Sunday, February 28, 2010

How do Acai Berries fare in the weight loss products parade?

Acai berries are merely the latest weight loss aid in a long list of products that claim to cleanse, detox and aid in quick weight loss. Most of them inhabit the shadowy region between being accepted and approved of by the medical fraternity and being thoroughly disapproved of and rejected. The reason for this is simple: the best way to lose weight is to do it the natural way, by eating right and doing lots of exercise. Eating right doesn’t mean limiting your intake of sweet things or cutting our carbs completely. Far from taking drastic measures, all a healthy diet needs is balance. And nobody ever lost weight from just sitting still and popping pills! An active lifestyle is necessary in order to lose excess weight and maintain an ideal weight once you reach it.

However, acai berries do have certain advantages over other weight loss products currently on the market since they’re available in their natural form in large quantities, and are definitely good for you in many other ways besides being ostensibly a metabolism booster.

Acai berries are also said to have long-lasting effects, since their natural form is an addition to a healthy diet rather than an expensive synthetic supplement that suppresses appetite These artificial means have only short-term benefits, while acai berries have multiple effects besides just weight loss, which guarantee that they will benefit your overall health. They have antioxidant properties, they’re considered to enhance metabolism, skintone and improve sleep patterns.

Colon cleansers, diet pills and the like are largely artificial in make and usually work on the principle of appetite suppression. This is an artificial effect, and only lasts so long as you keep taking the pills. Acai berries, on the other hand, can be incorporated easily into your diet – look at the number of acai berry recipes available – and are a rich source of essential nutrients and minerals in the same way that apples or grapes or bananas are good for you.

Acai berries have been used by Brazilians for centuries as part of their diet. What other verification can we need? While it is a bit optimistic to tout acai berries as a wonder element in weight loss programs, they’re definitely a good addition to your diet in any case because of their positive health benefits. Any weight loss you might experience is an added plus!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Beware: Acai Berry scams to watch out for!

While acai berries themselves may be beneficial and do all the things they claim to, there are a number of people on the internet who are milking the confusion and uncertainty surrounding them in order to make some money. The thing to do is be smart, be wary of impossible sounding schemes and you might just be able to weather the acai berry phenomenon without losing sleep through excessive stress and worry.

Many websites selling acai berry products offer free trials of their products. Now this in itself ought to make you suspicious. With the kind of media coverage this little fruit has been getting, why would any company want to offer potentially hundreds of people free samples of their products? That’s right, it’s a scam. Many people have complained about being billed for acai berry products they hadn’t actually ordered, after having signed up for a free trial. Always remember to read the fine print! You might miraculously get the products for free, but the shipping charges will most certainly be billed to you.

Another common scam is a franchisee scheme, involving an acai berry product manufacturer who offers great deals for potential franchisees, but requires a large down payment. This is something to immediately put you on your guard. There ought not to be a large down payment on the right to distribute the products because this is usually incorporated into the amount of your first order with the company. The fact that you need to pay before you purchase any products for further distribution should be a sign that all is not as it seems!

The key point to remember is never give out your credit card details on the internet indiscriminately. Always verify the company’s credibility before you commit to anything. Many companies have run fraudulent schemes, and then shut down and disappeared and their customers have lost money for nothing. And in any case, giving a company your credit card details is a decision you have to make after checking every possible loophole, and making sure that it is a legitimate organization.

There are many standards organizations whose ratings are to be trusted and whose approval generally indicates a company’s legitimacy. Registered trademarks are also a good sign that a company isn’t just a here today, gone tomorrow sort of affair. These are organizations that aim to protect consumers from exploitation, so it’s a good idea to read up on possible rating organizations and seals or stamps you can look for, before you decide on purchasing a product from any website.

Acai berries in themselves are good for you! You , as a consumer, just need to be aware that there are people willing to exploit all the current media attention to their own ends.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Acai Berry Benefits: How this fruit can improve your life, health-wise

Chances are, you already have some preconceived notions about acai berries from all the media coverage they’ve been getting lately. While acai berry products and supplements have been primarily promoted as weight loss aids, the stuff that no one’s talking about are all the other benefits you get from consuming acai berries.

Acai berries aren’t a new phenomenon. They’ve been growing in the floodplains of the Amazon river in South America for centuries, and have been consumed by natives of the region for equally long as a natural part of their diet. The reason they haven’t been heard of till lately is because of their extremely perishable nature, which means that they are consumed fairly quickly after they are harvested. The berries themselves are small, similar in colour to blackberries but about the size of a small cherry. They grow on a tree called the Acaizeiro, a name which means ‘tree of life’.

Now that we’ve established that acai berries aren’t some new concoction thrown out by the health foods industry to con gullible consumers into spending large amounts of money, here are some of the beneficial aspects of including acai berries in your diet:

- Acai berries have a highly antioxidant property, even more so than other fruits known for their antioxidant properties, and nearly 30 times as much as red wine!

- Acai berries are traditionally used as a source of fibre in the Amazon. They are given to new mothers after childbirth in order to help them through the period of nursing.

- The reason why acai berries have been talked about so much in the area of weight loss and dietary supplement products is that they are believed to raise the metabolic rate at which fat is converted to energy by the body. While this has obvious benefits, it is one effect that is not immediately observable and must be taken with a pinch of salt.

- The berries contain the essential fatty acids Oleic acid (Omega 9) and Linoleic acid (Omega 6). The reason these are important is because first of all, they are not produced naturally by the body and must be consumed in one’s diet. Second, Omega 6 is important to maintain the skin’s health and elasticity and also has a role to play in enhancing sexual performance, and is also thought to reduce the risk of heart disease. Omega 9 is what is found in olive oil, and is a healthy metabolism booster.

Acai berries therefore, have more benefits than their status as a weight loss product implies. They’re a good addition to any healthy, balanced diet if consumed in moderation and in their natural form or in any other form that is both recognisably qualified by a standards body as containing natural acai berry extract.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Acai Berries in the News: What’s being said?

If you haven’t heard of the new health food sensation yet, then you’ve definitely not been paying attention to the news. Acai berries (pronounced AH-saa-ee), naturally occurring in the Brazilian rainforest, are the latest fad to take the ever-sensitive health food and dietary supplements market by storm. And everyone’s talking about them! All the big news channels in the United States, and lifestyle shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show have all been taken up by the potential of the berry from South America.

It’s important to remember though, that none of these channels or personalities are endorsing acai berry products. While the berry has been featured on tv shows and the news, this has been primarily to showcase its beneficial properties when consumed in its natural form, as one among many other fruits and vegetables with similar anti-oxidant or other properties. The problem with having information easily accessible on the internet is that it is easy enough to twist someone’s words into something else entirely, and use this as a marketing tool to promote a product by playing on customers’ anxieties.

Also significant is the fact that none of these shows or news reports have verified or looked into the hundreds of websites offering 100% genuine, authentic acai berries and related products. There are a number of websites that are purveying the genuine article, but there are also lots of sham websites whose only goal is to manipulate the unsuspecting customer to make a quick buck. It’s easy enough to spot the difference, but in case you feel doubtful or hesitant at all about the website’s claims, then it’s safer not to give your credit card details outright. The good thing is that many websites selling acai berry products offer free trial packages.

So, while there are some websites that would have you believe that their products are endorsed by Oprah, Dr Oz, the University of Florida, or whoever, it’s best to purchase acai berries in an experimental state of mind first, so you can figure out how your body takes to them, or indeed, whether you like them at all.

After all, there are plenty of fruits and vegetables in the market that offer similar properties, including anti-ageing, antioxidant properties, increasing your metabolic rate, improving skin tone and everything else you could possibly imagine. Radically increasing your intake of one particular berry isn’t going to be the magic wand that changes the way you look or feel immediately. Healthy living takes a lot of work, and one dose of acai berries and acai berry related products is not going to be enough!