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Acai berries are dark, purple berries that can only be enjoyed fresh in Brazil's Amazon Rainforest where they grow. Extremely perishable, the acai products that the world spends millions on every year are made from acai powder or frozen acai pulp. Packed with nutrition, particularly a high concentration of antioxidants, as well as amino acids, essential fatty acids and even fiber, these bitter, fruity berries do deserve their reputation as a superfood. What about using them to lose weight?
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The Berry Diet
There is no set acai plan for weight loss, but rather many different companies claiming to help you lose weight if you regularly consume their acai products. People can supplement with acai berry capsules or drink the juice for the potential benefits of this superfood. Acai is claimed to:
- Increase metabolism
- Boost energy levels
- Support health with powerful antioxidants
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Does It Work?
Acai berries undoubtedly are good for you, and if you can find a trusted source for your acai juices or other products, it certainly can play a valuable role in a weight loss diet. Spending lots of money on expensive supplements is probably a waste of money however.
There are benefits of this little berry that make it a good choice as part of a diet for weight loss, as well as any healthy diet. It is very high in antioxidants, which can help to prevent free radical damage, slowing the aging process and possibly helping to prevent disease. Acai is also a source of fiber, which is important for weight loss and well-being. Fiber helps you feel more full and encourages a more efficient removal of waste and toxins from the body.
Acai berries contain omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, which will provide energy and a more sustained fullness. They are also important for cardiovascular health. Most people convert the omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid (LA), into gamma linolenic acid (GLA) in the body. GLA is known to help the body burn fat rather then storing it. The only problem with this being behind the claim that acai berries help you lose weight is that some people have trouble converting LA into GLA, and need to get this essential fatty acid from direct sources such as borage seed oil, black currant seed oil and evening primrose oil.
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Using Acai Berries for Weight Loss
Getting on an acai berry diet plan that involves purchasing expensive acai products on a regular basis and in large quantities may be a waste of money. Because acai has to be processed and shipped from Brazil and perhaps potentially due to the hype around this superfood, berry products tend to be very pricey. While the acai berry itself poses no health risk, be sure to get all of your berry products from trusted sources.
Including acai berry in your healthy weight loss plan in moderate and affordable amounts is not a bad idea at all. Relying on it to shed pounds is likely to disappoint you. Acai, like blueberries, strawberries, purple cabbage and other dark fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients, including antioxidants and fiber. To lose weight with acai, try drinking a glass of a juice blend two or three times a week, but also eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, plenty of whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and low-fat sources of protein such as fish and tofu. Also, exercise regularly.
Losing weight isn't always easy and simply supplementing with an expensive yet healthy berry is not going to make it any less challenging. Focus on a healthy diet and exercise and if you enjoy acai juice or other products, they most certainly can provide health benefits.
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WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/acai-berries-and-acai-berry-juice-what-are-the-health-benefits%20& http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/acai-weight-loss-wonder-fruit?page=2
Hugat, Jennifer. "No Matter How You Say It, Acai Comes with Some Pronounced Doubts." The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/30/AR2009033002140.html?sid=ST2009033003095
Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition" (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
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