diabetes and arthritis, slow the aging process, increase overall immunity, and help prevent cancer. And in addition to their cholesterol-lowering effects, they also have cardiovascular benefits.
According to a study published in 2006 in Vascular Pharmacology, acai berries are rich in polyphenols, a type of flavonoid with antioxidant properties. The study shows that an extract of acai berries can have vasodilatory effects – important in the regulation of blood pressure – and suggests the use of acai extract in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Another study, published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry in 2006, found that acai berries provide an abundant source of bioactive polyphenols that have anticancer benefits, specifically on leukemia cells.
There’s no exact recommended dose for acai, but you can make it one of your daily fruit servings, add a cup of the juice to your smoothies, or raise a glass to your health on a daily basis.