Monday, February 6, 2012

The Fruit Of The Week - Acai Berry

Vegetable Information: 

Acai berry is a small, round, dark purple fruit obtained from acai palm tree. Botanically, acai belongs to palm or Arecaceae family of trees in the genus Euterpe and known as Euterpe oleracea.
Each berry measures about the size of small sized grape, 2-3 cm in diameter. They are dark green initially then turns to dark purple color once reach maturity. Technically, the fruit is a drupe, consists of outer edible pulp surrounding a central large seed. Only the outer pulp, comprising about 10-15% of berry weight, is edible. - Nutrition & You

Nutritional Benefits:
Acai Berry contains high amounts of Ellagic Acid which may help fight against cancers of the breast, pancreas, esophageal, skin, colon, and prostate. Ellagic acid has antiproliferative and antioxidant properties in a number of in vitro and small-animal models. The antiproliferative properties of ellagic acid are due to its ability to directly inhibit the DNA binding of certain carcinogens, including nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. As with other polyphenol antioxidants, ellagic acid has a chemoprotective effect in cellular models by reducing oxidative stress on cells. - Journal of Food Biochemistry 
Acai berry is also rich in medium chain fatty acids like oleic acid (omega-9) and linoleic acid (omega-6). These compounds help reduce LDL-cholesterol level and raise good HDL-cholesterol levels in the body as well as help prevent heart disease. In addition, they help prevent skin dryness by maintaining adequate moisture in the skin. - Nutrition & You 

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