Crazes take off quick in nutrition. One such craze of late, evident in every smoothie or juice bar, is acai berries. These berries originate in Brazil, and are touted to have a phenomenal antioxidant capacity.
What exactly does ‘antioxidant capacity’ mean? Research uses a tool called the ‘ORAC Value’, which is basically a quantification of the compounds in a food that stop free radical damage from oxidants, like pollution, or even heavy oxygen intake through intense exercise.
When we take in these products, or we breathe oxygen, we convert them into compounds that can – in the wrong circumstances – potentially be damaging to bodily functions. What stops this process from happening is antioxidants, found in vegetables, fruits, but particularly highly concentrated in berries.
Typically when you see outlandish claims made about an exotic product, it is worth a closer look. Often, its marketing hype generated by a country, company, or industry which stands to gain from that hype. Plus, people love something that sounds exotic.
But guess what? Your local blackberries would have more antioxidant value. Seriously, you don’t need to look far to get an antioxidant boost from berries: they’re all here! Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries.
All local, seasonable, and available.
As always, stay fit, stay healthy.
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