Health Benefits of Acai Berry
No matter how you say the name, acai is a dark purple berry that packs a powerful punch in a really small package. Typically pronounced like ah-sigh-EE, it is a small, grape-like fruit harvested from acai palm trees in Central and South America. Demand for the Euterpe oleracea, or acai palm tree, exploded in the 21st century when the benefits of its fruit became more well-known and studied. While the acai berry can be harder to eat in its raw form due to the seed, it’s easily consumed as a juice or puree. Your local grocery store is more likely to have it in the juiced or pureed form than the berry form. Have you ever heard of or tried an “acai bowl”? The brazilian dish is pretty much an acai smoothie served in a bowl with toppings designed to make the flavor pop. Many say that this berry has a sweet tropical flavor with chocolatey overtones, making it a healthy way to soothe your chocolate sweet tooth (which sounds like a great deal to us).
Perhaps the best thing about this tropically sweet berry is their not-so-secret ingredient: the antioxidants. Studies show that acai is literally the best source of antioxidants among berries, providing 10x more than grapes and 2x more than blueberries. In terms of measurable nutrients, the numbers speak for themselves — just look at all the nutrients in just one teaspoon of acai berry powder:
- 20 Calories
- 1g Carbohydrates
- 1g Fiber
- 1.5g Total fat
- 6 mg Calcium
- 19 Amino Acids
- Oleic, Palmitic, and Linoleic fatty acids
- Trace minerals like chromium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus
Pretty good for just a tiny teaspoon, right? It’s clearly not just a trend. Acai wins the race against other types of berries in all the benefits it provides — winning the title of superfood. Like other superfoods, we are all about acai at Health Warrior. Don’t be shy about adding superfuel to your meals in any way possible.
Health Benefits of Acai Berries:
Acai berries are best known for being full of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which promote balanced cholesterol levels and thus improved vascular health. Not only that, but the antioxidants in acai are the best at superoxide and peroxyl scrubbing, which is a scientific way of saying that the antioxidants protect cells from free radicals that cause damage to cells. The result is stronger, healthier cells that are able to do their jobs better. Acai also has a very unique anticonvulsant property, or the ability to protect against seizures. Seizures are often called an ‘electrical storm’ in the brain, and they have been linked to oxidative stress. Now guess what’s good at preventing oxidative stress? Antioxidants.
Plant sterols are known to promote overall circulation and prevent heart disease, by decreasing cholesterol absorption and synthesis. They resemble cholesterol in their structure, and help limit the amount of cholesterol that is able to be absorbed by the body. The decreased cholesterol levels that result can help prevent atherosclerosis, or hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
While this wonder berry doesn’t have any protein, it does provide 19 of the 20 essential amino acids that your body needs to function appropriately. Think of them like the building blocks of the body, as we use all 20 in so many different ways that it would be hard to list them all here. Processes like energy production, muscle performance, stamina, and endurance require the right kind of amino acids to function. However we can only produce 9 of those 20, so we have to get the others from another source. Usually that source is animal protein, but vegetarians and vegans can opt for foods like the acai berry to fulfill that quota.
Take advantage of all of the benefits of acai and more with our Acai Berry Chia Bars.
- Cell health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17061840
- Plant sterols: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22139433
- Anticonvulsant properties: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26142570
- Nutrient profile: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305576.php
- Antioxidant capacity: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17061840