The Acai berry is a fraud. Well, not necessarily a fraud, but how in the world could a berry cure you of all ailments?
What we are really talking about is a case of zeal and misunderstanding about where human health comes from. The recent claims about the Acai berry on unsuspecting consumers and its cure all is greatly exaggerated. Acai is a berry…a fruit. And fruits especially berries, are and have been widely regarded for their health benefits, namely because of their antioxidant content. This story has or will be played out many times regarding many fruits and berries, both common and exotic. From Acai, Pomegranate, Resveratrol, Noni Juice, Blueberries to Mangosteen, we are inundated with claims of health, vitality, and miracles of all sorts. What are the actual true benefits? Well, they are great. Simply put, fruits and berries are very nutritious and packed with a large variety and concentration of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Many of these substances have certain desirable properties that make them antioxidants. An antioxidant is a substance that stops free radical damage due to oxidation. This means that they protect us from excessive damage due to the natural or unnatural proliferation of free radicals. They are a sort of protective “force field” from pollutants (pollutants in the air, in our clothes, in the products we put on and in our bodies, etc).
Why then all the hype? It’s been well publicized that we need more antioxidants in our diet and also that free radical damage is attributed to everything from age lines to heart disease with a million stops in between. The problem is that our society has a need to find a “miracle cure” in the pill form to cure whatever ails us. The truth is that our lifestyle (activity level, eating habits, lack of nutrition, etc) as a whole is what is ailing us and no cure in a bottle is ever going to fix that. No berry can solve all our problems just because it contains certain antioxidants and those antioxidants stop free radicals and it is the free radicals that contribute to nearly all of our degenerative diseases. See how easy the jump from good fruit to amazing miracle super-food is. Marketing people love this and to a fault so do we the consumer. Acai is great and as a part of a diet rich in whole foods and packed with nutrients, it can lend its very high concentration of antioxidants to help complete the whole picture of our healthy diet.