Acai berries come from the acai palm trees of South America. These dark blue berries are delicious and rich in antioxidants. They provide vital nutrients, as do other dark berries such as blueberries and blackberries. Within the past decade, the acai berry exploded in popularity. Many supporters tout the fruit as having near-miraculous properties that could expedite weight loss, optimize your immune system, fight aging and cut cholesterol.
Acai berries became a sensation after Oprah mentioned them on her television program in 2008. Many fad diets and purportedly exceptional acai products were created, some of which used Oprah’s likeness for advertising without her approval, which prompted Oprah to file numerous lawsuits.
Acai berries, like other dark berries, are rich in antioxidants, fiber and heart-healthy fats. Encouraging others to eat more of any fruit is positive. However, many proponents of acai berry claim that the fruit is a super-food and make bloated claims about its nutritional value. The acai diets are typically not regimented diet plans. Rather, people incorporate the berry into other diets. Proponents of incorporating acai into weight loss plans claim that acai will support weight loss by improving metabolism and reducing appetite. If weight loss occurs it will most likely be spurred by the limited calorie count of whatever diet you follow and not some special property of the berry.
The bottom line
According to the Mayo Clinic, research on acai berries is limited and many claims about acai berries have not been corroborated by verifiable scientific research. You certainly won’t be doing your body any harm by eating acai berries, but more extravagant claims have not yet been proven. There are affordable ways to incorporate the acai berry into your diet, so you are well advised to spend the same amount of money on acai berries as you would be willing to pay for any other fruit.