Acai, pronounced as ah-sigh-EE, is a grape-like fruit that has been used for many generations by the natives of Brazil. They have a black-purplish color that resembles blackberries. These berries grow on acai palm trees and are native to the rainforests of Central and South America. They contain a big seed with lesser pulp and are used in energy drinks, ice creams, and many other things.
If you like blackberries or grapes for their health benefits then you must also like acai berries as well because they have 10 times the antioxidants in grapes and twice that of blackberries, which make them a tastiest and healthiest morning treat.
Many don’t know that the acai is technically a drupe, the term for a fruit that contains pits like apricots and olives. But they are still commonly referred to as berries. These “berries” have a hard outer skin and to soften it, they are soaked and then mashed to form a dark purple paste. If you haven’t tasted acai yet, then consider its taste like a cross between unsweetened chocolate and blackberry.
As fresh acai berries do not have a longer shelf life, they are mostly sold as frozen fruit, in powdered form, as pressed juice or as a puree.
In this article, we will be talking about this energy-rich berry in detail so you can know its numerous benefits for skin and health. Let’s get started with its brief history!
Acai has been around for a long time, but the wider western world became aware of them around the 1990s. As these berries grow in rainforests, the Amazonian tribes were known to use them in an abundant amount to cure several ailments. This is likely because these berries contain a copious amount of natural antioxidant properties they help reduce cholesterol, improve heart health, and control prostate enlargement. Acai is also known as “Nature’s Viagra”. Let’s discuss the nutrition facts and benefits of acai to know why there is this hype about acai.
One cup (100g) of acai contains:
- 60 kcals Energy
- 2g Protein
- 5g Fat
- 6g Carbohydrates
- 3g Fiber
- 2g Sugar
- 40mg Calcium
- 1.51mg Iron
- 7mg Sodium
- 13.4mg Vitamin C
- 750 IU (15% daily value) Vitamin A
- 0mg Cholesterol
Uses of Acai Berry
- Acai berry oil is used in many skincare products for its skin-enriching properties
- They are used to make energy drinks, wine, dietary pills, salads, juices, and livestock as well to boost animal health
- They can be eaten raw
- One of the best ways of consuming acai is by making acai puree and topping it with ingredients such as muesli, granola or honey.
- Add a desired amount of acai into the blender with milk and blend them together nicely to treat yourself a healthy smoothie or shake
- You can use acai supplements in the form of capsules and tablets to gain all the healthy properties of this amazing berry
Benefits for Health
Aids in losing weight
According to research, fiber and fatty acid content in acai berries can help boost your metabolism and fat burn that can further lead to weight loss. The amount of fiber and acidic content present in them help decrease your appetite, making you full for a longer period of time.
Hence, you can eat a handful of berries on a regular basis to lose weight naturally and in a healthy way.
Boosts energy levels and stamina
Acai is also referred to as “Amazon Rainforest Viagra”, and this name is given to it because it has a positive impact on the libido. If you often feel low energy and out of stamina then you can use acai to boost your energy levels as it packs a number of carbohydrates, proteins, good fats, and other nutrients.
You can also use acai extract for increased energy and stamina especially if you work out, as it can be used to combat fatigue and exhaustion. Drinking acai beverage is also known to reduce the body’s metabolic stress and exerciser’s perceived exertion.
Combat cancer cells
Some studies have shown that acai has anti-cancer properties. In particular its extremely high levels of antioxidant properties which have protective effects for the body including cancer. NOTE: More research is needed in this area. It would be helpful to learn about recent studies.
Promotes heart health
Bad cholesterol can lead to a number of heart problems and you can treat them naturally by consuming cholesterol-free and antioxidant-rich acai berries. According to a study, eating acai fruit pulp might reduce cholesterol levels in overweight people that can lead to a healthy heart. Just like red wine, acai berries also pack a number of anthocyanin antioxidants that support balanced cholesterol.
They also contain plant sterols that provide benefits such as improved blood composition, relaxed blood vessels, good blood circulation, and cardioprotective benefits.
Helps digest food
Fruits that are high in fiber help in digestion and one of those fruits is acai. They and their seeds are rich in dietary fiber. Flour made of acai seeds is also a great source of dietary fiber. The detoxification capabilities of acai berries can help in keeping your digestive system clean and function normally.
You can read more here about recent studies.
Keeps the immune system healthy
According to different studies, consuming acai boosted the production of human gamma T cells in cell cultures that are essential for a healthy immune system. The tests conducted for the study inferred that acai also boosted the production of interleukin and myeloid cells (a type of white blood cells), which ensure you have a healthy immune system to resist various infections.
To read more about it in detail, click here.
Help heal wounds
Acai due to its anti-inflammatory properties is not less than a blessing when it comes to healing wounds quickly in a natural way. According to research, the wounds healed faster after using acai berry water extracts.
Benefits for Skin
Everyone wants to have a younger, healthier and smoother skin but no one can fight age or rewind it. However, you can use the benefits of different fruits such as acai berries to maintain a fine-looking skin. Due to the abundance of antioxidant properties in acai oil, it is used in many cosmetic products to keep the skin look healthy.
Read more about it here.
Acai berries can be used to treat skin pigmentation. In fact, acai is one of the best ingredients to be used in different cosmetic products to treat hyperpigmentation. If your skin has spots, you can consume acai berry in any form you like to get rid of them.
No matter how beautiful your skin is, if there is acne on it, you might lose all your confidence. Utilize the anti-inflammatory properties of acai berries to control the acne and breakouts.
Acai berries or its juice can be consumed to combat acne and rosacea, that’s why acai is used as the main ingredient in so many skincare products.
Read more about it here.
Even if you finally get rid of acne, it is possible that your skin will be left behind with some unpleasant marks. To lighten those acne marks or scars you can take help of acai berries. It is easy and simple. Crush some acai berries and an avocado, make their mask and apply it on your face for about 15 to 20 minutes and then wash it off. You have to do this regularly to make your skin smooth and blemish-free.
Your smooth and sensitive skin can be damaged and dehydrated due to excessive exposure to UV light, chemicals, and pollutants. You can consume acai berries in any form to repair the damages and bring back the lost moisture.
Makes your lips soft
Due to dehydration, lips can get dry and prone to wear and tear. You can consume acai berry juice regularly to keep your lips smooth, soft, and luscious with the help of acai’s excellent moisturizing properties.
Side Effects of Acai Berry
Acai berries provide a number of benefits for health and skin but there are some risks too of consuming this healthy berry. Here are some:
- If you are allergic to pollens then it is better to avoid acai berry or consult a doctor first for an updated allergen test.
- Make sure you carefully see the ingredients of the products containing acai because many manufacturers use additives that might not be good for your health. All the products that are mentioned above are free from any kind of additives.
- If consumed in bulk, they might create a problem for people losing weight, especially the diabetic people because of its sugars and calories.
- Make sure you avoid acai supplements that contain Echinacea, which is an herb that may cause swelling to the liver or lead towards the liver damage.
- Overconsumption of acai berries may cause irritation in the intestinal tract, headaches, diarrhea, and reduced vision.
Acai berry due to its numerous benefits is considered one of the best berries to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle. It is recommended to eat acai or any food in a moderate amount in order to prevent any possible side effect. You can eat raw acai or use the products mentioned above that contain acai berry as a major ingredient to gain a number of health benefits.