Health benefits of açai berries
Health benefits of acai berries
Acai berries are native to the Amazon growing on the acai palm tree. The fruits have a deep purple colour with the seeds constituting roughly 80% of the fruit. They taste like a mix of blackberries and unsweetened dark chocolate.
One 3 gram teaspoon of acai berry powder contains
- 20 calories
- 1.5g total fat
- 1g carbohydrate
- 1g fiber
- 6 mg calcium
Acai berries are rich in fatty acids, especially oleic, palmitic, and linoleic acids. They also contain 19 amino acids, as well as several sterols, including campesterol, stigmasterol, and beta-sitosterol. The phytochemicals in acai berries include mainly anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins.
Acai berries have an incredibly high amount of antioxidants, edging out other antioxidant-rich fruits like blueberries and cranberries
They also are high in fiber and heart-healthy fats. The antioxidant effects of acai berries have largely been attributed to phenolic compounds.
Antioxidants are important because they neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals throughout the body. If free radicals are not neutralized by antioxidants, they can damage cells and lead to a number of diseases, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
3. Brain function
The many plant compounds in acai could also protect your brain from damage as you age. Several studies have shown this kind of protective effect in lab rats
The antioxidants in acai counteract the damaging effects of inflammation and oxidation in brain cells, which can negatively affect memory and learning. One of the ways in which the brain stays healthy is by cleaning up cells that are toxic or no longer working, a process known as autophagy. It makes way for new nerves to form, enhancing communication between brain cells.
As you age, this process works less efficiently. However, in lab tests, acai extract has helped stimulate this “housekeeping” response in brain cells.
Animal studies have suggested that acai could help improve cholesterol levels by decreasing total and LDL cholesterol. It’s possible that it could have a similar effect in humans.
While more research is needed, it’s possible that the anthocyanins in acai could be responsible for their positive impact on cholesterol levels, since studies have linked this plant compound to improvements in HDL and LDL cholesterol.
Acai contains plant sterols, which prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by your body
Acai berries contain a high level of the antioxidant anthocyanin which lowers oxidative stress and inflammation promoting brain health and improving memory.
Regular consumption of anthocyanins can reduce the risk of heart attack and they are also known to prevent cancer cell proliferation and induce cancer cell death.
Fiber and heart-healthy fats present in acai berries also support heart health and heave the ability to lower bad cholesterol.
Acai berries are loaded with powerful plant compounds that act as antioxidants and could have benefits for your overall health.They also deliver healthy fats and fiber, making them a healthy food.