Acai Berries 101: The Ultimate Impressive Superfood
Many fruits and vegetables have earned their mark in the world of science and health. In the past few years, one of the most talked-about superfoods is acai berries.
Aside from Brazil, this fruit was not that well known in other parts of the world. But a sudden social media craze about acai berry benefits skyrocketed in the 2000s. This prompted the likes of Oprah Winfrey to endorse acai as a “superfruit”.
But are these small and round-shaped fruits worth the hype and attention? Let’s find out!
What Are Acai Berries?
Acai (pronounced “ah-sah-ee”) berries are reddish-purple fruits that resemble grapes.
They are native to Central and South America, particularly the Amazon. The trees grow as high as 25 meters, with hanging ribbon-like branches. The berries are formed in clusters and appear as blue bottles in the tree.
History of Acai Berries
Legend says that in the deepest forest of the Amazon, a tribal chief once executed a law that addresses the lack of food, resulting in starvation, in their community. He decided that all newborn children must be killed so others won’t have to suffer from hunger.
By that time, the chief’s daughter was found bearing a child in her womb. Taking out any favoritism, his grandchild was also murdered. The daughter could not bear the pain of losing her baby. So, she decided to keep herself away from the rest of the tribe and stayed in her home.
One day, the chief’s daughter suddenly heard a sound that resembled a baby’s cry. Eager to find out where it was coming from, she left her place. Upon searching, she came across a palm tree that bore bundles of fruits. However, she could not contain the desperation and sorrow within her. So, she laid down and passed away on the tree.
As the chief saw her lifeless daughter, he immediately revoked the law. It was said that the palm tree was named after reversing the name of her daughter, Iaca.
Acai Berries Usage: Then and Now
Acai palm trees grow abundantly in the Amazon. For thousands of years, the Brazilians have utilized the berries alongside other rainforest fruits to cure ailments. They were also the first to find out the amazing health benefits that this superfood offers.
An example of this is a significant improvement in their immune system and heart health after consuming the fruit regularly. Since Brazilians are known to be physically active, the superfruit also plays a factor in replenishing their energy and keeping them fit.
However, it was only in the late 1990s when the superfood gained the attraction of the Western world. The reason for this is mainly in the weight loss effects that acai berries offer.
After years of research on the fruit’s health benefits, U.S. based companies started manufacturing acai berry supplements in the form of diet pills and vitamins. They are also in the process of growing acai berry trees for a faster harvest and production of the fruits.
Now, you can find fresh acai berries in your local supermarkets. Thanks to the faster mode of transportation, everyone can enjoy the benefits that this fruit offers.
Health Benefits of Acai Berries
Acai berries are known to contain a high concentration of antioxidants, overpowering blueberries, and cranberries. For starters, antioxidants are compounds that protect your body from free radicals. These free radicals may damage cells, resulting in heart problems, cancer, and other diseases.
This superfood is loaded with anthocyanins. Based on studies, this antioxidant is known to address the following health concerns:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves eyesight
- Has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties
- Controls blood glucose levels
- Slows down the proliferation of cancer cells
- Prevents tumor formation
Moreover, acai berries show a positive response in reducing cholesterol levels. It improves the blood’s condition by lowering both total and LDL cholesterol. In a study, 10 overweight adults were given acai smoothies twice a day for a month. After the test, the result showed a significant reduction in their cholesterol levels.
Aside from these benefits, the native Brazilian fruit is also known to boost cognitive function. Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are not curable. However, it has been found that consuming a diet rich in antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds can lower the risks of these health conditions.
The same antioxidant mentioned prior has also been linked to improving and enhancing one’s memory. It works by inhibiting neuroinflammation, activating synaptic signaling, and improving blood flow to the brain.
Nutes Superfoods: Smoothies You will Love
Since acai berries are already taking the spotlight, several food manufacturing companies came up with their take of the celebrated acai smoothies. They made the daily consumption of this superfruit more convenient, especially for those who are always on the go.
We incorporate acai berries into our Superfood Smoothie Pucks™. If you are a fan of the classic berry and banana combo, you will love our Purple Tonic Superfood Smoothies. This flavour is packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing powers which come from the following ingredients:
- Maca root
- Açai berry
- Cashew nut
- Sunflower seed
- Beet juice
- Turmeric juice
- Lemon juice
Another option you can try is our Black and Blue Superfood Smoothie. If you like to add more berries into your system, you can never go wrong with this choice. Aside from acai, strawberry, and blueberry, you will also have a taste of blackberry and cranberry.
You can also pick the Black and Blue smoothie for that extra sweetness that is well-balanced with the sourness from the berries. Here are more nutritious ingredients you will surely love:
- Maca root
- Pineapple juice
The Wonders of Acai
Acai berries truly deserve to be named as a “superfruit”. With its nutrition-dense and tasty properties, every bite or sip will truly be rewarding and guilt-free.
Although studies have shown how it addresses certain health problems, one must not rely on acai berries alone.
A healthy body can only be achieved with proper diet and exercise. Of course, you can still incorporate this superfood into your system. However, if you are suffering from any disease, seek your doctor’s advice to avoid complications.