There are numerous berries that would be a healthy addition to your diet. The acai (ah-sigh-ee) berry found in the Amazon, is one of the healthiest berries you will find. Initially touted as a weight-loss miracle, acai berries have suffered from these false claims. While they may not help you lose that unwanted weight, acai berries are an antioxidant powerhouse and have plenty more benefits to offer!
The acai berry is the exotic relative of the blueberry and cranberry, which would explain its antioxidant superpowers. The berry has been used for centuries as a healing, immunity-boosting and energy boosting fruit.
With as much vitamin C as blueberries as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and E, acai berries also contain the minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper.
Acai berries are also high in calories for a berry, which is what helps to give the Amazon people who consume it as a staple food, immediate strength and stamina. With such amazing nutrients in them, its no wonder why acai berries can be beneficial to your health.
Health Benefits of Acai Berries
High in Antioxidants
Being that it is a berry, acai supplies quite a large amount of antioxidants. The strength of these antioxidants are measured by the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) test. The higher the score of the ORAC test, the stronger the antioxidants are in the food. Acai berries score high on the test, however it must be noted that certain juices such as pomegranate juice, red wine, Concord grape juice and blueberry juice all scored higher than acai. Acai berries are still a fantastic and beneficial source of antioxidants however, and offer many other nutrients that the other juices do not.
Due to its high antioxidant content, acai berries are also strong anti-inflammatories. The antioxidants fight inflammation, which has been linked to all kinds of diseases such as heart disease, stroke and arthritis.
Acai berries are extremely high in anthocyanins, a plant antioxidant that is associated with the ability to lower cholesterol levels.
Foods that are colored red, blue or purple are high in anthocyanins. The antioxidants scavenge some of the bad LDL cholesterol off of the artery walls, thus reducing cholesterol levels.
They are also rich in plant sterols, which relax the blood vessels helping to prevent blood clots which can lead to heart attacks as well as improve overall blood circulation and blood pressure.
Acai berries are naturally high in essential fatty acids like oleic acid and linoleic acid and have a similar fatty acid profile to olive oil. Fatty acids have been well documented as an essential part of heart health. These compounds help to reduce bad cholesterol levels (LDL) while helping to raise good cholesterol levels (HDL), thus reducing the risk for heart dieases such as stroke.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Brazilians have been eating acai berries for centuries to help treat skin conditions. The high antioxidant content of acai berries is an all natural alternative to chemical based skin care products that may harm the skin in the long run.
Currently many beauty companies are utilizing acai oil in their products because of the antioxidant content. These phytochemicals help to slow the process of aging related to oxidative damage. Acai berries can also give your skin a healthy glow when taken internally.
Helps With Digestion
Acai berries have strong detoxifying agents in them, which helps to cleanse the body’s digestive track and flush toxins out of the body.
Acai berries also contain natural fiber which aids in digestion and helps the body to absorb nutrients from foods. A diet rich in a healthy amount of fiber helps to maintain digestive health, warding off digestive issues such as constipation.
Damage from free radicals is one of the leading causes of cancer cell formation. A constant attack of free radicals on the body allows genetic mutations to develop in the cells, causing them to replicate abnormally and grow into cancer cells.
The anthocyanins found in acai berries have been found to fight these cells. In a 2006 study at the University of Florida, acai extract was used to trigger the apoptotic death switch in 86 percent of leukemia cells.
Acai berries are extremely high in vitamin C and ellagic acid, an immune boosting combination that has been proven to suppress the growth of cancer cells. A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that polyphenolic compounds in acai berries reduced cancer cells ability to multiply by 56-86%.
What To Look Out For
Acai berries are not a cure all for diseases. While acai berries may contribute to the overall health of the body, they should not be relied on as the sole source of nutrition. Also, many manufacturers use only a small amount of acai in their products, loading the remaining parts with fillers or juices.
This is why it is vital to only purchase products that are 100% acai, that way you can be sure you are receiving a quality product that will benefit your health. Make sure that the company you are purchasing from has a Certificate of Analysis verifying that the product is genuine and unaltered.
Enjoyed 7 Healthy Facts About the Acai Berry? Share it with your friends so they too can follow the Superfoodsliving journey.