Saturday, September 26, 2009

Know What To Eat And Drink to Receive Sustained Energy? Acai Berries!

By Jeremy Liddle

Well what is it about acai berries that delivers sustained energy?

The biggest energy secret in acai berries is the combination of carbohydrates and dietary fibre, however they don't provide sustained energy in every food. In all foods, carbohydrates are converted into sugar in the blood. The rate at which this occurs is measured with Glycemic Index (GI), and if the GI is high then the food is digested and absorbed quickly, delivering a fast rise in blood sugar. Examples of such foods are sweets, sugar, and processed bread.

A blood sugar that is too high or too low is dangerous for our bodies. So when sugar rises, it stimulates our organ, the pancreas, to release insulin into the blood. Insulin tells all our cells to open up their gates and let sugar in. This then causes the blood sugar level to drop again. When foods that release sugar quickly are consumed, our bodies tend to release too much insulin. Too much insulin means that too much sugar is taken up by our cells, and causes our sugar level to drop to under normal levels. This is what is usually felt after a sugar rush. It does not give you sustained energy and tends to leave people feeling tired and fatigued.

With a glycemic load (GL) of 0.5, acai berries delivery a slow and sustained blood sugar rise. GL is a newer and more accurate way to determine the effect of certain carbohydrates in the blood. It gives a better picture than GI alone as it also takes into account the volume of carbohydrate eaten. A Gl of 10 or less is considered a small level, and so a food with GL 10 or less helps to control blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Acai has a GL of 0.5, which means that it delivers the sustained energy needs for today's hectic life.

Dietary fibre can act like a sponge during the digestion of food, particularly the fibre in acai binds to digested food and reduces the rate of digestion. So when eating acai it is less likely a sugar rush will be experienced as the sugar is released slowly. This can also assist in controlling food cravings, which can in turn assist in stopping obesity.

Unlike most juices, most of Acai's kilo joules come not from sugar but from the healthy unsaturated omega-6 and omega-9 fats. This is one juice that can be consumed guilt free! It can provide a satiated and full feeling due to the high fibre content and at the same time provide sustained energy, unlike other fruit juices! Acai is usually mixed with apple juice, which has a low GI- to provide the same sustained energy as an Acai berry smoothie.

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