Nowadays, there are so many different food trends that are being introduced to the public on a daily basis. While some of these food trends are recognized for their health benefits, there are also those that are downright funny (like the Cronut). The sad part is, some of these items only last as long as the time they got famous. It is rare for a food trend to stand the test of time and be recognized as an effective and reliable superfood. One of the names that has outlived its trend stage and is still being used by many people is the infamous Acai Berry. If this is the first time you’ve heard of this superfood, it’s about time you learn what it truly is.
What is Acai Berry?
As a tropical fruit, Acai Berry has a dark purple color; which often leads to people’s confusion to it as a grape. Growing in huge clusters, these berries are found near the tops of palm trees common in the Amazon rainforest. Despite being considered as a fruit, each Acai Berry only contains 10% fruit and pulp. Majority of its size is composed of a large seed, which has no benefits. As such, harvesting the fruit tends to be a laborious act. But knowing that there are plenty of health benefits that can be obtained from its pulp and fruit, there are farmers who truly dedicate their time in growing and harvesting these berries.
Because there is such a high demand for the production of these berries, they are no longer limited to being grown in the rainforests. As a matter of fact, these berries have extensively been grown in the cities of Brazil. This is where large amounts of Acai Berry is exported from, as a way of meeting the huge demand for the fruit.
The Use of Acai Berry in Traditional Medicine
Since the fruit is native to tribes in the Amazon rainforest, it has been used for years as a remedy for parasitic infections, ulcers, hemorrhages, and diarrhea. Its crushed seeds has also been discovered as a way of treating fever; whereas its roots have proven as treatment for liver diseases, menstrual pain, and even malaria.
The Hype About Acai Berry
While Acai Berry has proven to be an effective product, there are many who wonder how safe it truly is. This is quite expected, knowing that many have tried to bring down the popularity of the berry by creating a few lies and producing misleading information about it.
With the number of people looking for ways they can quickly lose weight, many are using the berry to target them. These products claim that Acai Berry is a guaranteed fast way to lose weight. What these products fail to mention, however, is that Acai Berry is helpful in the overall health of the body. While the fiber content of the fruit may help, it is not advisable to solely rely on it for weight loss. The most effective way to achieve the weight you are targeting is still to have a steady diet and workout regimen.
Health Benefits of Acai Berry
- Reduces Respiratory-Related Irritations – One of the properties found in the fruit has been associated with the prevention of irritation commonly associated with respiratory issues.
- Stronger Resistance Against Harmful Organisms – Studies have shown that by consuming Acai extract, you can build a stronger immune system that is able to fight off harmful organisms.
- Better Energy – Acai extract has also shown an increased in the body’s level of energy and stamina. As a result, those who consume it regularly are able to fight off exhaustion and fatigue easily. Instead of drinking coffee, you can consume a few berries so you can give yourself the boost you need.
- Better Skin – Acai oil serves as a natural alternative to skin care products that make use of chemicals. Considering these berries have a high content of antioxidants, its normal reaction is to improve the skin. The effect of these berries on the skin can be traced back to the native Brazilians who consume the fruit to treat certain skin conditions. At the same time, it produces a healthy glow that comes from within.
- Anti-Aging – Compared with other fruits, Acai Berries contains antioxidants twice as much as blueberries and ten times the amount of grapes. For this reason, the consumption of this fruit has produced a slow or reverse process of aging.
- Improves the Digestive System – The berries also contain powerful detoxification qualities that help the body. For this reason, it is considered as a great source for dietary fiber that helps keep the digestion system clear.
- Helps in Weight Loss – Because of the dietary fibers found in the fruit, it has been found to be helpful in weight loss. The superfood has also been known to be helpful in maintaining a healthy weight.
- Improves Cellular Health – Acai berry contains anthocyanins that play a vital role in the upkeep or cellular health. As a result, it keeps the cells strong against free radical invasion.
- Better Mental Function – The fruit has also been shown to help in preventing mental imbalance typically found in menopausal women.
- Better Sex – Thanks to the help it produces in increasing blood circulation, Acai Berry has been known to contribute to a better sex drive boost; especially among men.
- Optimizes Heart Health – Acai Berries contain both high amounts of anthocyanins and plant sterols, which have been associated in lowering cholesterol levels, preventing blood clots, relaxing blood vessels, and improving overall blood circulation.
- Fights Against Cancer – The fruit contains a high amount of ellagic acid and Vitamin C. According to research, ellagic acid has shown effects in suppressing the growth of cancer cells in the body. While this is an ongoing study, it is good to know that Acai Berries play a benefit in fighting the growth of cancer in the body.
How to Select and Store Acai Berries
The best way to purchase fresh Acai is when they are near a plantation. Since these fruits are only harvested twice a year, they can cost a lot of money. Once the fruit has been harvested, it should be eaten right away or transported for processing. From this point on, the fruit is made available in a freeze-dried form.
Preparing and Serving Acai Berries
The edible part of the Acai fruit is its pulp or outer peel. The seeds, on the other hand, may be discarded or used as fodder for animals. Its palm heart, however, is eaten as a vegetable throughout the world. Even though they have no or little nutritional value, these palm hearts are still considered as a delicious delicacy and can be costly.
Acai Berry Bowl Recipe
- Rice Milk, 250ml
- Soaked Oatmeal, 1 scoop
- Acai Powder, 1 scoop
- Pomegranate Seeds, 2 Tablespoons
- Dried Inca Berries
- Dried Mulberries
- Fresh Mixed Berries
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Enjoy!