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An Amazon Rainforest "best kept secret". Even though the Amazon is rich resource of known medicinal flora, until recently the berry of one tree (and its remarkable benefits) remained hidden from the western world - the acai berry. Found hanging from the branches of a palm-like tree, the acai berry is a violet colored berry with a grape-like shape and is about the size of a large blueberry. The pulp and the skin are rich in nutrients. Acai berries taste like a blend of berries and chocolate. The taste alone could make it a popular choice in most any diet, but a yummy taste isn't what makes the acai berry such a sought after fruit. According to some experts, the acai berry is a superfood packed with antioxidants and nutrients. Actually, the acai berry is significantly higher in antioxidants than red grapes - as much as 15 to 20 times higher. Health professionals have long emphasized the importance of a diet rich in antioxidants and now it appears the acai berry can help fill the bill. Some of the tremendous benefits of the acai berry include: Increased stamina and energy booster. Anti-aging agent and inflammation fighter. Offers decreased cancer risk. Increases immunity. Supports cardiac health. Colon cleanser. Improves sexual desire. Obviously, these health benefits contribute much to the peak in popularity of this mysterious berry. But a major contributing factor to the acai craze is the extract which possesses some substantial weight loss properties. Acai and weight loss Despite the promising weight loss potential, the acai berry isn't a magic pill for weight loss. There is support for claims that it increases metabolism and burns more calories. Acai is rich in essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6, amino acids and phytosterols. This is a powerful fat burning combination. Though with all the recent media attention one could easily get the impression that this little berry is the weight loss Holy Grail, there is not sufficient scientific evidence to support that idea. Scientists are just beginning to dissect the complexities of acai and how it contributes to overall health.

However, some studies show that when acai is combined with a smart diet and exercise program, it can be an effective weight loss element. And if it proves to be as powerful as other disease fighting plants of the Amazon, the question "What is acai?" will become obsolete.

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