Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Acai Comapared to Mangosteen

Acai and mangosteen are among the fruits considered to have powerful health benefits. You may have asked yourself, “Which one do I take?” or “Can I have take of them at the same time?” The answer lies on the goals you want to achieve and the reason behind taking these supplements.

The two popular health products work hand in hand and can be taken together. However, they have unique characteristics that work differently when used in treating various diseases.

Where is the most suitable place for cultivation?

The açai palm is native to and is only grown in tropical Central and South America, growing mainly in floodplains and swamps.

Mangosteen thrived for quite a long time in countries in Southeast Asia like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines. Today, due to technological advances in agriculture, it is also grown in countries like Australia, Brazil, and the Caribbean islands. The fruit is abundant during the months of July to September.

What do they look like?

The acai fruit is described as a small, round, black-purple drupe similar in appearance and size of grape but with less pulp. The fruit has a single large seed.

The mangosteen fruit is purple-colored, with a soft and easy to open shell when ripened, containing an edible, white, soft like a marshmallow, flesh known as an aril. The circle of wedge-shaped arils contains 4–8 segments, the larger ones containing seeds. Both fruits are known to have high nutrient content with high antioxidant properties. What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are substances that interact with free radicals and thus prevent body cell damage. They slow down the process of aging by preventing free radicals from oxidizing sensitive biological molecules or reducing the formation of free radicals.

Antioxidants are also known to help maintain the immune system which makes our body fight diseases like common colds caused by viruses; it also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that helps alleviate symptoms of arthritis; and many other age related disorders including opthalmopathy.

In food and other chemical substances, antioxidants are measured by the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). The higher the ORAC score, the higher the level of antioxidant contained in the foodstuffs, therefore beneficial for the body in eliminating free radicals.

What are the antioxidants present in acai and mangosteen?

Antioxidants in acai

1. Anthocyanins: belong to a group of phytochemicals which are known to reduce incidence of heart diseases

· Majority is contained in the freeze dried pulp and skin

· Helps in improving mental clarity and prevention of heart diseases

· Acai contains more than 30 times the amount of antioxidant contained in red wine

2. Proanthocyanadins: reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases

· stabilizes collagen and elastin, proteins in the connective tissue that support organs, joints, blood vessels, muscles

3. Twelve other flavonoids including homoorientin, orientin, taxifolin, deoxyhexose, isovitexin, scoparin, proanthocyanidins , and resveratrol gives 80% of the fruit`s antioxidant property.

Other nutrient content of acai

· Omega 9 or oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid which helps in lowering level of bad cholesterol (LDL) without affecting the level of good cholesterol (HDL)

· Omega 6 or linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, which also helps lower the level of bad cholesterol in the body

· Beta-sitosterol, helps loer the level of blood plasma cholesterol

· Amino acids like aspartic and glutamic acid, helps in protein and DNA synthesis

Antioxidants in mangosteen

· Xanthones: more than 40 kinds are identified contained in the mangosteen

· Known to boost the immune system, an anti-inflammatory agent, antibacterial effect, prevents cell aging

· Sterols: helps reduce the amount of blood plasma cholesterol, thereby protecting the cardiovascular system

· Polyphenols: combat oxidative stress that causes both mental aging and cardiovascular diseases.

· Catechins: an anti-oxidant 9 times more than that contained in green tea

· Pycnogenol: an antioxidant 20 times greater than Vitamin C and 50 times greater than Vitamin E.

The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) Content

In as much as the ORAC as the one of the basis for comparison between the two fruits, there has been a wide range of scores making it unreliable to determine the overall anti-oxidative property of either of the two fruits.

Diseases That Acai and Mangosteen are Beneficial To:

I. Diseases More Responsive to Acai:

1. Stomach conditions

· Acai is a rich source of fiber good for the digestive system.

2. Eye Disorders

· Acai aids vision through the high amounts of beta-carotene and vitamin C in it.

3. Lack of Mental alertness

· The protein, omega 3, 6, 9 and vitamin B in acai improve mental clarity and induces better sleep

4. Stress

· Acai has a higher content than mangosteen in terms of  vitamins and minerals including B-vitamins, Beta-carotene, Boron, Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Folate, Iodine, Manganese, Magnesium, Molybdenum, Potassium, Selenium, Vitamins C, D, E, and Zinc which all help in replenishing energy in the body.

5. Osteoporosis and Calcium Deficiency

· The significant amount of calcium in acai addresses this concern

6. Prostate Enlargement

· The phytosterols in acai are currently being used in the treatment of prostate enlargement

II. Diseases More Responsive to Mangosteen:

1. Asthma

· The anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties of mangosteen make it a potent treatment for asthma

2. Depression

· The amino acid trypthophan in mangosteen, is related to serotonin, which is responsible for our sleeping patterns, moods, and appetite

3. Pain and Inflammation

· Mangosteen fights inflammation thorugh the inhibition of COX-2 enzymes

III. Diseases Equally Responsive to Acai and Mangosteen:

· Heart Diseases

· Skin Disorders

· Viral Infection

· Obesity

Juice or Pill Form?

For both acai and mangosteen, you have the option of choosing between the juice form and the pill form. If you are after the fine tasting blend of fruits, you can always opt for the juice form. However, if it is the medicinal properties that matter to you, the pill form is your better option.

The juice form uses other fruits to improve its taste. Its shorter shelf life needs the addition of preservatives to prevent it from going rancid.

The pill form doesn’t need preservatives and other ingredients. It contains 100% acai.

The juice form uses the whole fruit, which needs to be irradiated if it has to come from another country. It rids off the fruit from pests and microorganisms. The capsule form only uses the husk of the fruit, where the beneficial properties are highly concentrated. It is freeze-dried and doesn’t have to undergo irradiation for transport.

The processes involved in the manufacturing of the juice form, including pasteurization and reconstitution, destroy the inherent health benefits present in the fruits. It defeats your purpose of taking the supplement to help you with your medical problems. In fact, the added preservatives and irradiation process only puts your health at risk.

Special precautions

The acai berry and mangosteen are found to contain high amounts of potassium so people with chronic renal disease have to be careful when eating these.

People taking warfarin and other “blood thinners” should also seek professional medical advice before taking any supplements of acai berry and mangosteen. Acai berry contains vitamin K which is essential in the coagulation process. It may make the blood thinners ineffective in its function. Mangosteen on the other hand, has shown blood thinning effects in laboratory tests, which may potentially double the anticoagulant affects of blood thinners.

If you choose to take any of these supplemental medications and food, it is always best to consult a medical professional, especially if you are on maintenance medications.


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