Acai Berries & Antioxidants
If you've been wondering what the hype is about acai, we've done some research to figure out what makes these berries a "superfood". Acai berries acai (ah-sigh-EE) berries are a grape shaped fruit harvested from acai palm trees native to the rainforests of South America. Only around 15 percent or so of the berries are edible and they are quite perishable, and have significant nutritional attributes when eaten fresh. In the tribal Amazon belt acai pulp is often blended with manioc (a strachy root vegetable) and eaten like porridge. Traditional medicine for acai fruit have included treatment for diarrhea, parasitic infections, hemorrhages and ulcers, as they are extremely high in anti-oxidants (see Figure 2)
Free Radicals & Antioxidants
The human body naturally produces free radicals and the antioxidants to counteract their damaging effects. However the free radicals often far outnumber the naturally occurring antioxidants so a continual supply of external sources of antioxidants is necessary to maintain balance. We get these anti-oxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables. The anti-oxidants can prohibit (and in some cases even prevent), the oxidation of other molecules in the body. The benefits of antioxidants are very important to good health, because if free radicals are left unchallenged, they can cause a wide range of illnesses and chronic diseases. Antioxidants benefit the body by neutralizing and removing the free radicals from the bloodstream.