what are acai berries good for
Acai berries contain antioxidants that are good for heart health, digestive health, and even skin health

Acai berries are harvested from acai palm trees and are native to South America. Like other berries, acai berries contain antioxidants that pack a lot of nutrition, and several compounds in acai berries that have been clinically proven to improve overall health and well-being.

  • Health benefits: Some lab studies suggest that acai may lower cholesterol, prevent heart and blood vessel disease, and cause programmed cell death in leukemia cells.
  • Nutrition: Acai berries are high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and amino acids, which help with muscle performance, energy production, endurance, and strength.

6 health benefits of acai berries

  1. Heart health: Anthocyanins, which are antioxidants found in acai berries, are excellent for heart health, preventing cholesterol oxidation and lowering blood pressure. Acai berries also have high levels of plant sterols, which have many cardioprotective effects on cells, such as preventing blood clots, improving blood circulation, and relaxing blood vessels.
  2. Digestive health: Due to their antioxidant and fiber content, acai berries can regulate bowel movements and clear out harmful toxins from the body.
  3. Nervous system health: Acai has a fatty acid profile similar to olive oil and is naturally high in essential fatty acids. These fatty acids help maintain a healthy brain cell structure.
  4. Cellular health: Anthocyanins, which play an important role in cellular defense systems, can help protect cells from free radical damage. 
  5. Skin health: Some studies suggest that acai berries can help slow down the natural aging process in cells due to their antioxidant content. Acai berries have 10 times the antioxidant content of grapes and 2 times the antioxidant content of blueberries. They promote increased cell regeneration, which is primarily triggered by the high vitamin C content and iron content. This results in fewer wrinkles and age spots.
  6. Cognitive health: Free radicals cause dangerous oxidation and inflammation in the brain as you age, which can impair memory and learning. It may also increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease. Acai berry antioxidants protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may even improve cognitive function.

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What makes acai berries a superfood?

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Acai berries are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Nearly half of the acai berry is fat, with healthy unsaturated fats accounting for 74% of the fat.
  • Amino acids: Acai also has been found to contain 19 different amino acids. Amino acids are the basic building blocks of protein, and every 100 grams of acai contains more than 8 grams of protein. 
  • Plant sterols: Acai also contains a high concentration of plant sterols (or phytosterols), which have numerous health benefits, including the maintenance of heart health and digestive functions:
    • B-sitosterol
    • Campesterol
    • Stigmasterol
  • Vitamins and minerals: Acai has the same amount of vitamin C as blueberries and more than 1000 international units (IU) of vitamin A per 100 grams. Acai also contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, and zinc. 
  • Fiber: Acai has high fiber content. Every 100 grams of freeze-dried acai powder contains approximately 14 grams of fiber.

Should I include acai supplements in my diet?

The best sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are whole foods rather than supplements

Although there are some acai supplements claiming to help with weight loss, nutrition experts do not recommend them due to a lack of scientific evidence. These supplements are not regulated by the FDA and may, therefore, contain potentially harmful contaminants and heavy metal residues.

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Medically Reviewed on 12/17/2021
References
National Institutes of Health. Acai. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/acai

Netshiomvani T. The 12 Proven Benefits of Acai Berry. FCER.org. https://fcer.org/acai-berry-benefits/

Staughton J. 13 Important Benefits of Acai Berries. Organic Information Service. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-acai-berries.html