The acai extract found in various juices and supplements comes from a berry that grows in the Amazon region. it has become extremely popular as of late due to its considerable antioxidant properties (antioxidants fight and destroy free radicals in the body). Acai berry extract is found in juice, juice concentrate and pill form, leading to some degree of confusion as to which form is the most effective. The truth is that extracts are effective in their antioxidant benefits; the factors that lead a consumer to choose one form over the other for antioxidant benefits will have more to do with matters of caloric intake and fiber.
Health Benefits Of Acai
As mentioned in the overview, the antioxidants found in acai berries—flavonoids and anthocyanins—fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are byproduct toxins that are caused by environmental pollution, poor diet, and stress, and which accelerate the process of cellular breakdown (otherwise known as the aging process). Free radicals not only damage the body through an acceleration of the aging process but also contribute to heart disease and cancer.
Additionally, the acai berry is loaded with amino and essential fatty acids. In conjunction with the antioxidants, these amino and fatty acids also help slow down the aging process and its visible, tangible effects.
Benefits of Acai in Capsule Form
The main advantage to taking an acai extract supplement pill rather than drinking an acai juice product is that any pill supplement will have a considerably lower caloric content. For those who are on a strict diet and counting every calorie, the pill is the better choice. A pill supplement also contains a great deal less sugar than acai juice, another factor for those monitoring their weight.
Currently, there are no conclusive studies which determine how many milligrams per day are effective and safe to ingest, but most acai supplement pills contain between 500mg and 1000mg of acai extract.
Benefits of Acai in Juice Form
A juice form of acai is advantageous, compared to a pill supplement, in that it contains the fiber that has been removed from the extract in order to make dehydrated tablets. If your weight and caloric intake aren’t a concern, you’ll receive the benefits of naturally occurring fruit fibers—still present in most juices, despite reconstitution—not to mention the fact that drinking an acai juice is more enjoyable than taking a tablet.
If purchasing an acai juice, make certain that the product is actually 100-percent acai berry juice, as a number of inferior acai juice products have flooded the market. These less-effective acai juices are frequently diluted with a great deal of water and have been loaded with sugars and dyes. Also bear in mind that actual 100% acai berry juice, with no preservatives and colorings, will most likely be expensive compared to other types of juices.
Other Forms of Acai: Freeze-Dried Berries
For the truly dedicated health enthusiast, freeze-dried acai berries or pulp can be purchased and delivered to your home. The cost of freeze-dried acai berries can be slightly more costly than other, more readily available berries like blueberries or raspberries, but having the actual berries on hand to blend into smoothies is an extremely healthy and delicious way to ingest them. Because the acai berry is high in natural, healthy fat—anywhere from 30 to 50-percent fat—it spoils quickly after harvesting, which is why companies that freeze-dry the berries or the berry pulp do so within hours of picking the berries.
Though getting the actual acai berries is an even better way of getting the antioxidants, this is also the most expensive way of getting acai nutrients.
What Acai Capsules and Acai Juice Won’t Do
While the antioxidants found in acai berries—and all other berries—help slow down the aging process by killing free radicals, there is no conclusive proof whatsoever that they will benefit the skin when applied directly. Much like drinking eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day keeps the skin hydrated and youthful, acai antioxidants may help keep the skin young, but only from the inside out after ingestion.
Fresh fruit is a necessary part of a balanced diet, but there is no credible medical evidence to support the claim that acai berries or extracts are magical diet foods. Acai juice or capsule manufacturers who promise fewer wrinkles or fast weight loss are pushing hoaxes, and are best avoided.