Vitamin C may not be the most glamorous antioxidant on the block, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still one of the most powerful. This miraculous nutrient has been shown to:
- Help prevent the oxidative damage that leads to degenerative diseases
- Accelerate wound healing
- Play an essential role in the production of collagen (a protein that holds the body together), carnitin (which aids the body in transforming fat into energy), and catecholamines (hormones produced by the adrenal glands)
- Help the body absorb iron
- Clear the body of harmful toxins
- Restore oxidized vitamin E to its healthful form
- Help metabolize cholesterol and bile acids, which may help reduce cholesterol and gallstones
Except for three species most animals produce vitamin C internally. Humans, along with primates and guinea pigs, can only get their vitamin C from their diets. Unfortunately, the recommended daily value for vitamin C is just 60 mg/d…far lower than vitamin C experts advise. But you can easily boost your vitamin C levels by eating a colorful diet of organically grown produce.
Follow Linus’s Lead
Despite his untarnished reputation and amazing accomplishments in the fields of chemistry and medicine, two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling came under fire for his controversial claims regarding the remarkable healing nature of vitamin C…that in large doses it could essentially forestall life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Since his death, however, research suggests that his vitamin C claims may not be all that far-reaching.
The healing power of vitamin C lies in its ability to prevent the free radical damage that contributes to aging and disease. It acts as a reducing agent, lending an electron to free radicals intent on damaging your cells and DNA. By adding an extra electron to these damaged molecules, vitamin C neutralizes them before they can do harm.
A 10-year study conducted by Dr. James Engstrom of UCLA showed that men who supplemented with 800 mg of vitamin C daily had less heart disease and lived up to 10 years longer than men who took just 60 mg of vitamin C a day—the recommended RDA!
Another study found that among 11,200 senior citizens, those who supplemented with high potency vitamins C and E had a reduced mortality rate of 42%, while those who took a low potency multivitamin experienced no beneficial effect on mortality. Forty other studies have shown that diets replete in vitamin C may help reduce the risk of cancer.
Fill Up Your Plate
To get your daily dose of vitamin C fill your plate with colorful fruits and veggies, like…
- Brussels sprouts
- Sweet peppers
For further protection, experts advise supplementing with 200-800 mg of vitamin C in liposomal or buffered form such as Ester-C to help prevent gastrointestinal upset.
Direct from Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet, deep in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil, healing acai berries dangle from acai palm trees. Recognizing the curative powers of acai centuries before it was introduced to the West, the Yanomani tribe refers to the acai palm as the “Tree of Life.”
Impressed with its restorative properties, which work from the inside out, Brazilians have dubbed acai “The Beauty Berry,” and the West is finally catching on.
In his New York Times #1 bestseller, “The Perricone Promise,” celebrated nutritionist / dermatologist, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, lists acai health benefits as the #1 Superfood.
“Superfood” is the health food industry’s stamp of approval for low-calorie, antioxidant-rich foods that lower your risk for life-threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Acai, pronounced (ah-sigh-EE), isn’t your typical antioxidant-laden fruit. It is also high in essential fatty acids, amino acids and fiber, making it perhaps the most well-rounded, edible fruit on the planet.
This small but mighty fruit measures approximately 1-inch long and is colored varying shades of dark purple. Made up of 90% inedible seed, acai’s 10% edible pulp packs in more grams of protein than an egg and contains 15 times the amount of antioxidants as red grapes and 30% more antioxidants than blueberries.
In fact, its ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)–the scientific measurement of a nutrient’s antioxidant magnitude–is over 3500, the highest capacity of any fruit!
The Low-Down on Antioxidants
You’ve probably heard the buzz about antioxidants, but just what are they, and what role do they play in your health?
Antioxidants are phytochemicals, vitamins and other nutrients that prevent oxidation from occurring in your body. To understand oxidation, just imagine what happens to a cut apple when it is left uncovered for a couple of hours. It begins to brown and rot. The same process happens inside your body if it is not protected by antioxidants.
What causes the oxidation? Your body produces harmful byproducts called free radicals–unstable molecules that scavenge your tissues looking for electrons to steal. In the process, healthy tissues are destroyed, leading to aging and disease.
Unfortunately, we have entered an age of free radical overload, as our bodies are also attacked from the outside in via pollution, cigarette smoke and toxins from cleaning products and herbicides.
Antioxidants interrupt this destructive cycle by volunteering one of their own electrons, satisfying the voracious free radical before it can damage your cells.
Fortifying your body with antioxidant rich foods, particularly acai berries, halts the aging process, restarting long-lasting health and protecting against the oxidative stress that triggers diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Acai’s Unique Composition
Acai health benefits have all the typical vitamins and minerals found in popular fruits, but also contains unique, never-before-seen plant compounds. Acai contains the potent antioxidants flavonoids and anthocyanins, which are responsible for acai’s rich color and thought to be the key to acai’s remarkable restorative and preventative powers.
Scientists have still not figured out the exact makeup of this Superfood. Dr. Stephen Talcott of the University of Florida discovered 50-75 active natural molecules in acai that have yet to be classified.
The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry published Talcott’s study, which showed that acai health benefits were able to trigger apoptosis (cell death) in 86% of leukemia cells tested in vitro. Talcott was realistic but hopeful, explaining, “This was only a cell-culture model and we don’t want to give anyone false hope,” Talcott said.
“We are encouraged by the findings, however. Compounds that show good activity against cancer cells in a model system are most likely to have beneficial effects in our bodies.”
Antioxidants alone are enough to encourage indulgence in this decadent fruit. Add omegas 3-6-9 to the mix and acai health benefits truly earns its Superfood status. This perfect balance of omegas improves the look and feel of hair, skin and nails, and reduces inflammation inside the body.
Inflammation is recognized as one of the primary causes of life-threatening illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Acai health benefits also contains a healthy dose of fiber, amino acids and carbohydrates that boost your immune system and your metabolism, thereby slowing aging and promoting longevity.