Acai – sources, health benefits, nutrients, uses and constituents at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 by

Among the indigenous tribes of the Amazon Basin, the acai berry is a staple food prized for its nutritional value and medicinal properties. Though acai berries have been globally marketed for some years now, the Internet is what truly helped this South American superfood achieve its current level of popularity. Acai berries are known for containing high amounts of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins found in the pulp, skin, and endocarp.

List of known nutrients

Unlike other fruits, acai berries are relatively high in fat and low in sugar. Acai berries are also dense with trace minerals and plant compounds, one of which which, anthocyanin, gives the fruit its distinct deep purple color. Apart from anthocyanin, acai berries also have:

  • Calcium
  • Dietary fiber
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Linoleic acid (Omega-6)
  • Oleic acid (Omega-9)
  • Omega 3
  • Phenolic
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

The sheer volume of nutrients make acai berries an excellent fruit for maintaining good energy levels, a strong immune system, and mental clarity.

Medicinal uses for acai berries

Researchers from the University of Florida found acai berries to be an effective fruit against cancer. In their 2006 study, the researchers observed that the acai berries’ antioxidants triggered a self-destruct response in 86 percent of their tested leukemia cells. The polyphenols in acai berries are also capable of battling cancerous growths on a molecular level by preventing these growths from multiplying and metastasizing.

The other medicinal uses of acai berries include:

  • Acne
  • Brain damage
  • Constipation
  • Diabetes
  • Diarrhea
  • Heart attack
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Premature aging
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Stroke
  • Visual fatigue
  • Weight loss

Body systems supported by acai berries

Regular consumption of acai berries will support the following organs:

  • Digestive System
  • Heart
  • Immune System
  • Sexual organs
  • Skin and hair

The powerful antioxidants in acai berries rid the body of free radicals, which cause skin and hair to break down. These same antioxidants also prevent toxins from building up in the digestive system, scavenge harmful cholesterol off artery walls and increase cell absorption efficiency. Acai berries increase blood circulation to all parts of the body, including sexual organs. Poor blood flow is a primary cause of sexual dysfunction and absence of sexual stamina, meaning acai berries can also serve as an aphrodisiac.

Ways to use acai berries

Those who wish to consume acai berries at their purest are free to do so. However, fresh acai berries can be difficult to come by because the fruit is grown almost entirely in the Amazon rainforest and spoils very quickly, making acai berries impossible to ship fresh. Exporters have gotten around this by distributing acai in four forms: powder, purée, juice, and supplement.

Acai berry powder offers the most concentrated amount of nutrients, making it a good addition to oatmeal, salad dressings, granola, or smoothies. Acai berry purée is the best way to enjoy the distinct the berry’s distinct flavor. The purée can be made into the traditional Brazilian Acai Bowl or Açaí na tigela, a frozen dessert and fruit dish commonly topped with bananas and granola. Acai berry juice is an easy way to enjoy acai berries, but the juice form usually has the highest sugar and least fiber. Acai berry juice supplements come in capsules and tablets, and are the most convenient.

Where to learn more

Summary

The antioxidants in acai berries boost energy, increase blood circulation, improve skin and hair, and lower cholesterol.

The vitamins and minerals support eye health, brain health, and heart health.

As such, acai berries can also prevent conditions like cancer, diabetes, and dementia.

Sources include:

LiveStrong.com
AuthorityNutrition.com
StyleCraze.com
HurryTheFoodUp.com
OrganicFacts.net
News.UFL.edu

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