Acai commonly pronounced AH-SIGH-EE is a small purple berry fruit that has its origin in South America (mainly in the Amazon forest). For hundreds of years it was a staple for of the rain forest inhabitants. Nowadays it has become very popular and is being shipped all over the globe in order for people to benefit from it while relaxing at home. This super food is now being blended into smoothies or acai bowl where it is mixed with sliced banana, mango, honey and granola. Popularity of acai is due to its hefty health benefits: 19 amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins (A, B, D and E), fiber, antioxidants, protein and minerals (manganese, zinc, magnesium). Apart from these nutritional benefits testimonials from famous sports personalities on the ability of acai to boost stamina, energy and help in preventing weight gain has also contributed to its popularity among the masses.
The following are three known facts about acai:
1.Acai helps in maintaining a good digestive system
Many people have a diet that is devoid of substance and nutrition which normally leads to health problems like Gastro esophageal Reflux disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and inflammation of the bowel. When people are affected with such conditions the first instinct is to detoxify but acai offers a better solution. When you use acai berries you will contain these conditions as well as prevent stomach aches several ways:
Acai berries are rich in fiber. Statistically one serving of these berries contains 1.9 grams of fiber which is within the recommended daily fiber intake. Consumption of these berries will ensure have smooth bowel movement and help keep constipation at bay.
Digestive system inflammation leads to development of conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Ulcers, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Acai berries are rich in antioxidants which play a vital role in decreasing inflammation of the stomach lining and digestive tract thus reducing the development of such health conditions. Antioxidants are chemicals in acai berries that give them their beautiful purple color.
2.Acai helps in maintaining a healthy heart
Health statistics show that millions of people all over the world are faced with heart disease, high blood pressure, cardiovascular ailments and high levels of cholesterol. Heart disease is a leading cause of death regardless of gender or economic status. Acai consumption is helpful in maintaining a healthy heart in the following ways:
Acai is rich in antioxidants especially anthocyanin which decreases the amount of free radicals present in your body. Heart disease is caused by the presence of free radicals in the cardiovascular system, thus acai helps in preventing heart disease. Another positive aspect of antioxidants is that they decelerate the aging process of your body. You can fully utilize this property by making an acai face mask at home using the following ingredients: four drops of frankincense oil, 1 teaspoon of acai berry powder and 1 teaspoon of rose water.
Acai helps in reducing cholesterol levels. The human body has two types of cholesterol that are always present but the effect on the heart depends on the amount: Low density lipoprotein (LDL) or good cholesterol, High density lipoprotein (HDL) or bad cholesterol. Although genetics and diet determines the amount of each of this cholesterol present in your system, consumption of acai in high amounts reduces the level of bad cholesterol and at the same time increases the level of good cholesterol irrespective of your diet. This is because acai is rich in omega-9 and omega-6 fatty acids that are vital in controlling cholesterol level. Low HDL is also useful in helping you lose weight and thus return your body to a healthy state.
3.Acai helps in fight against cancer
Being diagnosed with cancer is one of the most frightening experiences that one might go through. Cancer kills approximately 8 million people in the world per annum. Free radicals that are present in the body lead to abnormal cell growth hence cancer. The presence of these free radicals is either due to environmental factors or naturally as an integral part of digestion and metabolism. Antioxidants play an important role in the fight against cancer because they remove the free radicals from your body before they cause mutation of your body cells to form cancer. Acai berries are rich in antioxidants which makes them important in the fight against cancer. Scientific studies show that anthocyanin contained in acai also has the following properties:
- act as an antioxidant
- activates enzymes that detoxify the body
- stops formation and proliferation of cancer cells
- stimulate death tumors
- has anti-inflammatory properties
Although there are many health benefits that acai berries offer, access to fresh berries is a tough challenge. This is because the cultivation of acai is in specific regions of the world. When it is harvested and exposed to the atmosphere it quickly loses a variety of its health advantages. But you can buy acai berries in the following forms: puree (whole frozen berries), acai powder berry (crushed and frozen berries), and acai juice. These forms will enable you incorporate acai into your diet in the following ways: adding it you’re your yogurt or smoothies, make cookies with acai berries and popsicles made from frozen acai juice.