Acai berry is a fruit from the palm tree native to south and Central America. It has been used as a health food by native tribes for many years. In Brazil, it is enjoyed as a berry pulp that is made into an iced dessert or a smoothie and is often served with granola muesli.
More recently the fruit is sold in the form of juices, powders and pills all over the world. While many of the health benefits of acai berries are exaggerated and unfounded, it is still recognized as a superfood with some amazing health benefits.
The health benefits of acai berries are related mostly to their high antioxidant capabilities. All berries are rich in antioxidants, but acai berries are particularly rich in these disease fighting nutrients. The phytonutrients in acai berries are called anthocyanins and they are responsible for their bright purplish blue hue.
Acai berries are also a good source of vitamin C. They are also rich in fibre, fatty acids and have a very good amino acid balance.
Acai Berries for Weight Loss
Perhaps the biggest hype around acai berries is their potential use in weight loss. According to reports, acai berries help by flushing away toxins and waste, and their supplement derivatives can improve body function, thus burning fat more effectively.
They are also low glycemic index, which means that they help maintain a more even keel with regards to energy throughout the day. There is no solid evidence, however, that acai can induce weight loss on its own and any good weight loss programme should include a balanced diet and exercise programme to be effective.
Acai Berries for Energy
Acai berries have a very low glycemic index, which means that they help maintain a more sustained energy level throughout the day. This means that these berries may also have applications in blood sugar control for diabetes.
Acai for Heart Disease Prevention
Anthocyanins can help protect the heart and prevent cardiovascular disease. These powerful antioxidants have been shown to help repair and protect blood vessel walls, thus preventing cholesterol and plaque buildup.
In addition, anthocyanidins can enhance the effects on vitamin C, which further helps protect blood vessel walls. Acai berries have also been shown to help improve circulation to the heart.