Acai Health Benefits
Updated: Mar 21, 2020
Who doesn’t love a good acai bowl?! Thankfully, the acai berry packs endless amounts of health benefits that you can enjoy in the form of a smoothie, tea or juice! This superfood has gained popularity over the recent years, and as more studies are done, the health benefits proven are endless.
Acai is a berry native to the Amazon rainforest and has been used in traditional medicine for years due to its healing, immune-stimulating, energy-boosting properties. Not only can acai improve focus and memory, it can also increase energy and stamina. Acai products on the market include frozen purees, powders, pills, juices and teas. The dosage and calorie content vary by product and brand, so be sure to read your labels. You can incorporate acai into your diet by taking a pill supplement, adding powders to your drinks, or blending frozen acai puree into a smoothie or smoothie bowl. The electrolytes in acai help replenish the body after a hot day, so it is a perfect summertime treat!
Acai is even higher in antioxidants than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries or goji berries! These antioxidants make acai berries anti-inflammatory and great for immune function and slowing oxidative stress in the body over time. Although acai is not technically an adaptogen, some may consider it to be because of its ability to keep cortisol levels stable. Since acai protects the body from free radicals, it can also help balance hormones and improve the endocrine system, digestive system, and neurological system. This includes protecting brain cells from cognitive problems like dementia.
Acai contains many anti-aging properties great for slowing the aging process and repairing damaged skin cells. It contains the same antioxidant, anthocyanin, that is found in red wine, but almost 20x the amount! Beyond this, the antioxidants in acai have been found to fight against cancer cells and other infectious diseases.
Low sugar / high fiber
Acai is low in sugar and high in fiber which is a great combination for healthy digestion, weight loss, and appetite suppression. Acai can naturally cleanse the liver and kidneys by assisting the removal of waste and toxins. It has a low glycemic index and is great for blood sugar stabilization and improving metabolic function. There are many studies showing acai to be beneficial for weight loss and preventing diabetes. Beware not to sabotage the health benefits of acai with too much sugar! The good news is that acai doesn’t “taste” low sugar, so it is versatile and easy to enjoy. Pair acai with lower sugar fruits, nuts, seeds or coconut flakes.
Acai is a great source of heart healthy fats making this berry an anti-inflammatory superfood that helps improve cardiovascular health. Studies have proven incorporating acai into one’s diet can result in a reduction of LDL-cholesterol as well as reduced blood pressure. Fats acai provides the body with include monounsaturated fats and omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9. Additionally, acai contains linoleic acid, palmitic acid and oleic acid. Acai stimulates blood flow throughout the body readily enough to be considered an aphrodisiac by some.
Vitamins and Minerals
Acai contains electrolytes magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and manganese. These electrolytes make acai particularly great for athletes to replenish or anyone spending a lot of time outdoors in hot temperatures. Trace minerals provided by acai to help boost brain function include iron, calcium, chromium, copper and zinc. These minerals will also boost overall stamina.
Acai is packed with vitamins A, C, E as well as vitamin B1, B2, and B3. These vitamins are why acai is so high in antioxidants and great for your body from the inside out. The Vitamin E in acai berries assists with the stimulation of collagen production, making it ideal for hair, skin and nail health. Acai can help minimize stretch marks, wrinkles, fine lines, sagginess, dryness and discoloration. Not only have people been eating and ingesting acai berry products, but it is becoming more popular in skincare products for topical uses.
The picturesque acai bowls taking over are definitely worth the hype – and are here to stay! The acai berry contains more heart healthy fats, and fewer sugars and carbs than most fruit, making it ideal for anyone living a lower carb lifestyle but still looking to incorporate a plethora of nutrients. Whether you are an athlete, or someone looking to lose weight, improve skin, or just looking for a new superfood, give acai a try! My Green Smoothie Bowl Recipe is a great start to adding acai into your diet :)