Benefits of Acai Berry
What is it?
The Acai Berry is a small dark red-purple fruit. Similar to a small grape or blueberry, the acai berry consists of a cluster of seeds, harvested from palm trees in the Amazon River Basin. Acai berries are considered one of the top superfoods due to their incredible antioxidant properties. You can find acai berry products in health food stores in the form of juice, tea, powder, but rarely fresh. This is mainly due to acai berries being highly perishable, and therefore should only be consumed fresh within 24 hours.
Where does it come from?
Acai is an indigenous berry found in the rain forests of the Amazon. This fruit has been used for centuries for its healing, immune-stimulating and energy-boosting properties. A relative of the blueberry and cranberry, research has shown that this antioxidant rich berry supports the prevention of diseases associated with oxidative damage.
What are the health benefits?
Within the nutritional pulp and skin, acai berries are packed with antioxidants, amino acids, fibre, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals making it a very nutritious fruit indeed!
The popularity of acai berries are mainly due to their high concentration of antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that prevent the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation produces free radicals which can damage the cells and glands within our bodies making us more prone to disease and ageing. Since our bodies are exposed to a variety of toxins and produce many free radicals, it is important to take steps to reduce the effect of free radicals in the body. Acai has more than double the antioxidants of blueberries and ten times that of grapes!
Acai is also very high in vitamin C and ellagic acid, an immune-boosting combination that has been shown to suppress the growth of cancer. It is thought that the acai berry’s phytochemcials can stop the process of carcinogenesis on a molecular level, killing off tumorous cells before they multiply. Wow!
How can I take it?
The taste of acai berry is a little tart, but still sweet and delicious. Acai berries are occasionally found dried and blended into trail mixes and cereals. However, they are most commonly sold as freeze-dried powder, which is considered the next best thing to fresh because the powder retains the maximum nutritional benefits of the fruit. Why not try sprinkling acai berry powder onto your buckwheat, oatmeal, cereals, granola mixes, yoghurt or raw desserts.
In the Raw Food Mum kitchen, Issy and I often add a tablespoon or two to our morning smoothies. This is the brand we use which you can find in the Raw Food Mum Store – Raw Organic Acai Powder >>