Are Acai Berries Super fruits?
Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berries have become incredibly popular in the form of dietary supplements over the past few years, both in capsule and powder form.
This is in no small part due to the significant media attention they have received, since being more widely recognised in the Western world as a "super fruit".
A super fruit has exceptionally high nutrient-to-calorie ratio compared to other fruits. For example, in terms of antioxidant, essential fatty acid, vitamin or mineral content.
History of the Acai Berries.
Although having only just recently entered the wider public consciousness in the West, South Americans have been enjoying the nutritional benefits of these tasty super berries for many years.
In fact, they are considered to be an essential food source for three traditional Caboclo populations in the Brazilian Amazon. Acai berries make up to 42% of their total food intake by weight! A fact which reflects their incredibly high nutrient content.
Where are Acai Berries from?
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!
They are small and round and grow on large palm trees called açaí palms, which can reach over 80 feet in height. The berries grow in bunches and an average açaí palm tree can yield between 3 to 8 bunches of berries.
Once ripe, acai berries bear a strong resemblance to grapes and blueberries, except that they are not quite as pulpy. They contain a large, inedible seed, which constitutes as much as 90% of the entire fruit!
Acai berries as a food supplement.
Although hard to find in their natural whole food form, everyone can now access the nutritional benefits of these acai berries through the convenience of health supplements.
Here are the benefits of acai berries.
- Immune system
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).
- Healthy Heart
As well as containing high levels of anthocyanins, research has also shown that acai berries are rich in phytosterols which may provide cardio-protective support for our cells.
- Energy Levels
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
When trying to shape up, you are obviously looking to decrease your intake of high-calorie unhealthy foods, in favour of nutrient-packed foods that are naturally low in calories.
Not only will this encourage a healthy weight, it will also help to ensure that your general health remains strong during any periods of slimming and reduced food choice. In this way, acai berries can provide ideal weight management support.
Acai Berries are a super fruit!
So now you know why acai berries have been causing a stir in the natural health world! These are just some of their nutritional benefits. Plus, if you favour an organic lifestyle or are trying to detox, it is worth bearing in mind that acai berries are wild harvested, as opposed to farmed. This means that they aren’t exposed to harmful pesticides and fertilisers.
They offer great all-round healthy living support - why not try them for yourself!