Acai berry though have been around for several years but wasn't introduced to the world until the 1990's. It was initially used by the small tribes of Amazon jungle to cure a number of ailments and diseases. It is known to possess innumerable health properties. The tribes of Amazon use up to 3,000 rainforest fruits for various medicinal properties.
The largest rainforest on this planet is Amazon which has around one third of the entire plant and animal species. Acai berry is one such species of the Amazon forest which is found in large parts of the forest. One of the famous tribe of Amazon known as the Shaur tribe have used acai for centuries for numerous medical purposes. Uwishin are those men and women in the Shaur tribe who deal with medicine. They have a huge knowledge on medicine and are also acquainted with all the forest secrets. They learn through experiments with the plants on their own.
Traditionally acai berries used to be picked by the hands of the men. It would then get shimmy up by them. They would climb up the branches of the trees to get the berries. Nowadays acai is produced largely as people are aware of its benefits. Brazil comes first in the production of acai berries.
Acai as a Superfood
Acai berry is very popular in Amazon and is accompanied with meals quite frequently. Acai berries can be made edible only after soaking in water for hours. The berries are then mashed into a thick purple paste. They have a very earthy taste which can be referred to as the taste which one would get on mixing unsweetened chocolate with blackberries. They have a pretty much short life and are available only in the places where the berries are grown. They are mostly exported in frozen, pureed, powdered or pressed form. They are at times used to flavour various food products such as ice-cream and jelly beans.
Let's discuss the nutritional profile of Acai berries in details:
If you breakdown 100 gms of the frozen fruit pulp of Acai berries, this is what you get:
Fat: 5 grams Calories: 70 grams Carbohydrates: 4 grams Saturated fat: 1.5 grams Fiber: 2 grams Calcium: 2% of RDI Vitamin A: 15% of RDI
According to researchers it is found that these berries also contain traces of other minerals such as zinc, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium.
Acai has a good amount of fiber, heart healthy fats as well as antioxidants. The antioxidants help strengthening the immune system and helps protect against cancer. Thus, they should be a part of our regular diet if we want to stay healthy. It also helps us prevent all signs of aging and lowers the cholesterol level which leads to the increase in energy. Being rich in antioxidants it helps one cut down on unwanted weight and promote weight loss. They are also a very popular ingredient in beauty and cosmetic product such as shampoos, conditioners and creams. The acai mask is also applied on face as it is very beneficial for our skin as well. The Acai berries protect your brain from being damaged when you age. Acai counterbalances the negative effects of oxidation of the brain cells and inflammation which can otherwise damage our memory and learning capacity. They also help cleaning the toxic cells from the brain making it more healthy.
Ways to Incorporate Acai in Your Life
Acai grows in the rainforests of Belize, Peru, Brazil and the Amazon. They grown on palm trees and are quite small in size (around 1 inch in circumference). They have high health benefits and if consumed on a regular basis with a proper diet, it can give exemplary results.
Some interesting ways to incorporate acai in your life and daily routine are mentioned below:
Breakfast: Kick-start your day with frozen acai pulp as a topping on your waffles and pancakes. If you enjoy having oatmeal or cereal you can add the pulp or the juice for some extra nutrients.
Cooking: You can substitute Acai juices for other juices and wines when it comes to cooking. They work exceptionally in your sauces, salad dressings and marinades. They go really well with anything be it raw vegetables, meat, potatoes or salads.
Desserts: The frozen acai pulp tastes delicious if served over cakes, ice-creams, parfaits or pies. Along with that they also make your deserts extremely healthy.
Baking: The Acai pulp is popularly used over other fruits for cakes. They are substituted for chocolate chips in cookies. Also, they are used as fillers in pies. Snacks: They make the healthiest snacks. All you need to do is add some yogurt with the pulp and enjoy.
Acai isn't very readily available at the local grocery stores. You may purchase it online or in a supermarket. Make sure they're natural and use them on a regular basis. You'll be surprised with the transformation you see within yourself