What is the acai berry?
The acai berry is an inch-long reddish, purple fruit. It comes from the acai palm tree (Euterpe oleracea), which is native to Central and South America. Research on the acai berry has focused on its possible antioxidant activity. Theoretically, that activity may help prevent diseases caused by oxidative stress such as heart disease and cancer.
Is the acai berry healthy?
Acai contains several substances called anthocyanins and flavonoids.
The word anthocyanin comes from two Greek words meaning “plant” and “blue.” Anthocyanins are responsible for the red, purple, and blue hues in many fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Foods that are richest in anthocyanins -- such as blueberries, red grapes, red wine, and acai -- are very strongly colored, ranging from deep purple to black.
Anthocyanins and flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that help defend the body against life's stressors. They also play a role in the body's cell protection system. Free radicals are harmful byproducts produced by the body. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants may interfere with aging and the disease process by neutralizing free radicals.
By lessening the destructive power of free radicals, antioxidants may help reduce the risk of some diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
Are there known health benefits of acai berries?
Some studies show that acai fruit pulp has a very high antioxidant capacity with even more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, or blueberry. Studies are ongoing, though, and the jury is still out.
People eat acai berries to address various health conditions. But so far, acai berries have no known health benefit that’s any different than that of other similar fruits.
Can acai berries boost weight loss?
Scientists are learning more about the functional power of superfoods, such as the acai berry. Although acai is touted in some weight loss products, few studies have tested the benefit of acai in promoting weight loss.
For now, plenty of research supports eating a diet rich in antioxidants. There’s no doubt that berries and other fruits are a key part of any healthy diet promoting weight loss. The jury’s still out on whether there is something special about acai’s ability to shed excess pounds.
Superfruit, a marketing term first used in the food and beverage industry in 2005, refers to a fruit which combines exceptional nutrient richness and antioxidant quality with appealing taste that can stimulate and retain loyalty for consumer products. Some popular fruits like strawberries, blackcurrants, blackberries or oranges are not commonly mentioned as superfruits despite excellent nutritional properties, apparently because they have not been marketed specifically as superfruits.
Commonly mentioned superfruits: - Açaí, blueberry, cranberry, grape, mango, pomegranate, sea-buckthorn
Apples oranges tomatoes and common berries, such as strawberries red raspberries and blackberries used for a large number of consumer products, achieve many of the criteria to be superfruits. They are, however, commonly known in the public and have not attracted interest as novelty ingredients, so are not usually included in industry reports as superfruits.
An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electronsfrom a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions that damage cells. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions.
Perennial or Annual
Today an enthusiastic band of scientists (are) …. Trying to breed perennial wheat rice, and other grains….. the goal is crops that would tap the main advantages of perennials – the deep, dense root systems that fuel the plant’s rebirth each spring and make then so resilient and resource efficient – without sacrificing too much of the grain yield that millennia of selection have bred into annuals….. Because annual root crops mostly tap into only the top foot or so of soil, that layer gets depleted, forcing farmers to rely on large amounts of fertilizer to maintain high yields ….. annuals also promote heavy use of pesticides or tillage because they leave the ground bare much of the year. That allows weeds to invade. Above all, leaving the ground bare after harvest and plowing it in planting season erodes the soil. No-till farming and other conservation practices have reduced the rate of soil loss in the U.S. by more than 40% since the 1980’s ….. Perennial grains would help with all these problems. They would keep the ground covered, reducing erosion and the need for pesticides and their deep roots would stabilize the soil and make the grains more suitable for marginal lands.
(Source: National Geographic)
Food to make you think again, only faster
Being picky about when and what you eat and drink can help you to stay mentally agile
It clearly does not condemn you to a life in the intellectual slow lane as Jane and many others have proved; and, fortunately, there are things you can do in adulthood that can help to boost your brain power, some of which includes being picky about what and when you eat.
The No 1 rule is to eat regularly, especially starting the day with breakfast. Although our brains account for only 2 per cent of our body weight, this organ uses up around 20 to 30 per cent of our total energy needs.
Yet the amount of glucose (the energy that fuels the body) our brains can store is tiny and without constant replacement would be exhausted within ten minutes.
However, this idea is now being challenged with findings that improving blood-glucose control (by eating the right kind of breakfast, for example) raises blood glucose to an optimal point that improves our brains' performance, boosting memory and learning powers.
Research has shown that adults who eat breakfast have better “free-recall” abilities (tested by showing people a list of 20 words at a rate of one every two seconds with two minutes at the end to recall the words) in the day ahead than when they skip breakfast. Breakfast eaters not only scored better in this kind of test, but also had better “delayed recognition memory”.
The types of foods eaten at breakfast and during the rest of the day do seem to count when it comes to making the most of brain power. One of the keys is to stay off the fast-release carbohydrates, such as croissants, cereal bars and white toast with marmalade.
Because they are digested rapidly they give your blood glucose an exaggerated spike that is swiftly followed by a low that makes you feel mentally sluggish. Not only does your brain slow down from the glucose low, but you also feel stressed and distracted while seeking more fast-release carbohydrates.
Breakfasts that include slow release glucose, such as sugar-free muesli with berries, porridge or sour-dough toast with peanut butter, are brain-enhancing options. So too are eggs. They give us choline and lecithin, which are key components of acetylcholine, the transmitter that plays such a big role in memory.
No one has quite worked out why, but eating protein does seem to make us feel more mentally alert. Tucking in to a good-sized serving of lean chicken, turkey, beef or fish such as tuna or salmon at lunchtime with salad or vegetables could be a good move, especially if you have a big meeting or need to concentrate on an important issue.
Anything that improves circulation, and thus blood, oxygen and nutrients to your brain, is also likely to help boost brain power. Omega-3 essential fats appear to play this role. Having one or two servings of oily fish such as mackerel, grilled sardines, anchovies or salmon a week should do the trick.
(Amanda Ursell - Times - 2008)
A Times Leader 2011 : Marmite!
If the Danes do not want to eat Marmite they should send it to the Middle East
It is odd to deny people the liberty to have what they like for breakfast. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has already prevented the advertising of Horlicks, Ovaltine and Farley’s Rusks. Now the future of Marmite is threatened because its manufacturers have not applied for the licence that is needed for products fortified with added vitamins.
The Danish Immigration Minister, Søren Pind, recently said that foreigners should assimilate or leave. They may now do so as the news has not gone down well among Denmark’s expatriate community, many of whom have contemplated sending home for contraband supplies.
The Danish authorities might like to consider that the consumption of Marmite and the idea of liberty could be more closely connected than they realise. The link was, unaccountably, absent from President Obama’s recent speech and Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress. But as Edward de Bono told the Foreign and Commonwealth Office a decade ago, Marmite is the missing ingredient in the peace process for the Middle East.
The theory goes like this. A lack of zinc tends to make men belligerent. Most people get their zinc from bread. But, in countries that eat mostly unleavened bread — such as pita flatbread — the men are very low in yeast and therefore, according to Professor de Bono, more likely to be aggressive. The solution is obvious: to import a foodstuff which can make good the deficiency that comes from too much unleavened bread. The solution is, to put it in a word, Marmite.
So, whether you love it or whether you hate it, any unsold jars of Marmite could have a use. Send them to the Middle East at once.