We are all aware of the fact that fruits are often regarded as some of the best foods in existence. They are typically packed with nutrition and are available from nature. While we can easily recognise numerous fruits, there are a few exotic fruits that many people are not aware of. Moreover, such fruits come with a wide variety of health benefits. One such fruit is the Guarana.
Guarana, scientifically known as Paullinia cupana, is a fruits found mostly in the Amazon forest basin. It is the fruit of the Guarana plant that is highly sought after. This fruit resembles a bean and is characterized by its red outer shell which encases a black seed. These black seeds are ground into fine powder which makes up the Guarana extract.
The people dwelling in the depths of the Amazon rainforest, that is, the tribal people have been using Guarana for ages. Various Amazonian tribes swear about the potency and usage of Guarana. This has motivated scientists to take up extensive research and conduct various experimental studies on the potential health benefits and efficiency associated with the consumption of this exotic fruit. This article aims to present to you all these findings. Furthermore, we shed light on the efficiency of the Guarana extract, the different ways to consume the fruit and the possible side effects. Let us explore the various health benefits that you can derive out of the consumption of the Guarana extract.
Health Benefits of the Guarana Extract
Research has shown that the Guarana extract contains several compounds that serve as antioxidants. These compounds typically include saponins, catechins, theobromine, caffeine and tannins. The antioxidant action of the mentioned compounds is associated with various functionalities.
It is pretty interesting to note that the functionality of the antioxidants by Guarana extract is similar to that of green tea.
The body consists of several molecules that may be harmful and may cause oxidative stress. These molecules are known as free radicals. Antioxidants in Guarana extract help to inhibit the functionality of these free radicals and protect you from various conditions such as signs of aging, heart disease, fatigue etc. The anti-aging characteristics of the Guarana extract are well noted. In addition, the antioxidant action of Guarana extract may potentially inhibit the abnormal growth of cancerous cells as you age. This has been evidenced by studies.
Guarana extract is a rich source of several stimulants such as caffeine, theobromine and theophylline. Here, it is worth putting special focus on caffeine as it is the most widely known stimulant in the world. The seeds of the Guarana plant have around 6 times more caffeine than coffee beans!
The stimulants in the Guarana extract work by inhibiting the functionality of adenosine, which is a chemical compound that helps to relax your brain’s activity. This inhibition is achieved by the build-up of an interconnection between the stimulant (say, caffeine) and the adenosine receptors. This prevents the triggering of the adenosine receptors and your brain feels more alert and focused.
An experimental study has demonstrated that subjects who took a supplement containing Guarana extract ended up feeling less exhausted and more energetic when compared to subjects who took a placebo.
Improves your brain functions
It has been established that the consumption of Guarana extract helps to boost your memory, retention and learning abilities. An experimental study has shown the consumption of even low doses of Guarana extract lead to high scores in brain tests by subjects.
Some studies on animals have proved that Guarana extract can improve memory and information retention abilities.
Good for the stomach
Guarana has a long history of being used to treat various stomach conditions such as upset stomach, diarrhea and constipation. We have mentioned the antioxidant properties of tannins. Medical studies have demonstrated the ability of tannins to make the inner lining of your intestines waterproof. As such, the amount of water secreted by the digestive tract into your bowels is vastly limited.
An interesting aspect of caffeine is its ability to stimulate peristalsis, thereby triggering the muscular contractions of your digestive tract. This process aids in dealing with constipation as it forces the bowels into the rectum.
Helps in weight loss
Studies have indicated that caffeine helps to accelerate your rate of metabolism by more than 10% in the duration of half a day. With a higher metabolic rate, thermogenic effects burn your unwanted fat deposits and calories.
Various studies in a test-tube have shown that Guarana extract inhibits the production og genes that aid in fat cell functionality. In addition, it also facilitates genes that decelerate the production of fat cells.
Maintains good cardiovascular health
The rich content of antioxidants in Guarana help to promote the proper flow of blood through the blood vessels, and prevent blood clots. This has been established by studies.
Further studies have shown that consuming Guarana helps in preventing the build-up of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, that is, the bad cholesterol within the blood vessels.
All of this contributes towards good cardiovascular health.
Helps to relieve pain
The ability of Guarana to provide pain relief is well-documented. The caffeine content in Guarana inhibits the adenosine receptors that are responsible for pain. This potent functionality of caffeine in Guarana has made it a common inclusion among the list of ingredients in many pain relief medications.
Improves the quality of your skin
Once again, the high caffeine content in Guarana comes into the picture. Studies have demonstrated that caffeine facilitates the flow of fresh blood into the skin. This helps in improving the appearance of your skin and make it free from blemishes, marks and acne.
Promotes good health of the eyes
Studies have displayed that the consumption of Guarana extract helps to combat age-related eye conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. In addition, studies also show that subjects who consume Guarana on a regular basis reported better vision than those who did not. As such, Guarana extract protects your eyes against potential damage and also helps to maintain good eye health for all age groups.
A dosage of 50mg to 75mg is absolutely fine to attain the several health benefits from the Guarana extract.
The versatility of Guarana and its many health benefits have motivated scientists to conduct tests on the safety of consumption of the Guarana extract.
It has been found that Guarana is absolutely same for consumption and can be successfully used in health supplements, provided the dosage is low to moderate.
Toxicity reports have shown that Guarana has very low toxicity and is completely safe.
High doses come with side effects similar to that of high caffeine such as headaches, insomnia, rapid heart rate, anxiety etc.
However, pregnant and lactating women should stay away from Gauarana extract completely. High doses of caffeine can lead to abnormalities in the growing foetus or miscarriage.
People sensitive to caffeine must totally avoid the consumption of Guarana in any manner whatsoever.
The Guarana fruit is undoubtedly one of the healthiest things to consume. Its extract is associated with a wide range of health benefits. Though many of these health benefits are an outcome of laboratory tests, the potential is huge. The high caffeine content in Guarana must always be taken note of before you think of consuming it.
With that being said, eating fruits and fruit based extracts is never a bad idea. In fact, Gauarana extract is very popularly used in energy drinks, supplements and regular diet. As long as you are sticking to the dosage of 50-75mg, you should absolutely enjoy this delicious fruit in any way possible. So, get ready to level up your energy and relish the various health benefits of this Amazonian fruit!