Heart disease has long been the leading cause of death. This is unfortunate, given that most incidences of heart disease can be avoided simply by getting some regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet. Another worrying development is the increasing number of people who come down with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. While these disorders may have their roots in our genes, it is ultimately how we lead our lives that determine whether we develop them or not. Despite the billions of dollars of research has been spent trying to find a cure for either of these ailments, scientists have yet to discover a treatment more effective than the adoption of a healthy lifestyle, particularly when it comes to what foods we eat.
When it comes to foods healthy for both the brain and the heart, none are as well known as omega-3 fatty acids. Most people associate these essential fatty acids with fish oils. This is the reason behind fish’s long standing reputation as a ‘brain-food’. Few people are aware that plants and fruits can carry these fatty acids as well. When we obtain omega-3 from as many different dietary sources as possible, we not only receive the recommended daily allowance, but we also enjoy a healthier and more varied diet. One of the best recently discovered sources of omega-3 hails from the jungles of South America: the acai berry. Most people may have already heard of it being sold as a weight loss product, but such marketing ignores its other considerable health benefits. The acai berry is particularly good for promoting the health of both heart and mind because it contains both high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a plant pigment called anthocyanin.
Essential fatty acids work by promoting the growth and development of our body’s tissues. They are particularly effective at protecting the cardiovascular and circulatory system, and new research has shown that a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids helps with memory retention and actually works to protect the individual brain cells from damage. The acai berry also contains significant amounts of oleic acid, which helps omega-3 make our cell membranes more permeable to our body’s various hormones and chemical signals. This boosts our immune functions, and allows for more effective defense against a wider variety of illnesses.
Yet the acai berry employs yet another mechanism to protect both our hearts and our brains. The anthocyanin that is responsible for the berry’s dark purple color is a very effective antioxidant. Doctors have advised that a glass of red wine goes some way towards providing protection for the heart. A serving of acai berry contains more than 10 times more anthocyanins than red wine. Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals, the byproduct of our body’s natural respiration. These free radicals are responsible for a majority of cell damage we accrue over our lifetime. They play a significant part in the aging process, and contribute to the development of cancers and other degenerative diseases, including those of the neurological variety. Neutralizing these free radicals means our body’s cells will be able to live longer, consequently enhancing both the quality of our lives while extending our life spans.
There are many products on the market claiming to be acai-based. Unfortunately, most of them will contain very little of the actual fruit or plant extract, but will instead be primarily constituted of preservatives, sweeteners, and artificial flavors that are actually detrimental to your health. The best way to ensure that you get acai’s full nutritional value is obtain pure acai, undiluted by the addition of any other ingredients. Roarganics supplies only the purest acai powder, made from the freeze dried pulp of the acai berry. The berries are freeze dried to preserve the potent compounds in the fruit, which disappear one day after they are harvested. The powder can be added to shakes, smoothies, baked goods, or even sprinkled on some cereal for an extra healthy breakfast.