When it comes to health and wellness, you are familiar with the usual buzzwords. “Superfood” and “Power-packed” get thrown around a lot. Likewise, the words probably bring to mind images of leafy kale and bright, juicy blueberries. If you’ve ever visited a health-foods restaurant, then you probably also think of Acai berries.
The long, reddish-purple berry that closely resembles a blueberry is rich in antioxidants. In fact, many makeup and cosmetic brands even use it as an ingredient for their skincare! While there is debate as to whether or not Acai specifically promotes weight loss, there is no doubt that berries are part of a healthy diet which can aid in reduced pounds.
What is Acai?
The acai berry comes from the acai palm tree, which is native to Central and South America. The pulp is richer in antioxidants than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and even blueberries 1.
According to research, Acai really became popular around 2009. One website recorded this shocking find: “According to Spins, a market research and consulting firm for the natural products industry, Americans spent more than $108 million on acai products in the 52 weeks ending Feb. 21, up from just over $62 million the year before. 2.
As you might expect, Acai berries are pretty fragile, so it’s hard to find them whole anywhere but Central and South America. That means most connoisseurs are going to have to purchase powdered or frozen acai pulp to add to smoothies.
While plenty of people like to add powder or frozen berries to smoothies, these antioxidant-rich superfoods can also be added to skincare.
While some fruits can often be high in natural sugar, acai berries remain relatively low. Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional profile of 100g of the food 3:
- Calories: 70
- Calories from Carbs: 16
- Calories from Fat: 50
- Calories from Protein: 4
- Vitamin A: 750 IU
- Calcium: 20mg
- Sodium: 10mg
- Dietary fiber: 2g
- Sugars: 2g
Acai berries, like all fruits, have some pretty exciting health benefits. Here are some of the most important ones 4.
Acai helps to prevent cancer
Remarkably, antioxidants found in Acai berries have been shown to kill cancer cells, especially leukemia. Other research proved Acai began destroying cancer cells in less than 24 hours of ingestion. In one exiting study, the berries successfully killed 86 percent of lung cancer cells 5
Acai helps aid weight loss by reducing appetite
Some research indicates acai berry pulp is effective for weight loss for most people. In fact, it has been shown to reduce the negative impact of high-fat diets. If you’ve ever perused your local health food store, you may have noticed supplements boasting their acai contents. This is due to reports illustrating the health benefits of the food. One such study found that 30 days of using acai supplements or eating the berry on its own allowed for lower levels of fasting insulin and glucose.