Acai Berries are a small purple berry grown in South America. The berries are a popular health food but due to their high fat content (up to 50%) they cannot be shipped fresh long distances. Acai powder maintains all the health benefits of fresh acai berries but due to all the water being removed from the berries their nutritional content is in a much more concentrated format.
- Acai berry has very good levels of anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have health benefits and disease preventing properties.
- Unlike other berries and fruits, acai has high caloric values and fats. 100 g of berries provide about 80-250 calories depending on the preparation and serving method. In fact, fresh acai berry has been the staple nutritious diet of native Amazonian for centuries.
- Acai berry contains many polyphenolic anthocyanin compounds like resveratrol, cyanidin-3-galactoside, ferulic acid, delphinidin, petunidin as well as astringent pro-anthocyanidin tannins like epicatechin, protocatechuic acid and ellagic acid. Scientific studies suggest that these compounds have been claimed to act as anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer functions by virtue of their anti-free radical fighting actions. In addition, tannins are known to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic properties.
- Acai berry is also rich in medium chain fatty acids like oleic acid (omega-9) and linoleic acid (omega-6). These compounds help reduce LDL-cholesterol level and raise good HDL-cholesterol levels in the body and thus help cut down heart disease risk. Additionally, the essential fats in acai help prevent skin dryness by maintaining adequate moisture in the skin.
- Acai pulp has good levels of dietary fibre. Adequate fibre in the diet helps clear cholesterol through the stools.
- ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of acai berry is thought to be at mid-level range for fruits, higher than that of oranges but less than pomegranate. USDA so far not validated exact ORAC value for acai.
- Acai berries contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme,superoxide dismutase.
- Further, they are rich in B-complex vitamins and vitamin-K. Contain very good amounts of niacin, vitamin B-6 and riboflavin. These vitamins function as co-factors and help the body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Use acai powder to create acai smoothies and then use these to create acai smoothie bowls. Attention though as depending on what you put in your smoothie and top your bowl with, they can be very sugary. Check out this report by shape.com for more information on that.