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Acai berries are small purple berries, relatives of the blueberry and cranberry, which are native to the rainforests of South America.
For centuries, the acai berry has been a staple of the indigenous people of the Amazon, who believe the berry helps them grow and become strong.
It’s only in the last few years that research has started to show that there may be some truth behind this, and that the berry may be a powerful health booster!
Acai berries are packed full of antioxidants. Antioxidants play an important role in our bodies, by mopping up excessive free radicals, which are the result of all the millions of chemical reactions that happen continuously in our cells to keep our bodies functioning. These free radicals are highly energetic, and bash around inside our cells, causing huge amounts of damage. In fact, free radicals are now known to contribute significantly to the aging process, as well as to illnesses like cancer and heart disease. The antioxidant found in high concentrations in acai berries is called anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are also found in red wine and other colourful fruits, and are known to be particularly effective at ensuring a healthy heart.
You may have started seeing acai berry extract in your cosmetics- this is also due to its antioxidant power, and its ability to slow the aging of the skin. But the antioxidants are actually more effective if you eat them, since the body has the ability to send them exactly where they are needed! So eating acai berries will certainly help towards the glowing, young-looking skin that we all would love to have!
Studies have shown that acai berries have anti-inflammatory qualities, and can be a useful supplement to those suffering from IBS; and since they are a good source of fibre, they are great at helping to keep digestion health at an optimum. Although research is ongoing, the anti-inflammatory effect of acai berries could be used for joint pain, and allergies, since they act in a similar way to anti-histamines.
Of course, the main reason they became a Hollywood must is because acai berries are thought to be an effective weight-loss aid. This is because they can increase metabolism, whilst at the same time suppressing the appetite. And since they also are able to boost energy levels, they help any dieter get up and moving, so they can shift those pounds even faster!