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Posts Tagged ‘harmful free radicals’

Acai Berry Superfoods – Are Acai Berries Really That Healthy?

The Health Benefits of Acai Berries

Acai Berries on the Palm Tree"Acai Berries are superfoods!" We're hearing it everywhere now. But is it true? Are Acai Berries really that healthy? In time when every food seems to be artificial and medical companies stuff us with the newest cures for everything, some people try to find help using natural products to cure the various health problems.

Over time we forgot how powerful nature can be, after all we only duplicate its achievements in medicine. That is why a category of super foods has been invented, foods so packed with healthy nutrients that they can be called natural medicine or superfoods.

Probably the most wide spread family of superfoods are vegetables from 'Allium' family – vegetables like garlic, onions or leeks. This not very glamorous group of vegetables, contains flavonoids, which stimulate production of antioxidants in the liver, thus detoxifying your body.

Up until today  blueberries where one of the most famous superfoods. They have a high number of antioxidants (ORAC value), anthocyanins and phytochemicals, preventing aging, cancer and numerous brain diseases. Blueberries are the food of choice for many healthy people in Europe and the USA.

Recently, the spotlight has been taken off the Blueberries by a new berry, the Acai Berry.

Is the Acai Berry the #1 Superfood?

When acai berries where first introduced to the public eye, there were numerous talks about how healthy it is. However, publicity seemed to focus all of it's attention on the very high antioxidants level, leaving in the background wealth of other healthy details about this berry.

The first thing I want to mention about the Acai Berry, is the very high level of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are located mainly in peels of vegetables/fruits. They offer a very powerful protection against harmful free radicals, which develop as a result of exposure to radiation, the UV light, smoking, smog and various other metabolic processes.

Not only that, they also preserve delicate antioxidants within the fruit. While, you may have heard that red whine has a large number of anthocyanins, Acai has 10 to 30 times more, depending on the quality and ripeness of the berries. Acai berry is also very high on dietary fiber. 100 grams of Acai berries contain 45 grams of fiber.Acai Berries are rich in healthy unsaturated fats from omega family, which have been proven to help you with anything from your brain to preventing cancer. In Acai you will find mainly the most important omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids.

Additionally, acai berries contain a lot of protein and amino acids. Acai has 19 different amino acids, which are crucial for growth, maintenance and repair of your body tissues. Our bodies can produce only 11 of these amino acids, so you have to supply the rest with your diet.

Acai also offers three different plant sterols: sigmasterol, campesterol and B-sitosterol. These three sterols are invaluable to health of your heart. This concludes the benefits of Acai Berries. Even if you don't believe in the weight loss hype of acai berries (acai berries are beneficial for weight loss due to stopping the carving for food), these berries are still the best choice of superfoods! With more than 100,000  (102,700 μ mol TE/100 gram),it is the world's antioxidant richest fruit known today!

Micronutrients Antioxidants and Superfoods

What are Micronutrients and Antioxidants?

You need a Microscope to see MicronutrientsMicronutrients are nutrients required by humans throughout life in small quantities to orchestrate a whole range of physiological functions, but which the human body itself cannot produce and this is where superfoods come in. There is a great variety of different "superfoods" which provide essential vitamins, antioxidants, energy enhancers, macro minerals, lipotropic factors, and other key nutrients which have been known to help minimize free radical formation that speeds up the aging process and supports optimal heart, brain and immune functioning.

Blueberries, for instance, are rated as a superfood because they are very dense in the antioxidants called anthocyannins, which are also present in blackberries.

Berries in general are among the foods which are the most antioxidant-dense. Cranberries, Strawberries, Bilberries, Cherries and Raspberries have a particularly high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) Value.

Spirulina is a considered a superfood because it is a"live" food which is extremely protein dense. Many of the nutrients in superfoods simply are not found in everyday foods. Lutein, for example is found in leafy green vegetables such as Popeye's favorite superfood, Spinach. Among other benefits, Lutein acts as an antioxidant in the eye protecting cells from harmful free radicals. Our bodies do not produce lutein, it must be consumed in our food.
Grapes are another major superfood. Grape Seed Extract in particular is well known for its proanthocyanadins and actually contains more antioxidant power than vitamins E, C or Beta Carotene.

It is a tremendous free radical fighter which is noted for cardiovascular health, brain health and even mental alertness. That is why it is found in many of the better supplements out there. Oh yeah, grapes and grape juice by themselves are pretty good for you as well.

Green Tea and Green Tea extract qualifies as a bona fide superfood.

There are 4 principle polyphenols in green tea which are sometimes referred to as catechins. These super-antioxidants have been shown in various research studies to support the immune system, support healthy aging as well as to have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular health. It is considered by some researchers to aid in fat usage rather than deposition. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is another key antioxidant found in green tea. It is at least one hundred more times more effective than vitamin C and some twenty-five times more effective than vitamin E at protecting cells and DNA!

Pineapple and Papaya qualify because they feature proteolytic enzymes that are needed for the restoration of old cells and the building of new ones.
They also have a systemic cellular anti-inflammatory action and they are noted for their helpful effects on joints, blood clotting as well as on the respiratory system. They offer superb support for the immune system.
Other foods which could be called superfoods or at least close to it are Wild Salmon (fish oil is extremely rich in the crucial omega-3 fatty acids epa and dha), Black beans (high in protein and antioxidants) and Watermelon (this fruit has the most antioxidants of any)