Ingredient Spotlight: Acai Fruit

Acai berries are a Brazilian “superfruit,” that has recently gained popularity for its emerging health and wellness potential. Here's why...

  1. They’re Nutrient-Dense

Deep purple in color, high in fat and low in sugar, Acai berries have a unique nutritional profile for a fruit. According to a Venezuelan study, acai berries also contain some other trace minerals, including chromium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. But some of acai’s most powerful health benefits come from plant compounds, The most notable anthocyanins, which give acai berries their deep purple color and act as antioxidants in the body.

  1. They’re Loaded with Antioxidants

Antioxidants are important because they neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals in your body. If free radicals are not neutralized by antioxidants, they can damage cells and lead to diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Acai berries have an incredibly high amount of antioxidants, three times the amount of blueberries.

  1. They May Improve Cholesterol Levels

Animal studies have suggested that acai could help improve cholesterol levels by decreasing total and LDL cholesterol. And it’s possible that it could have a similar effect in humans. A 2011 study had 10 overweight adults eat acai smoothies twice daily for one month. Overall, they had lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol at the end of the study. While more research is needed, it’s possible that anthocyanins could be responsible for the impact on cholesterol levels since studies have linked this acai compound to improvements in HDL and LDL cholesterol. In addition, acai contains plant sterols, which prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by your body

  1. They May Have a Possible Anti-Cancer Effect

While there is no single magic shield against cancer, some foods have been shown to stop cancer cells from forming and spreading. Both test-tube and animal studies have revealed this sort of anti-cancer effect in acai. In mice, acai pulp has reduced the incidence of colon and bladder cancer. Researchers have concluded that acai could have a role in treating cancer in the future, yet more research is needed, including in humans.

  1. They Could Boost Brain Function

Like compounds in other botanicals, there are nutrients in acai that have been shown to protect your brain against damage as you age. Numerous rat studies have demonstrated a link in the antioxidants in acai and in reducing the damaging effects of inflammation and oxidation in brain cells, which can negatively affect memory and learning. In one study, acai even helped improve memory in aging rats. 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.

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