Did you ever imagine that a small round fruit could change your life for the better? Me neither.
Acai berries have been consumed by people to improve their health for thousands of years. And there’s a good reason for it.
Read on to understand why exactly you may want to consider adding acai berries to your daily diet.
Table Of Contents
- What Are Acai Berries?
- What Is The History Of Acai Berries?
- Are Acai Berries Good For You?
- What is The Nutritional Value of Acai Berries?
- What Are The Health Benefits Of Acai Berries?
- Are There Any Skin Benefits Of Acai Berries?
- What About Hair Benefits Of Acai Berries?
- Acai Berry Vs. Goji Berry – Which Is Better?
- How To Use Acai Berries
- How To Select And Store Acai Berries
- Any Popular Acai Berry Recipes?
- Where To Buy Acai Berry?
- Any Fun Facts About Acai Berries?
- Are There Any Side Effects I Need To Be Aware Of?
Let’s answer the basic question first…
What Are Acai Berries?
There are many healthy fruits you can add to your diet, but the acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berry is one of the healthiest berries you will find.
These reddish-purple round fruits are found in the rainforests of South America. They contain antioxidants and important vitamins and minerals that aid weight loss, reduce cholesterol, and promote a healthy heart in addition to providing several other benefits.
Now, let’s find out where they originated from.
What Is The History Of Acai Berries?
Acai berries have been around for thousands of years but have only been introduced to the Western world around the 1990s.
These berries were first known to be used by the Amazonian tribes to cure several ailments. They found that acai berries had natural antioxidant properties and eating them reduced cholesterol, promoted a healthy heart, and controlled prostate enlargement (nature’s viagra).
Acai berries were also pulped and used to make wine that was known to be very healthy.
Interesting. But are they really good for you?
Are Acai Berries Good For You?
The berries possess several properties that have been known to improve our overall health. They help prevent arthritis, inflammation, erectile dysfunction, obesity, heart disease, and cholesterol.
Hence, it is safe to say that acai berries are very healthy if consumed regularly.
However, do not overeat them. Check for allergic reactions before including them in your daily routine.
Let’s now look at the real reason you should consume these berries.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Acai Berries?
Acai berries can be a nutritious addition to your diet since they contain an array of important minerals and vital nutrients. Below is the nutrition profile of these berries.
|Energy||60 kcals(fresh berries/100 grams)|
|Vitamin C||13.4 mg|
|Vitamin A||1400 IU (15% DV)|
Vitamins And Minerals: Acai berries are loaded with vital vitamins and minerals that help build a healthier body, flush out toxins, and boost the immune system.
Antioxidants: They are rich in antioxidants that play a vital role in maintaining the overall health. These antioxidants slow down the rate of oxidative damage by free radicals.
Fats: These berries contain a significant amount of fats, but most of it is in the form of healthy fats. They help reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol in the body and also aid weight loss.
And now, here’s the most awaited part: why should you eat acai berries?
What Are The Health Benefits Of Acai Berries?
Acai berries improve our health in several ways. They not only aid weight loss and digestion but also enhance your immunity and promote healthy skin and hair. Let’s look at the benefits in detail.
1. Very High In Antioxidants
The food we eat and the air we breathe – everything contains toxins that can harm our body. These toxins are mostly in the form of free radicals.
One of the reasons acai berry is so popularly used in the health industry is that it has unusually high levels of antioxidants as compared to other plant foods (1). These are known to repair the oxidative damage caused to the body by these free radicals.
Not only that, these antioxidants inhibit the growth of harmful organisms and help detoxify our body of all contaminants that can cause cardiovascular diseases and cancer (2).
2. Protect Against Heart Disease And Diabetes
Research shows that acai berries are extremely high in anthocyanins, antioxidants that promote overall heart health.
A 2014 study done on rats subjected to myocardial infarction (heart attack) concluded that acai berry significantly helps in the treatment of heart-related diseases like cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, and cardiac dysfunction (3).
Another study was done in California on 10 overweight individuals who were given acai berry fruit pulp for 30 days. There was a reduction in blood sugar, insulin, and cholesterol levels in the body (4).
3. Boost Weight Loss
A lot of brands market their acai berry supplements as a standalone solution for weight loss. But the fact remains that while acai berries may be extremely healthy and contain a wide range of nutrients, it is not enough to consume them alone to boost weight loss.
Research shows that the fiber and fatty acid content in acai berries help increase metabolism, boost fat burn, and decrease cravings (5). Hence, it can be safely stated that consuming acai berries along with a healthy diet can help you lose weight better and faster.
4. Promote Digestion
The high amount of fiber present in acai berries helps improve digestion and assimilation of nutrients and prevents constipation.
Traditionally, acai berry juice was used as a natural treatment for diarrhea. It was believed to cleanse the system of toxins and strengthen the digestive system.
5. Help Fight Cancer Cells
Several studies have proved that consuming acai berries regularly could help prevent several types of cancers, particularly those of the colon and the breast.
A study done in 2014 claimed that acai berries possess anticancer properties and might help in the development of chemopreventive medication (6).
Another Texas study strongly suggested that they contained anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic properties that effectively fought and suppressed colon cancer (7).
[ Read: Best Anti Inflammatory Foods ]
6. Enhance Cognitive Functioning
One of the many good things about acai berries is that they significantly help maintain your overall brain health.
A 2012 study conducted on mice suggested that acai berry pulp has protective properties towards brain cells, which indicates better cognitive and motor functions (8).
Another study performed on rats in 2014 concluded that the compounds present in acai berries could protect your brain from damage as you age (9).
7. Improve Cellular Health
The antioxidant properties of acai berries increase the efficiency of the cells in absorbing nutrients and reduce the chances of cellular death.
8. Boost The Immune System
One of the greatest benefits of acai berries is their ability to boost and strengthen the immune system. The antioxidant-rich fruits fight the free radicals and protect your body from several diseases and infections.
A 2011 study showed that the immune responses of acai berry have the potential to treat asthma and infectious diseases (10).
9. Increase Energy Levels
Acai berries are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and good fats that help to keep our stamina and energy levels high.
This fruit is commonly termed “Amazon rainforest viagra” since it increases libido and enhances sex drive. Acai berries are also known to improve blood circulation.
There is no research yet to back this claim, but it has received positive testimonials from many people.
10. Help Heal Wounds
Acai berries have significant wound-healing properties, owing to their anti-inflammatory nature.
A 2017 study showed that a scratch wound healed faster after 24 hours of using acai berry water extracts (11).
11. Promote Sound Sleep
Acai berries are known not only to increase energy levels and stamina but also to promote better sleep at night. A ¼ cup serving of acai berry juice before going to bed each night may help with improving the quality of sleep.
Are There Any Skin Benefits Of Acai Berry?
Acai berries contain many vitamins and minerals that enhance skin health. They not only help to slow the signs of aging but also lighten scars and prevent acne and breakouts. The benefits are discussed in detail below.
12. Have Anti-Aging Properties
Acai berries are a powerhouse of important nutrients. They also have antioxidant properties, which helps them fight the free radicals and delay the signs of aging. These properties make them a perfect ingredient for anti-aging face and body creams. Using them every day keeps the skin glowing and healthy.
13. Control Pigmentation
Acai berry was found to be one of the most beneficial ingredients to treat hyperpigmentation (12).
14. Control Acne
Owing to their anti-inflammatory properties, acai berries are excellent at controlling acne and breakouts.
15. Lighten Scars
With acne scars, acai berries can help to lighten them.
Try crushing some acai berries with a ripe avocado and apply the mask on your face. Leave it on for about 10-15 minutes and then wash it off. This treatment will leave your skin feeling smooth and blemish-free.
16. Hydrate Your Skin
Your facial skin is prone to wear and tear due to excessive exposure to the sun, chemicals, and pollutants. The antioxidants present in acai berry help to repair the damage and replenish the lost moisture.
17. Make Your Lips Soft
Regular application of acai berry juice is known to keep the lips hydrated, soft, and luscious due to its excellent moisturizing properties.
What About Hair Benefits Of Acai Berry?
Acai berries contain vital nutrients that make your hair stronger, softer, and shinier. These nutrients not only promote scalp health but also prevent hair loss. Scroll down to find out more.
18. Strengthen Hair
Acai berries, being a powerhouse of essential nutrients, help to maintain a healthy scalp and strengthen your hair from the roots. This helps to prevent hair from shedding.
19. Aid Hair Growth
Acai berries are rich in proteins, healthy fats (omega 3, 6, and 9), and a wide range of vitamins such as A, B complex, C, and E. All these nutrients work together to aid hair growth.
20. Promote Scalp Health
Acai berries contain a significant amount of zinc and folic acid. Zinc is known to greatly benefit scalp health and prevent hair loss by making the hair roots stronger (13). Folic acid improves blood circulation in the scalp, aids the regeneration of the cells that contribute to hair growth, and prevents graying of hair.
Amazing benefits. Let’s now answer a question that’s sure to pop up in your mind.
Acai Berry Vs. Goji Berry – Which Is Better?
Both acai and goji berries are extremely nutritious and have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years.
Just like acai, goji berries are known to contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals that help improve our body’s strength, stamina, and fertility and protect the liver and the heart.
Both acai and goji berries are rich in nutrients. While acai berries contain a far more number of antioxidants, goji berries are lower in fat content.
Goji berries have slightly higher levels of vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, whereas acai berries have lesser sugar and carbohydrates as compared to goji berries.
Overall, we believe both berries to be equally healthy. The best way to enjoy the benefits of both is to consume them together.
Confused about how to use these berries in your diet? Here’s how.
How To Use Acai Berry
Acai berries can be eaten raw or used in any of the following ways:
- Shake It: Blend it with milk to make a healthy smoothie or shake.
- Cream It: Several creams use acai berry as their main ingredient. You can apply any of them on your skin to reap the benefits.
- Supplement It: If fresh acai berries are not available in your country, you can go for tablets or capsules.
- Juice It: Crush the berries into a juice and top it with chia or hemp seeds for an added boost. With juicing, however, limit the portion to about ¼ cup due to the concentration of sugar.
Now that you know how to use these berries, it is important to know how to select and store them to get the best out of them.
How To Select And Store Acai Berries
A small quantity of the berries, in any of the above forms, is recommended to boost your body’s metabolism, flush out toxins, and reveal younger and smoother-looking skin.
Acai berry supplements of various brands are easily available in pharmacies. Make sure to check for any side effects before purchasing. Also choose organic, GMP, 3rd party tested products.
If you prefer to consume berries in the natural form, simply refrigerate them and consume within a week.
Supplements have a shelf life of about 1 year, so they can be stored in a cool and dry place.
Acai berry juice, however, should be consumed almost immediately after juicing the berries.
How do you incorporate these yummy berries into your diet? Here’s one of our favorite recipes.
Any Popular Acai Berry Recipes?
Acai Berry Smoothie
You Will Need
- ¾ cup plain greek or almond greek yogurt
- ¼ avocado
- ½ cup strawberries
- ½ cup acai berries (or their frozen pulp)
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree them well.
- Adding crushed ice will create a more foamy smoothie.
- Serve in a glass and top with soaked chia seeds.
The next question that comes to your mind is how and where do you obtain these berries?
Where To Buy Acai Berries?
It is very difficult to obtain fresh acai berries unless you live in Brazil or its neighboring countries.
You can buy acai berries in the powder or capsule form from most health stores. You can also purchase them online.
Let’s now get to know some fun facts about these berries.
What Are Some Fun Facts About Acai Berries?
- Acai berries have been used as weight loss supplements since ages.
- The acai palm also grows in the rainforests of South America.
- Acai berries contain twice as many antioxidants as blueberries and 10 times as grapes.
- Their antioxidant power is 33 times more than red grapes and red wine.
- Acai pulp has 10-30 times more anthocyanins than the same amount of red wine.
Although acai berries offer a wide array of benefits, they have a few side effects.
Are There Any Side Effects I Need To Be Aware Of?
- Consuming bad quality or processed acai berry supplements can lead to a build-up of toxins in the body and cause heart problems.
- Echinacea, a herb sometimes used in acai berry supplements, may cause a swelling in the liver, leading to liver damage.
- Acai berries should not be consumed by underweight people since they might suppress appetite and induce weight loss.
- These berries should not be consumed by people who have pollen allergies since they are known to aggravate these allergies further.
- Acai berries should not be consumed with caffeine as they may cause stomach troubles.
- Overconsumption of acai berries may cause diarrhea, irritation in the intestinal tract, headaches, and reduced vision.
The Final Word
As long as you consume these berries in limited quantities, your body will receive all the goodness from them.
So, add them to your diet today and reap their benefits.
Do let us know how you found this article by commenting in the box below.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
What are the health benefits of an açai bowl?
Acai bowls are extremely healthy since they are packed with fresh fruits, frozen fruits, nut butter, almond milk, nuts, and seeds. This provides the body with a lot of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and good fats.
Why do I crave acai berries during pregnancy and how healthy is it?
Craving acai berries during pregnancy could happen probably because the body is not receiving enough nutrients.
It is very healthy to have these berries during pregnancy since they provide the mother and fetus with important nutrients.
What do acai berries taste like?
Acai berries taste somewhat between tropical and bitter. They have a little bit of a dark chocolate after-taste.
How much acai berry juice can I drink?
About ¼ cup per day.
How to use acai berry powder?
Acai berry powder can be blended in juices and smoothies or sprinkled over oatmeal or yogurt parfait. Use, as a rule of thumb, no more than 6 grams of sugar in a serving.
What are the health benefits of acai berry tea?
Just like acai berries, acai berry tea benefits the body in several ways like boosting energy, reducing inflammation, aiding weight loss, fighting cancer, reducing the signs of aging, detoxifying the body, and strengthening the immune system.
- “Acai palm fruit palm improves survival of flies on a high fat diet”. Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology. Baltimore, Maryland. March 2010.
- “Nature’s Health Company”. Warning Letter. US Food & Drug Administration. June 2017.
- “Oral treatment with Euterpe oleracea extract improves cardiac dysfunction…”. Biomed Central Complementary Alternative Medicine. July 2014.
- “Effects of Acai berry preparation on metabolic parameters in a healthy overweight population…”. Medicus Research, Northridge, California. May 2011.
- “Acai: Weight loss wonder fruit?” 2009.
- “Cytotixic effects of Euterpe oleracea Mart. in malignant cell lines”. Biomed Central Complementary and Alternative Medicine. May 2014.
- “Pro-apoptotic activities of polyphenolics from acai in human SW-480 colon cancer cells”. Texas A&M University. Oct 2014.
- “Anthocyanin-rich acai fruit pulp fractions attenuate inflammatory stress signaling in mouse brain…”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Feb 2012.
- “Restoration of stress-induced calcium dysregulation and autophagy inhibition by polyphenol rich acai…”. Tufts University, Boston. July-Aug 2014.
- “Polysaccharides Isolated from Acai Fruit Induce Immune Responses”. Montana State University. Feb 2011.
- “Skin Wound Healing Effects and Action Mechanism of Acai Berry Water Extracts”. Toxicological Research. April 2017.
- “Innovations in Natural Ingredients and their use in Skin Care”. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. June 2010.
- “Analysis of Serum Zinc and Copper Concentrations in Hair Loss”. Annals of Dermatology. Nov 2013.
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