Acai berries grow in Brazil and other parts of the Amazon rain forest. Acai berries are nutrient dense, have tons of health benefits, and are considered a superfood.
Many foods contain antioxidants, although acai contains the highest antioxidant properties. Some foods provide better bioavailability of nutrients than others.
Therefore, the antioxidants in acai berries can be absorbed in high quantities.
Here are the health benefits of acai berries, backed by science.
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Acai Berries are Nutritious
Acai berries have a unique nutritional profile. The following nutrients are available in 100 grams of frozen acai pulp:
- calories 70
- fat 5g
- saturated fat 1.5g
- sugar 2g
- carbs 4g
- fiber 2g
- vitamin A 15% of the RDI
- calcium 2% of the RDI
The acai berries also contain trace minerals such as chromium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.
However, some of the greatest health benefits of acai berries come from plant compounds.
The most remarkable is anthocyanins, which give a deep purple color to acai berries and act as antioxidants in the body (1).
Antioxidants are essential because they neutralize free radicals’ harmful effects across the body.
If free radicals are not neutralized, they can damage cells and cause many diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiac diseases.
The antioxidants in Acai berries are 3 times higher than blueberries and cranberries.
ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) defines the content of antioxidants in food.
In these terms, the ORAC score of 100-gram acai frozen pulp is 15,405 while blueberries have an ORAC score of 4,669 In one study, researchers gave 12 fasting volunteers acai pulp, acai juice, applesauce, or a drink without antioxidants.
Both the acai pulp and the applesauce groups increased their antioxidant levels. In addition, the antioxidants in acai berries are well-absorbed in the intestine.
It also shows that acai pulp is better than acai juice (2).
Boosts Brain Function
There are many plant compounds in acai that may prevent your brain from deteriorating as you get older (3).
Acai antioxidants counteract harmful inflammation and oxidation in the brain cells that can affect memory (4).
An animal study shows that acai antioxidant compounds can enhance memory in older rats.
Most research on acai’s effects on the brain has been done on animals.
We need further human studies to understand acai’s brain and memory boosting effects (5).
Acai berry juice has a powerful detoxification effect on the human body to purify the digestive system and remove the buildup of dangerous toxins.
It contains natural fiber that helps digestion.
People have used acai berries after enormous meals to help digestion.
The seeds of the berries are fiber-intensive and have an exceptional digestion capacity.
There is no magical food available to protect against cancer, but many foods may prevent the propagation of cancer cells.
The anti-cancer effect of acai has been shown in both test-tubes and animal studies (6).
In one study, it decreased the occurrence of colon and bladder cancer in mice.
Another study in mice found no effects on bladder cancer.
Improves Cholesterol Level
Animal studies show that acai can reduce LDL cholesterol.
Another study involved ten heavy adults who consumed acai smoothies twice daily for one month.
The LDL cholesterol was lowered after the trial.
Studies concluded that the LDL cholesterol-lowering effects can be attributed to the antioxidant compound anthocyanins in acai berries.
Dosage and Risks
Acai berries may not apply to patients who have cancer.
The strong antioxidant activity of acai compounds may interfere with chemotherapy medications.
Therefore, patients with cancer should avoid it.
Acai may also cause IBS symptoms in some people.
In addition, high doses of antioxidants have a negative effect on human health.
While there is no limit for acai berry consumption, however, standard servings are 100 to 200 grams per day.
Too many acai berries may raise blood pressure and increase the risk of nosebleeds.
How to eat acai berries
Since fresh acai berries have a short shelf life, they’re exported and available in three major forms, such as purées, powders, and juices.
The juice is high in antioxidants, but it is also high in sugar and lacks fiber.
Although the juice may have fewer antioxidants when filtered.
The powder provides the most concentrated nutrient quantity to produce fiber, fat, and compounds of the plant.
Purée is perhaps the best way to enjoy the taste of acai berries.
Acai berries may provide many health benefits.
They include potent plant chemicals that act as antioxidants, which can aid in overall health.
They also provide healthy fats and fiber, making them nutritious superfoods.