The Benefits of Acai Berries
7 Reasons to Eat Them Today
Fruit of every kind is bursting onto the superfood scene, and acai berries are considered to be one of the healthiest. This rainforest fruit has been used for centuries to boost energy levels, enhance the immune system, and repair oxidative damage throughout the body.
If you aren't already adding this berry to your daily routine, it might be time to reconsider your snack strategy. Keep reading to learn why acai berries are such a powerful package of nutrition, and the easy ways you can add them to your diet today.
What are Acai Berries?
Deep purple and closely resembling grapes, acai berries grow in large clusters on the tops of Euterpe palm trees in the Amazon Rainforest. Each berry contains an inedible seed that makes up over 90% of the fruit, meaning that harvesting the surrounding pulp is a time-consuming process. These highly perishable berries are only sold fresh where they are grown. For the rest of the world they are transported as juice, powders, and frozen pulp.
With a distinct flavor that reminds many people of wine, acai berries have chocolate undertones and are delicious when blended in a variety of dishes. For centuries, Acai berries have been a nutritionally rich food source for the Amazonians that harvest them, even at times making up more than 40% of daily calories for Brazil's Caboclo tribe.
What are the Nutritional Benefits of Acai Berries?
Low in sugar but high in nutrients, acai berries are filled with impressive amounts of calcium, fiber, iron, and vitamin A. They are also bursting with antioxidants and flavonoids that fight against free radical damage. Studies have shown that acai berries have higher levels of these helpful substances than other popular superfruits, including cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, and goji berries.
7 Reasons to Eat More Acai Berries
Promote Heart Health
Just like the red wine they taste like, acai berries are high in a form of antioxidant called anthocyanins that are known for balancing cholesterol levels. They are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are good fats effective in balancing cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that drinking acai juice can positively affect blood lipid levels and help reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems in the future. These berries also improve the body's overall blood composition and circulation.
Aid Weight Loss
The reputation and popularity of acai berries as a superfood is well earned. A study found that this tropical fruit can help weight loss participants by breaking down fats and carbohydrates. They also suppress the appetite by helping your body to regulate insulin and the high fiber content keeps you feeling full.
Encourage Skin Health
Not only are antioxidants good for you internally, they can make a major difference in improving your natural complexion. Dozens of beauty products contain acai oil as an active ingredient, but even just eating the berries can improve the glow of your skin. In fact, there is evidence that native Brazilians have been using acai berries to treat skin conditions for centuries. Acai berries are filled with enough antioxidants to aid skin regeneration.
Fiber is beneficial for the digestive system, and acai berries have plenty to keep you regular. These berries have potent detoxification properties that help the liver and kidneys more efficiently remove waste from your body.
Boost Your Immune System
Keeping you healthy despite pathogen invasions is the role of the immune system, and acai berries can make a difference. Acai berries have phytochemicals that work at a molecular level to prevent cell mutation by killing the cells before they can divide and multiply. This boosts the function of your immune system.
Slow the Aging Process
Not only are phytochemicals healthy for the immune system, they can also slow down and even reverse the aging process. Oxidative stress causes wear and tear on cells as you age. This stress on the cells happens internally but also on the skin, it's what causes dark spots and wrinkles. Acai berries can combat oxidative stress when eaten or used topically as a skin product.
Improve Mental Functioning
Science shows that eating foods with antioxidants is a great way to improve your mental abilities and help your brain with the aging process. Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are two of the biggest causes of cognitive problems like memory loss. Acai berries effectively stop this process by preventing brain cells from degrading.
In the same way, acai berries are believed to help improve mental function by turning off the inflammatory pathways in the brain that cause nerve damage. This makes it easier to think clearly, have more energy, and deal with psychological stress.
Best Ways to Buy and Eat Acai Berries
It's easy to add acai berries to your diet for a big nutritional and energy boost. The fresh berries themselves are fragile, they tend to start spoiling just 24 hours after being picked. For this reason, juices, powders, or freeze dried berries are often the best strategy for easily maximizing nutrition from them.
To put your acai to use, consider adding some to a smoothie or making an acai bowl by blending the fruit with granola and yogurt. You can also experiment with traditional Amazonian dishes like sautéing vegetables and potatoes with acai powder to sweeten the dish.
No matter how you choose to use acai berries, you'll be taking a step forward for your health.