Açaí: an antioxidant-rich superfruit from the Amazon

What are free radicals?

Free radicals are unstable molecules with highly reactive ions. They are essential for some bodily processes and, in typical amounts, are balanced by antioxidants produced by the body itself.

However, free radicals are also produced by external factors related to lifestyle and the environment. Emotional stress, exposure to smoke, alcohol, excessive physical exercise, UV radiation from the sun and pollution can create an excess of free radicals. Diets in saturated fats, sugars and chemicals – such as preservatives, hormones and pesticide residues – also contribute to high free radicals levels.

Scientific studies demonstrate that antioxidants ingested through foods and beverages can supplement antioxidants produced by our own body, helping to counteract free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. With oxidative stress contained, cellular damage and its related disease states can be minimized.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants occur naturally in a wide range of fruits and vegetables. The broad class of substances that fight oxidative stress has four subsets. Açaí´s beneficial anthocyanins are part of the polyphenol group and its flavonoid subset.

Flavonoids are responsible for the color in fruits and vegetables. Of these, anthocyanins are the source of red to purple colors. There are more than 8,000 naturally occurring compounds in the flavonoids family. Anthocyanins occur in high concentration in açaí and are responsible for its beautiful color as well as the major part of its antioxidant power.

Açaí: an antioxidant-rich superfruit from the Amazon
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