It is no secret that acai berry has many significant health benefits, ranging from protecting the heart to maintaining brain health. This deep purple superfruit is high in antioxidants and can aid in weight loss, skin wellness, and digestion. It is also known to strengthen the immune system and boost energy levels. Overall, these little berries can have a massive impact on your health.
Acai berries originate from the acai palm with the scientific name Euterpe oleracea, which is widely grown in the Amazon Basin. This palm tree species is grown for its fruit (acai berries, or simply acai), leaves, hearts of palm (a vegetable), and trunk wood. Global demand for the fruit has increased rapidly in the 21st century, and the tree is cultivated for those purposes primarily.
In the Euterpe genus, there are eight essential species, majorly grown in swamps and floodplains. They served as a staple food of the indigenous tribes, and the nutritional value made these berries important to their overall health.
Acai berry is one of the latest and most beloved organic solutions for various types of health concerns. Medical practitioners actively use this alternative. The berry has a large seed in the middle that comprises nearly 80 percent of the fruit, but the remaining endocarp, pulp, and skin contain beneficial nutrients. Different varieties come with distinct benefits, such as the white acai berries that are not as potent as the dark red or purple varieties.
Acai berries are mostly known for their striking deep purple color. Their mild and unsweet taste makes them the perfect base for smoothie bowls coated with oats, coconut meat, and other high antioxidant berries. Thanks to its renowned health benefits, this Brazilian superfruit rises in popularity almost throughout the world.
Health benefits of acai berries
1. Improve cardiovascular health
According to a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, acai berries contain high levels of anthocyanins, a form of plant antioxidants. Anthocyanins are antioxidant compounds related to the red, purple, and blue pigments in fruits and vegetables like berries, grapes, and red cabbage. Antioxidants seek out and eliminate many free radicals responsible for many diseases and conditions, including heart diseases. Anthocyanins are also related to regulating blood cholesterol by decreasing bad cholesterol.
2. Help in weight loss
Acai weight loss supplements and pills have become immensely popular in recent years. Although the results are not uniformly successful, there have been several positive testimonials regarding the claim. Acai contains zero grams of sugar, which is remarkable for a fruit. That means that if you’re on a low-carb diet, acai is a brilliant way to include fruit in your diet. To sweeten things up, add a sugar-free or natural sweetener, like monk fruit or stevia.
Even if you are on a keto diet, you can still incorporate acai into your meal plan. It contains just one gram of net carbs, which enables you to get in much-needed fiber. Subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbs to find out net carbs. The high fiber content of acai berries can also help reduce appetite and stop hunger pains associated with overeating and weight gain.
Due to its lack of natural sweetness, acai products can intentionally contain added sugar. Moreover, acai bowls can have higher calories from sweet toppings like honey or granola. A fully loaded bowl could reach upwards of 800 or 900 calories.
3. Support brain health
Another good thing about the antioxidants in acai, they counteract the damaging effects of inflammation and oxidation in brain cells, which can negatively affect memory and learning. A Nutritional Neuroscience study showed a link between acai berry juice and the increasing mental functioning also the sharpness of the mind. The berries also enhance memory and defend the brain from the development of neural disorders.
4. Aid in skincare
The journal Phytochemistry Letters suggests that the antioxidant in acai berry powder can aid in skin care. Cosmetic products frequently use acai oil due to its antioxidants that can relieve irritation and redness and moisturize the skin. Ingested acai berries can give the skin a healthy, attractive glow.
5. Prevent premature aging
Acai berries potentially slow down the aging process due to their high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants remove the free radicals that cause damage to skin, hair, teeth, and eye. Regular consumption of acai berry juice and other antioxidant-rich foods helps reduce the damaging effects of free radicals. The application of acai oil to several areas of the skin helps prevent wrinkle formation.
A study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology discusses acai berries as highly beneficial against hyperpigmentation. Frequent consumption of acai berries can also reduce cellular oxidative damage and various types of inflammation. While these little berries have powerful health effects, the specific components of acai berries that give them such potency have yet to be determined.
6. Support wound healing
Acai berries have anti-inflammatory properties. Acai berry water extracts potentially have promising effects on advancing wound healing. However, more research is required to validate these benefits.
7. Improve metabolism and digestion
According to some research, the antioxidant properties of acai berries can support healthy cellular metabolism and functioning. They are considered valuable in reducing the chances of unhealthy apoptosis (cell death) and increase the efficiency of the cell’s absorption of nutrients and the subsequent translation into beneficial energy.
Acai berry contains natural fiber, which aids in the digestion and absorption of nutrients from food. It enlarges the bowel movements, making the excretory processes routine, and lessening the chances of constipation and other painful digestive issues. Consuming fiber-rich acai berries can reduce diarrhea as well.
8. Boost immunity and energy
Acai juice is a rich source of vitamin C, which is a well-known immunity booster. Its antioxidant properties battle against free radicals and help support health. The acai berry extract is also a well-known supplement used to boost energy. It also assists in combating fatigue and mental weariness. A 2015 study issued in the Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism journal researched this and focused on elite athletes.
9. Act as aphrodisiac
Although the direct impact of acai berries on sexual stamina and sex drive is not entirely known, they potentially can increase blood circulation throughout the body. Since a lack of blood flow is one of the primary causes of erectile dysfunction and lack of sexual stamina, alternative medicine with acai berry juice may help people with these conditions.