Saturday, January 22, 2011

Acai Berry and your Blood Pressure

Acai BerriesImage via Wikipedia
 Americans are taking blood pressure medications in record numbers nowadays. Fast foods,sedentary lifestyle, stress and other bad lifestle choices are exacting a very  high toll on us. And, with the incidence of childhood obesity, the numbers of folks under thirty with high blood pressure is likely to drastically increase. What is the remedy to this malady? Lifestyle changes, weight loss and improving on dietary deficiencies. The highly refined American diet contributes to inadequate vitamin and nutrient intake.  As a result, many people are turning to simple, natural foods, such as acai, to provide missing nutrients that  will also help in bringing blood pressure under control.


What is acai?

Acai is a fruit that grows on the acai palm trees in the Amazon rain forest of Brazil.  It is dark purple and about the size of a grape.  Natives of the  Amazon have been consuming it for hundreds of years and have been similarly enjoying the health benefits. Approximately 90% of the fuit is a seed and the remaining 10 contains edible pulp and skin.

 Acai is also high in anthocyanins, the dark purple/red pigment seen in fruits such as blueberries and blackberries. These substances are antioxidants and offer protection to those who eat the berries.
Acai is extremely nutritious and is among foods with a very high concentration of antioxidants, fiber, omega 9s amino acids and EFA-essential fatty acids-specifically oleic acid.  All these nutrients make acai a potent weapon in the asrenal against cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

Acai, oleic acid, omega 9s and your blood pressure

 Omega 9s are the powerhouse against high blood pressure.  (Oleic acid contains omega 9s). Omega 9 is a monosaturated fat that also lowers cholesteroll, has anti-coagulant properties and decreases the incidence of arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

According to the article. "Oleic Acid is responsible for the reduction in blood pressure" http://www.pnas.org/,  "the oleic acid in the membranes, which regulates the membrane lipid structure in such a way to control G protein mediated signalling, causing a decrease in blood pressure."  Acai is abundant in oleic acid.

Adding acai into the diet can be done by drinking the juice, taking supplements and making smoothies.  Of course, before taking a new supplement, check with your health care professional.





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