The Highest Antioxidant Fruit Ever
Which fruit is the clear front-runner when it comes to antioxidants? Hint: It's smaller than a grape and darker than a blueberry.
It's the acai (pronounced "ah-sigh-EE") berry, and it may beat every other fruit or vegetable by a mile. Case in point: The freeze-dried berry has 30 times the disease-arresting anthocyanins of red grapes.
Cholesterol, Cancer, and . . .
The berries are so nutritious, writes John La Puma, MD, author of ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine, that they may help lower bad cholesterol, inhibit inflammation, and fight off arthritis. They may even have cancer-fighting powers. In a lab study, acai berry extract killed between 45 and 86 percent of a sample of human leukemia cells.
The antioxidant quotient is reason enough to eat this fruit, but acai berries are also chock-full of B vitamins, magnesium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, and sulfur. In South America, acai berries are pureed and served warm as a sauce or soup. Check your local health-food store for acai juice, smoothies, and other products containing this berry nutritious fruit. Check out the YOU Docs' list of other stay-healthy superfoods.
ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine. La Puma, J., New York: Crown Publishers, 2008.