Acai Berry Juice - Antioxidants

Though the acai berry is becoming more well known as the most recent superfood, there are many things about it that people don’t know or understand. It has incredible capabilities as a food supplement as well as a nutritious and good tasting juice. One of the most prominent benefits of the acai berry is it’s very high level of antioxidants. What are antioxidants, anyway?

First of all, understanding what antioxidants do chemically, could help people understand their importance. Antioxidants prevent or slow the process of oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction of electrons that damages cells by producing free radicals. Antioxidants stop these chain reactions and destroy the free radical intermediates. Though oxidants are necessary for life, the fact that they’re damaging means that many plants and animals contain multitudes of different antioxidants to help slow, but not deplete the oxidants. Low levels of antioxidants can cause oxidative stress which has an effect in many human diseases such as strokes and neuro-degeneratove diseases. It is not completely certain that oxidative stress is the cause of it and as studies continue, the truth may become definite in the future.


Though antioxidants are crucial, there isn’t a straightforward process for measuring it in fruits and vegetables. There are many groups of compounds with differing reactions to other reactive oxygen species. In current science, researchers use the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) system to measure antioxidant strength. Some of the measured compounds include Vitamin C, E, Polyphenolic antioxidants, and carotenoids (lycopene, carotenes).


In the case of foods, especially the acai berry, antioxidants are also used as a food additive. It helps protect and slow down food deterioration. Many people know that sealing fruits and vegetables in plastic, covering them in wax like cucumbers, or keeping them in the dark away from light is a good way to keep them fresh. However, oxygen is compulsory for food respiration. Certain preservatives are then used to help keep foods fresh, but also to let them respire. Oxidation still occurs, but food stays fresh longer. Oxidants attack unsaturated fats, which causes them to turn rotten. It usually causes discoloration and a sulfurous or metallic flavor. So oxidation in fat-rich foods should be eliminated as much as possible. This usually takes place in meats. However, because oxidation still occurs in fruits and vegetables, most are sprayed with sulfurous antioxidants and then air dried to help slow down the process of decay.


Being as antioxidants are very important for slowing down the effects of anything from aging to maintaining major systems of the body, people are becoming more interested in different foods that contain higher levels of it. Acai is no exception and in fact, contains 10-30 times the amount of anthocyanins (which is a very powerful antiocidant) than are contained in red wine. As this article has proven, antioxidants play a vital role in the human body. Research is on-going on the acai berry, more information is being uncovered about its many benefits and the acai may one day be a valuable asset to cancer victims.



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