Berries are generally outstanding for your health. They are chock full of essential nutrients and compounds that offer an impressive array of health perks. But today, there’s one berry that is noticeably gaining popular attention: acai berry.
Native to South American rainforests, acai berries had people talking about their taste and nutritional advantages.
From improving digestion to boosting immunity and promoting skin health, acai berries prove to be worthy of all the good press they have been receiving over the recent years. If you want to know what the hype is all about, you’ve stumbled upon the right article!
This ultimate health guide will explore how these berries and their products such as acai powders can aid in digestion and weight loss, boost heart, skin, and cellular health, and improve immunity so you can send illnesses away!
What are Acai Berries?
Acai berries are grape-like berries grown and harvested from acai palm trees, which are native to South American rainforests.
Like other berries such as blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries, acai berries are rich sources of fiber and antioxidants. They are widely touted for these significant compounds and more, gaining the “superfood” brand in many instances.
Several advocates claim that these berries are useful for a range of health concerns including weight loss, erectile dysfunction, detoxification, high cholesterol, and skin appearance.
However, there are limited studies supporting these claims, and more research is needed to prove acai berry’s effectiveness in offering all of these health perks.
In the United States, acai commonly takes several forms: frozen pulp, ice cream, smoothies, juices, liquor, and powders. You can consume acai through these abundant varieties but not its fresh fruit.
Since it spoils quickly, you would need to go to Brazil to experience the fruit in flesh. In Brazil, acai is a food staple enjoyed by its nationals daily. In fact, enjoying this berry is already a part of their culture.
Acai Berries: Interesting Facts
Over recent years, the number of online searches directly and indirectly related to “acai bowls” significantly ballooned.
Brazilian diets heavily depended on acai berries for centuries as they are believed to be nutrient-dense. Today, these berries remain to be very popular in Brazil.
Interestingly, how you consume acai will depend on where you live in the country. For example, in Rio de Janeiro, athletes take acai as a treat after a workout. Meantime, in the northern part, laborers eat it as a side dish to boost their energy for work.
Açaí na tigela or acai in the bowl is a Brazilian specialty popular in juice bars and kiosks. It is an acai puree blended with various fruit juices and banana pulp, commonly served in a bowl or glass with fresh fruit toppings and guarana syrup.
What are the Health Benefits of Acai?
Acai berries have been prized for centuries for its energy-boosting and healing properties.
While more studies are needed to provide stronger evidence for its health effects, some research found that the antioxidant content of this fruit provides powerful wellness perks.
Take a look at this list of acai berries health benefits, which reflect what you can get from its powder form:
Acai makes your heart healthy
Acai berries are rich with anthocyanins, antioxidants that fight oxidative stress. Several key findings on anthocyanin showed that it can regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promoting heart health.
Acai prevents cancer growth
Acai berries also fight the growth of cancer cells.
It is thought that these compounds disrupt the mutation of damaging cells, destroying them even before they increase.
Acai promotes weight loss
Probably one of the most celebrated acai berry benefits is its ability to promote weight loss. According to a study, overweight women who consumed 200 grams of acai pulp reduced their total body fat and skinfold thickness.
Their eutrophic counterparts, meanwhile, experienced a redistribution of body fat, particularly in the trunk area, and increased their body weight, BMI, and skinfolds but maintained their nutritional status.
Acai boosts skin health
There’s a better alternative for your chemical-based skincare haul: acai oil. Today, several beauty products contain acai oil, which is prized for its high antioxidant content.
Acai oil is able to maintain its high antioxidant levels even when it’s processed and kept long-term.
This is why it is considered a safer substitute for tropical oils used in beauty items like body and facial creams, shampoos and conditioners, and anti-aging skin care products.
Acai enhances cellular health
Acai berries also help strengthen the body’s cells to fight free radical damage. To date, acai records the strongest activity of fighting superoxides and peroxyl free radical, which cause cellular harm.
Acai’s antioxidants penetrate human cells to execute an “oxygen quenching function” at very low doses. There’s no wonder why it’s considered a nutritional powerhouse!
Acai boosts immunity
Acai was also found to keep the immune system strong, helping to shield the body against various diseases.
Several studies provided evidence that acai helps to boost immunity by enhancing the production of gamma delta T cells, interleukin, and myeloid cells, which promote the health of the immune system.
Acai boosts energy
Acai berries are popular among Brazilian athletes and there’s a good reason why. One research concluded that drinking acai beverage enhances athletic stamina and energy, and decreases muscle stress and exhaustion.
Acai proves to be an excellent choice when you need that extra energy boost, especially if you are to perform a high-intensity training!
Acai enhances cognitive function
Scientific evidence also showed that acai consumption can promote mental health. Several studies found that acai helps to improve memory and encourage healthy brain aging.
The positive neurological effects of acai have been attributed to its rich omega-3 fatty acid, anthocyanin, and other neuroactive phytochemical content.
Acai enhances libido
While it is not an aphrodisiac per se, acai has been linked to overall increased blood circulation, especially in men, which may contribute to sex drive enhancement.
The other acai berry health benefits such as enhanced energy and better mental health also play a major role in preparing the body for an improved, more frequent sexual activity.
Acai aids digestion
Acai also helps to rid your digestive system of toxic elements, so it can function optimally. These nutrient-rich berries have detoxification properties as well and are a great source of dietary fiber.
Foods that contain these important components aid in proper digestion.
Acai slows the aging process
Acai berries are super rich in antioxidants. In fact, their antioxidant content is ten times more than grapes and twice more than blueberries.
Their antioxidant properties together with their phytochemicals work to prevent oxidative damage that causes aging.
How to Add Acai Powder to Your Diet?
Acai berries are indeed packed with nutritional and health advantages. Obviously, you need to consume acai berries in order to enjoy these health perks.
But as we’ve earlier mentioned, you would have to visit Brazil to savor the fruit. There’s no fuss, though, as you can still consume acai through its many varieties including its powder form.
The benefits we’ve listed above represent the benefits that you can get from acai powder.
While many experts think eating the fresh berries would be an excellent choice, acai powders can still give you a well-rounded nutritional experience.
Also, with its powder form, you can prevent the downside of having to constantly restock this highly perishable fruit.
Luckily, you can find an abundance of acai supplements on the market today. But we strongly recommend you look for brands that offer quality organic acai powders just like Terrasoul Superfoods.
This freeze-dried acai powder, for example, is organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO. What's more, it is loaded with powerful antioxidants and healthy fats. It is also friendly with a vegan diet!
You can enjoy your acai powder and its health perks by adding it to your smoothies, juices, ice creams, yogurts, and homemade energy bars!
What are the Potential Risks of Consuming Acai?
Acai consumption is generally considered safe for human consumption provided it is taken in appropriate amounts.
However, raw acai juice has been associated with the transmission of Chagas Disease and American trypanosomiasis.
People with pollen allergies are also not advised to consume acai berries as it may aggravate symptoms.
While there’s no established information on the effects of acai on pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is best to avoid consumption for safety purposes.
Acai berries are considered a superfood due to its impressive nutritional content and amazing health benefits, which range from enhanced skin health to a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Take note, though, that further studies are needed to solidify these health claims.
If you want to enjoy the health perks of acai berries, you can consume them in its frozen pulp, ice cream, juice or powder form.
However, if you are hesitating to take acai berries due to a certain health condition or specific medication, it’s best to talk to your doctor first.
This will allow you to understand whether acai has adverse effects on your health given these concerns.