Acai bowls and smoothies are a part of a popular eating trend. You can find smoothie bowls at the latest hip eating spots and Instagram is full of delicious looking purple bowls and cups. It is always fun to find a new-to-you food and enjoy it, but are acai berries worth all the hype? Should you be eating this hard to pronounce fruit? Let’s take a closer look at what makes acai berries special and whether or not you should be eating them.
What are Acai Berries?
Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) berries come from acai palm trees that are found in Central America. Acai berries are purple and closely resemble grapes. They have very large seeds, so only a small portion of the fruit can be eaten. However, that portion is full of antioxidants and vitamins that make it a healthy food.
Health Benefits of Acai Berries
Acai berries are full of antioxidants that will protect your body from oxidative stress. Acai even has more antioxidants than blueberries, another superfood. Most of the antioxidants are found in the pulp of the fruit.
Oxidative stress is caused by any type of free radicals that are absorbed by the body. We encounter these every day and simply cannot avoid them as we have to live our lives. This is why it is very important to eat a diet rich in antioxidants. Acai is a great way to get these powerful free radical fighters. The antioxidants in acai berries can help improve brain function, protect against cancer, and reduce weight.
Acai is also a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. Most people associate this important fat with fish and large supplement capsules, but you can get this brain-boosting nutrient from acai berries. Our bodies cannot make omega 3 fatty acids, so we can only get them from our diet. Omega 3 improves your cognitive abilities, supports heart health and regulates metabolism.
Acai berries also provide other nutrients besides antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. They are full of amino acids and sterols. While they do not have much protein, they do provide fiber and calcium. Acai berries are also a low sugar food, making them perfect for diabetic patients to enjoy.
How to Eat Acai Berries
Acai berries spoil very quickly, which is one reason you never see them in the fruit section of your local supermarket. You can buy them frozen and use them for smoothie bowls or purchase powders. Acai powder is made from berries that have been freeze-dried and then ground to a fine powder. You can add this powder to your smoothies or juices. It is also great as a topping on oatmeal or yogurt. Acai has a tart flavor so most people do not enjoy eating them on their own.
Acai berries are a great part of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, if you do not live in Central America then you cannot enjoy them fresh. However, powders are a great substitute and can give you all of the health benefits. Adding them to your foods will boost your health and give your snacks more flavor.