The Acai is now ubiquitous, from a refreshing and healthy delicacy loved by the locals of the Amazon region of Brazil, it is now the new “super food,” consumed in large quantities all over the world thanks to media and the internet. The problem with this is that the Acai palm is native to the tropical areas of Central and South America, and so while it is now consumed everywhere, the source is not quite so well-spread.
A combination of skyrocketing demand with virtually the same supply: a textbook situation where the only result is a price increase. In fact the cost of the Acai berry has already gone up so much that the Brazilians who used to enjoy it as a regular item on their dining tables are now hardly able to afford it.
So how does all this tie in with the addiction issue? There is a connection if it is a bit roundabout in nature. The ‘net is rife with the enthusiastic reviews of people whose lives have truly been changed by the super food, and many of them say that they are “addicted” to it. Their use of the term however is similar to somebody saying he is addicted to apples, in fact eating 20 of them a day. Here the addiction is more like a great liking, and in any case it’s a healthy addiction, not the same term as applied to drugs, legal or otherwise.
There have as yet been no reported negative side-effects to consuming the pure berry, its juice or its pulp, therefore people who say they are addicted to Acai have nothing to fear and should keep on taking it if they can afford to and it is not causing them any problems (some can possibly be allergic to it, or have some other adverse reaction). Trouble is possibly on the Acai supplement horizon though. Because the supply of the berry is limited, many manufacturers have chosen to add a whole variety of items to the mix to have a saleable product even if the Acai itself, which they are very careful to highlight on the label, makes up a very small percentage of the formula. It’s not an issue when the additions are genuinely healthy, adding even more benefits to the supplement. But what if the add-ons are merely filler, chemicals of a dubious nature, or herb and plant derivatives that have no use for the body, or may even harm it? It is not so far-fetched that some of these additives may even be actually harmful to consume, or even addictive.
When shopping around for a supplement to add to your diet, it is imperative that you know what you are paying for. Read the label, and if Acai is what you want, make sure that the product is actually based on it and not just some mish-mash of ingredients with micro-drop of berry juice added. More importantly, know what the other ingredients in it are, whether they are good for you or just some chemicals or natural additives simply placed there to impress the unwary. Worse, they could be addictive in the worst possible way, and if you don’t do the research and read the reviews, you might be putting yourself in danger.
We have available to us a valuable store of knowledge, accessible with the virtual press of a few buttons. Educating ourselves and separating the grain from the chaff, whether in terms of the flood of information we are bound to find, or in the actual choosing of the supplement to take, is the price we pay for all this information and for our good health.