Sunday, January 31, 2010

What are Acai Berries and why is everyone talking about them?

Acai berries come from the Acai palm tree. They have recently come under a lot of media attention because of their supposedly beneficial effects as part of a weight loss regimen. Their effects, according to various companies marketing them, are as follows:
- Improved digestion
- Higher energy levels
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Improved skin and hair
- Better sexual performance
- Detoxification

As a result, the internet is flooded with companies offering acai berry products in the form of powders, tablets, pulp, juice and the berries in their natural form. Most companies promise customers that acai berry products will help them to reach a target weight within a set period of time, and accompany this with only a passing emphasis on a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise.

The important thing to remember when using dietary supplements like acai berry extract is that first, it is necessary to find the right kind of product and more importantly, find a product that is genuine, authentic and approved by a recognised standards body. Second, weight loss doesn’t happen by magic. We all wish we could take a magic pill and wake up the next day to find ourselves with the perfect body but unfortunately, this doesn’t happen with any of the products currently available on the market. So, in order to be safe, it is important to supplement the use of such aids as the acai berry products listed above with a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet and regular exercise.

That being said, there are certain foods that have proven to be beneficial in boosting the body’s metabolic rate and aiding in the quicker conversion of fat to energy. It is entirely possible that the acai berry is one of these products, but there has not been enough scientific research to prove conclusively that it has purely positive or negative effects, or even adequate exploration of potential side-effects from overuse, prolonged use or misuse.

As always, anything in moderation is the key phrase. Acai berry products have been used by natives of the South American jungles they grow in over long periods of time, and they haven’t experienced any considerable side effects. However, it does remain to be said that metabolisms differ widely, being especially affected by ethnicity, environment and general habits. What is good for one group of people may not necessarily be good for you.

If you’re in the mood to experiment with acai berry products, my best advice to you would be: do your research. Read as much as you can, consult your doctor or nutritionist and understand the pros and cons of using these products. Just as you wouldn’t medicate yourself indiscriminately, you should be as careful about other things that go into your system!