Ingredient Battle: Pomegranate vs. Acai
What is it?
Approximately the size of a large orange, a pomegranate is a fruit that can contain over 600 deliciously sweet seeds inside. Pomegranates are usually enjoyed in three ways: juiced, as pomegranate extract, or eaten seed by seed.
Why do people love it?
Pomegranates contain an impressive list of nutrients: vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, folate, protein, and fiber. The seeds are very sweet and the fruit delivers a wide range of striking benefits.
Pomegranate is filled with antioxidants such as punicalagins, polyphenols, hydrolysable tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid derivatives. These antioxidants help to protect the body from damage to the skin cells caused by free radicals in the body. A UCLA study has shown that, when considering antioxidant capacity, pomegranate juice was at least 20 percent greater than other beverages tested in the same study.
Inflammation can be caused by various diseases and skin conditions and can lead to pain, and premature aging of the skin. While a large part of the anti-inflammatory effects of pomegranates are due to antioxidants, pomegranates also contain fatty acids that help to soothe and heal the skin from the chronic effects of inflammation.
Aging of the skin can lead to wrinkles, dark circles and bags under the eyes, swelling, age spots, and an increased risk of various cancers. The nutrients found in pomegranates come equipped with all the right tools to fight the signs of aging. Pomegranate is a super food filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. The punicic acid and omega-5 fatty acid also help to maintain ageless skin by locking in moisture and keeping out bacteria.
Helps Fight Cancer
Pomegranate seeds can help treat and prevent various forms of cancer such as breast, colon, skin, and prostate cancers. The punicic acid, omega-5 fatty acid, polyphenols and other compounds contained in pomegranate seeds induce the death of cancer cells and slow down cancer cell production.
The polyphenols in pomegranates get much of the credit for helping to improve memory. Some patients have found success in using pomegranate seed oil and juice to help with memory retention after surgery. A study was also done with elderly individuals where those who drank pomegranate juice had an improvement in their verbal and visual memory.
How to use it?
Pomegranates can be purchased in season, which is typically October through February. It can be carefully opened and the seeds can be eaten. The juice and extract of pomegranate are also available at many local and health food stores. And don’t forget that you can also find pomegranate in a variety of natural products for skin care such as lotions, anti-aging creams, serums, and face masks.
What is it?
Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) berries, are delicious, dark purple, and are found on acai palm trees, which are native to Central and South America. The seed of an acai berry takes up nearly 80 percent of the berry.
Why do people love it?
Acai is packed with nutrients such as omega fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, dietary fibers, B vitamins, amino acids, and potassium – just to name a few. They taste delicious and are often added to smoothies and popular acai bowls.
Acai is an antioxidant powerhouse containing antioxidants like polyphenols, anthocyanins, and vitamins A, C, and E. Some studies have proven acai to have more protective antioxidants than blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Acai is gaining a great reputation when it comes to skin care. The antioxidants and other compounds found in acai help to prevent early signs of aging and boost skin regeneration. Acai is also known to help reduce stretch marks, wrinkles, age spots, skin discoloration, acne scars, and repair dry skin. Daily use may also help to protect the skin from environmental pollutants and help to maintain the skin’s ageless, healthy glow.
Improves Cognitive Function
Along with their amazing antioxidant properties, other compounds in acai such as anthocyanins and phenolics help to protect the brain and improve cognitive function. Acai has also shown to help the body adapt, or cope, well with the effects of stress. These effects include increased cortisol levels and a disruption of hormonal balance.
Improves Digestion and Boosts Weight Loss
Acai is a high-fiber food that helps to stimulate digestion. In fact, acai berry is said to be a natural digestive cleanser that helps free the kidney, liver, and colon of harmful toxins. Some have found acai to help control blood sugar levels and suppress appetite, which improves metabolic function and may help with weight loss.
How to use it?
Acai spoils fast and is hard to find fresh. If you can’t find fresh, freeze-dried powders and frozen juices are another way to get acai berry with the smallest amount of natural degradation. Health food stores and various online locations are likely to have acai powder available. You can also reap the benefits of acai by using high quality skin care products such as facial oil, anti-aging eye cream, face masks, moisturizers, lotions, and other natural products that contain acai.
So which do you prefer, either in your meals or on your skin? Let us know!