Acai Superfoods: Understanding the Health Benefits of This Amazing Berry
Photo by William Felker
You may have heard of the acai berry, but aren’t aware of how good it is for you. Learn about the amazing health benefits of eating acai superfoods.
In 2018, there were 17 million cases of cancer throughout the world. In America, more than 100 million citizens are living with high blood pressure. An estimated 11% of people in the U.S. suffer from a chronic digestive disorder.
Those statistics are scary. But fortunately, there are things we can do to boost our health and prevent chronic diseases. The answer is to get exercise and eat smarter. What we eat is key to keeping our bodies in tip-top shape.
Acai superfoods contain numerous health benefits for the body and the mind. Incorporating these foods into our daily diets is an easy and delicious way to enhance our health.
What are acai superfoods, and what do they do for our bodies? Keep reading to find out.
What Are Acai Berries?
First and foremost, acai (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) berries are small fruits found in South American rainforests. They stem from acai palm trees, which tower over the rainforest at up to 100 feet high. The berry is dark purple and the size of a large blueberry.
Although most acai is harvested in Brazil, it grows in Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. In Brazil, acai translates to “fruit that cries,” which refers to the berries releasing water as they grow. Native Brazilians in the north of the country have incorporated acai into their diets for hundreds of years. During the harvesting season, the berries make up 42% of the region’s total food consumption.
Acai berries are drupes, which means they contain a central pit (similar to olives and peaches). Acai berries taste like a mix of blackberries and raspberries, but with a hint of chocolate.
You can’t get fresh acai unless you live in the Amazon region of Brazil but you can enjoy the frozen puree by incorporating it into delicious acai recipes. From acai berry bowls to a delicious morning fruit smoothie, there are plenty of ways to get your daily dose of acai. There’s even a recipe for a spicy acai martini!
How Does Acai Benefit My Body?
Acai has numerous benefits for our bodies. The berries, whether eaten as a snack or through supplements, can fight off cancer, boost brain health, and protect our hearts. A diet rich in acai superfoods leads to clearer skin, more energy, and improved gut health.
Let’s explore all of the amazing benefits acai provides.
1. Fighting Cancer
Acai berries have one of the highest antioxidant contents of any food. They contain more antioxidants than blueberries and pomegranates. The antioxidant content of foods is typically measured by an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score. In the case of acai, 100 grams of frozen pulp has an ORAC of 15,405, whereas the same amount of blueberries has a score of 4,669. Antioxidants neutralize cell damage to prevent DNA mutations that cause cancer.
Free radicals are reactive chemicals that harm healthy cells. The damage free radicals play a role in cancer development. Acai superfoods contain anthocyanins that produce antioxidant effects. Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals and lower your risk of developing cancer.
2. Clear Your Skin
Acai’s high antioxidant content makes the berries excellent for your skin. Brazilians have been enjoying the berries for years, claiming it’s the secret behind their glowing beauty.
Free radicals, in addition to raising your risk of cancer, also destroy healthy cells and accelerate skin-aging. Free radical damage causes fine lines, dark spots, and wrinkles.
Acai superfoods include antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E. The antioxidants and vitamins destroy free radicals.
The vitamin C in acai fruits stimulates collagen production. Collagen is responsible for keeping your skin supple. With more collagen in your body, your skin will continue to have high elasticity and stay youthful.
The vitamin E in acai is a natural protector against the sun. Vitamin E prevents sun damage to your skin by absorbing UV rays. It works as a natural sunblock to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.
3. Stimulate Your Brain
There are large quantities of antioxidant anthocyanins in acai superfoods. These components lower oxidative stress and inflammation throughout the body to promote better mental health.
Anthocyanins can enhance memory functions. They prevent neuroinflammation and boost blood flow to the brain, leading to improvements in memory and other cognitive functions.
Autophagy is the brain’s process of getting rid of dead or toxic cells. As these cells are cleaned up, they make way for new, healthy nerves to form. Autophagy decreases as people age, but lab tests show acai extract stimulating autophagy in brain cells. The antioxidants promote autophagy to discard unneeded cells and create better communication between brain cells.
4. Boost Heart Health
The benefits of anthocyanins continue! These antioxidants can balance cholesterol levels. In a 2014 study, scientists in China found that anthocyanin consumption increased HDL cholesterol and decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
The plant sterols in the berries can also prevent the absorption of dietary cholesterol in the body. A 2011 human study found that after 30 days, participants had lower insulin and fasting blood sugar levels than when the study started.
Polyphenols in acai boost nitric oxide production in endothelial cells. These cells create an inner lining around blood vessels and arteries. With high nitric oxide production, the cells can relax a person’s blood arteries and lead to lower blood pressure.
5. Improve Digestion
Acai berries have seeds that contain flour properties, making the fruit high in fiber. Their high-fiber content and powerful detoxification properties allow acai to work magic on digestion.
Acai cleans out the body’s digestive system to prevent harmful cells from building up. They naturally clean out our intestines and colons. Acai prevents constipation, bloating, and inflammation along the digestive tract.
High-fiber foods, like acai, are full of probiotics to ease digestion. The berries boost metabolism to speed up the digestion process. People with chronic digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease are encouraged to up their fiber intake, which acai provides.
6. Increase Energy
Acai superfoods are so healthy for your body, from your brain to your toes, that eating the fruits can give you a boost of natural energy. Acai can reduce metabolic stress, leading to increased stamina and endurance.
After exercising, acai can help people recover and fight off exhaustion. A 2015 study discovered acai consumption reduced muscle stress and improved tolerance in athletes.
After a workout, grab an acai smoothie or devour an acai bowl. You’ll quickly feel energized to get on with the rest of your day.
Get Your Acai Superfoods
What’s the best part about acai? Of course, the superfruit has numerous benefits for the body. But best of all, acai superfoods are delicious and easy to enjoy.
People say that acai is addictive because it has a unique flavor and leaves you feeling satisfied and energized. If you haven’t noticed, acai bowl cafe’s are the hot new trend all over the world.
Shop our products to learn more about acai options.