Guarana: 8 ways this fruit is the KEY to your weight loss & health

guaranaIf you've ever bought a Red Bull, Monster or other off-the-shelf energy drink, you might have seen the name "guarana" before. It's often one of the top-listed ingredients. And while you might assume it's just another unnatural additive, thrown in there to rev you up, give you a sugar rush, and keep you going, you couldn't be further from the truth. Guarana is actually a fruit, one that hails from the Amazon basin of South America. The seeds of guarana fruit are often used for their stimulating properties, which provide energy, mental alertness and vitality when taken as a supplement or in food or drink.

Read on to find out more about this fascinating Latino fruit!

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Though your thoughts might immediately go to coffee when you need an energy boost, the fact is, one guarana bean actually contains 2.5 to 7 percent more caffeine than a coffee bean. That's a huge difference!

Guarana is also known to be more effective than tea and most other stimulants you'll find on the market. And though guarana does contain caffeine, it also has tannins, which have a different impact on your body than most caffeine-filled products. You see, the tannins allow guarana to release its stimulating effects slowly. In the end, that means a longer-lasting, gradually building energy, one that won't leave you dragging and sleepy in one hour or two's time.

But guarana isn't only used as an energy stimulant. It also has some other mind-blowing benefits, too. It can:

Offer enhanced athletic performance and stamina: The energizing properties of guarana can improve your endurance and help you perform better physically. It can help you run faster, go harder and keep at it longer.

Help with weight loss: Like many other stimulants, guarana can decrease your appetite, which usually means a lower caloric intake for the day. It can also speed up your heart rate and metabolism, another way to boost your weight loss.

Improve your circulation: Because guarana can boost your heart rate, it helps your blood flow, oxygenating your muscles and vital organs. It is also considered and aphrodisiac for this reason. 

Improve concentration and memory: Since guarana helps with mental alertness, it can also increase your concentration, improve focus and facilitate better learning.

Prevent malaria, dysentery, diarrhea and fever: Guarana has been used in the Amazon for centuries, and this is a big reason why. It helped natives stay healthy and prevent disease in the long run.

Stave off headaches: Caffeine has long been known to fight off headaches, as it constricts the blood vessels in the brain. Since guarana offers up a significant serving of caffeine, it's a great choice for regular headache sufferers.

Act as a diuretic: Guarana, caffeine and other stimulants are known to be diuretics, which make you urinate more often. This means less water weight and fewer toxins in your system.

Guarana can have many great benefits, but be sure to take it wisely. Don't consume unhealthy foods and drinks just because guarana's on the ingredients list. If you want to use this superfruit to your advantage, find a high-quality guarana extract, and add it to a green smoothie. Just be sure not to have it too late at night! You want to get your shut-eye, too.

Don't forget to share this article with your family and friends so that they can also benefit from this amazing energizing fruit. Together we can make this world a happier, healthier world!

Image via Corbis

Topics: super foods  weight loss  healthy eating  guarana  fruit