The Acai (pronounced ah-sah-EE) berry is a fruit, grown in Central and South America, which has been credited for everything from preventing aging to curing cancer. Like its cousins, the blueberry and cranberry, the acai berry is also high in antioxidants. However, very few studies have been conducted to investigate the berry’s antioxidant content or health benefits, and none of these studies support the outlandish health claims touted by many of the companies selling the acai berry and its extracts. Not only are most of the health claims exaggerated, but you’ll pay a hefty price for the product. For example, approximately 25 ounces of acai juice sells for $40. Additionally, in March 2009, the Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a scam alert about fake blogs, fake endorsements, credit card scams, and exaggerated health claims related to some acai products.
The acai berry is not a miracle food, but it can be part of a well-balanced diet. However, most berries are naturally rich in antioxidants and they don’t cost $40 for 25 ounces. Eat the recommended number of fruits and vegetables daily and you’ll get plenty of antioxidants, as well as thoroughly researched health benefits such as a decreased risk for heart disease and cancer.
For more information about the acai berry and other hot topics in nutrition visit missourifamlies.org