Acai and Rachel Ray: Can the Hype be believed?

We all know Rachel Ray drinks acai juice. Acai is a berry promoted by Rachel Ray amongst other celebrities such as Oprah and celebrity doctors such as Dr. Oz and Dr. Perricone. Acai berry is dark purple or green in color and grows atop palm trees in the Amazon rainforests of Brazil. For centuries the local population used the berries to make a fruity pulp that was used as a food flavoring ingredient. Acai is a relatively new concept in Europe and North America but it is really catching on and is now commonly found in most health food stores. and Europe.

Scientific teams have discovered that the acai berries are a wonderfully rich source of an antioxidant nutrient called anthocyanins. This is the exact same substance that provides red wine with it’s the antioxidants. Acai Berries are also rich in protein and fiber and also provide essential fatty acids, vitamins B and A, and omega-9 and omega-6.

Since being introduced to us by Dr. Perricone, acai has garnered a lot of attention. The internet is now full of acai promotions. Acai Berry ranks among Dr. Perricone’s top ten superfoods. These superfoods if consumed regularly are supposed to make us look significantly more youthful in a short period of time. Acai berry has captured the eye, attention and imagination of many television celebrities. Rachel Ray drinks a type of acai berry juice daily and claims it makes her feel great.

Healthy lifestyle information is becoming more common. We are regularly hearing that we should eat more foods rich in healthy oils and antioxidants.. It is commonly known that antioxidants are absolutely critical to enjoying good health. Antioxidants help us fight the ongoing threat of illness and disease and the deteriorating and debilitating effects of aging. Antioxidants are well recognized as an essential and critical part of a healthy lifestyle.

As a science oriented person and an avid healthy lifestyle reader, I was interested in learning more about Rachel Ray and acai berry. Recently, I was very interested to learn that some food scientists had investigated the antioxidant benefits of commonly available acai juice blends. Three acai juice blends containing presumably varied and definitely unspecified concentrations of pure a?a? juice were compared for in vitro antioxidant capacity against other commonly known antioxidant beverages. These other antioxidant beverages included red wine, tea, six types of pure fruit juice and pomegranate juice. I want to note that acai juice blends were being compared to pure fruit juices so we need to be a bit skeptical about the results. The antioxidant capacity of the acai juice blends was approximately equal to that of pure cranberry juice, and was higher than that of pure apple juice, tea and pure orange juice. The antioxidant capacity of the acai juice blends was actually ranked poorer than that of pure pomegranate juice, pure blueberry juice, and the unspecified type of red wine. Is their misinformation being provided by Rachel Ray about acai? I do not think so. Acai juice blends are significantly better for you than some pure fruit juices but not as good as either red wine or pure pomegranate juice.

The problem with this study is that it uses juices with unspecified quantities of acai. I have seen these blends and there is no telling whether they are 90% acai or simply apple juice with a splash of acai. In fairness to Rachel Ray and acai she generally touts a specific acai juice and the above experiment was done on commercially available acai berry juices.