Layne Beachley was born and bred in Sydney Australia and may be seen as the greatest female surfer ever. In fact, she has won the Association of Surfing Professionals’ World Surfing Championship seven times over.
As with other champion athletes, she has secrets to her success, but one of them is her diet. One component of that champion-making diet is the Acai fruit.
Now regarded as one of the most nutritious fruits found in the Amazon Rain Forest, Acai berries contain the highest ORAC value of any edible berry in the world. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) rating is a standard method of comparing the level of antioxidants present in food products.
Antioxidants are substances that protect the body cells from the damaging effects of oxidation. Typically, we know some familiar names of antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, substances found in green tea, and many other kinds. Antioxidants help protect against oxidation’s damage. When oxidation occurs, basically, the arteries and tissues of the body “rust.” This is a process that naturally occurs whenever we eat food or with any number of processes and as such is needed for life. However, if not counteracted with antioxidant activity, it can lead to disease, aging, and even premature death.
The acai berry also has a good amount of oleic monounsaturated essential fatty acids, or omega-9s. This particular type of essential fatty acid helps lower LDL or bad cholesterol and maintains the good cholesterol, HDL. In addition, linoleic or omega-6 polyunsaturated essential fatty acids are also present in the acai berry, and these are also beneficial. This means that the fruit gives you very healthy fats, which are necessary to strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system. This is something of course that all athletes need.
In addition, the acai berry contains phytosterols, which are sterols that come from plants. These compounds of plant cell membranes assist our bodies in many ways, but one of their major benefits is that they reduce blood plasma cholesterol and provide a source of dietary fiber.
And there is still more to the Acai berry, for this special fruit is abundant with a particular class of flavonoids called anthocyanins. These are ubiquitous plant colorants which impart the red, purple, and blue hues found many fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, and flowers.
The acai berry is represented by over 600 molecular structures, and research has found that the properties of this modest berry provide benefits including suppression of human cancer cell growth, inhibiting mutations caused by mutagens in cooked food, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities that are very powerful, improvement of eyesight, blood pressure reduction, and protection from liver damage.
The acai berry can be considered a super-food, as well as a “super drink” when consumed as juice. Any who may want to follow in an elite athlete’s foot steps, such as those of Layne Beachley, should incorporate acai berries or other products into their diets, as should we all.