The Amazon 'Superfruit'
Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berries have become popular in the form of dietary supplements over the past few years, both in capsule and powder form.
This comes to no surprise due to the significant media attention they have received, since being more recognised in the Western world as a "superfruit".
In other words, a fruit with a high nutrient-to-calorie ratio compared to other fruits of a similar kind. For example, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, vitamins, or mineral content.
Superfoods dominate the food pyramid and Acai AKA 'Purple Gold’ is one of the more tasty superfoods that will provide you with essential Antioxidants, Fibre, Heart-Healthy fats, and Calcium needed to protect your Immune System.
Acai also consists of Vitamin B6 to help support tiredness and Zinc & Biotin to maintain normal bones, skin, hair, and nails.
Although having only recently entered the wider public consciousness in the West, South Americans native to the Amazon have been enjoying the nutritional benefits of these tasty berries for many years.
Acai is considered to be an essential food source for three traditional Caboclo populations in the Brazilian Amazon because they make up a major component of their diet - up to 42% of their total food intake by weight! A fact which reflects their incredibly high nutrient content.
They are small and round (approximately 25mm in size) and grow on large palm trees called açaí palms, which can reach over 80 feet in height. The berries grow in bunches (like bananas) and an average açaí palm tree can yield between 3 to 8 bunches of berries.
"Acai AKA 'Purple Gold’ is one of the more tasty superfoods that will provide you with essential Antioxidants."
Acai Health Benefits
IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT: A big clue to their high nutrient content is given away by the deep blue/purple colour of acai berries. Like most other brightly coloured natural foods, they contain healthy pigments, which support immunity, health, and vitality. For example, flavonoids and potent antioxidants (such as anthocyanins). They are also a rich source of Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids (good fats).
HEART HEALTH SUPPORT: Research has shown that acai berries contain high levels of anthocyanins and are rich in phytosterols which may provide cardio-protective support for our cells.
ENERGY SUPPORT: Acai berries contain high levels of plant protein. Combined with their high levels of antioxidants and other nutrients, they can offer ideal support for high energy levels, stamina, and general vitality.
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT SUPPORT: When trying to shape up, you are looking to decrease your intake of high-calorie unhealthy foods, in favour of nutrient-packed foods that are naturally low in calories.
STRONG ANTI AGEING PROPERTIES: Antioxidants protect your cells against damage from free radicals and recent studies have reported Resveratrol to be a potent new antioxidant formulation due to a range of unique anti-ageing properties in the role of preventing photo-ageing and protecting the body against damage that can potentially put you at higher risk of heart disease and cancer.
Where can I buy Acai berries?
Found only in swampy areas of the Amazon rainforest (Central and South America), acai berries are pretty exotic - which explains why they haven't ever popped up on the shelves of our supermarkets!
It is quite rare to be able to buy the actual berries, however what you will find is that there are a lot of acai supplements in capsule form or in powder blends.
The reason for this is to simply provide more of the acai benefits into only one capsule or serving of powder.
Take InnerHealth's Acai Immunity Boost for example:
A Trusted Premium UK Made Natural & Organic Blend of Acai Berry & Essential Herbs - Made to specifically target your Immune system and supply you with essential nutrients.
There are many more edible berries out there that your can consume that are packed with nutritious benefits that support our health & immune system.