Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Acai Berry and cholesterol

=Acai FactsImage by gurucrusher via Flickr
With the numbers of younger Americans growing that suffer from high cholesterol, the numbers of those taking the statins for this problem is likely to grow as well. Unfortunately, taking this prescription medication will likely introduce the medication user to many side effects including memory loss and depression to anaphylaxis.  As a result, people are turning to more natural and less drastic methods such as acai.*

What effect does acai have on blood cholesterol?

Acai has been dubbed the "super fruit" from Brazil. The indigenous people have consumed this food for thousands of years and have enjoyed cardiovascular protection.  New to the United States, many are discovering the immeasurable health benefits that acai bestow. One of those is the lowering of cholesterol.

Acai is high in omega 3, 6 and 9 all of which are essential fatty acids (EFA) that help clear the body of
unwanted cholesterol.  Specifically, these EFAs clear the body of the LDL (low density lipoprotein) or "bad" cholesterol that in excessive amounts can clog blood vessels and lead to heart attack, strokes and high blood pressure.  At the same time, they increase the high density lipoproteins (HDL) or "good" cholesterol.

Acai is also full of antioxidants, which battle the effects of free radical damage, thus making it an important weapon in delaying some of the effects of aging and in fighting disease such as diabetes and some forms of cancer.

Acai is also high in beta-sitosterol which also is important in lowering cholesterol . It inhibits its absorption in the small intestine.  Beta sitosterol has also received attention for its use in Europe in prostate and breast cancers.

A cause for concern in obtaining the nutritional benefits of acai has been that the fruit perishes in 24 hours.  However, with modern refrigeration techniques,  most of its beneficial protective properties have been preserved.

*Please note that this article is not intended to dissuade anyone from taking their prescription medication.  Speak to your primary care physician and nutritionist to develop an effective treatment plain if you have high cholesterol.

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