Approximately 1 million tons of acai berries are consumed every year, creating a market worth nearly $2,285.7 million. It's one of the most popular fruits to ever receive the "superfood" label.
The acai fruit earned its spot because of its wide range of health benefits. It's a low-calorie, sugar-free way to keep every system in your body working the way that it should.
Acai is a very versatile ingredient. You can easily add it to anything from nutritious smoothies to delicious bowls. This provides those seeking to improve their health with plenty of simple, creative and delicious options.
Read our guide about acai berries to learn what it is, the benefits it can provide, and the best ways to add it to your diet.
What Is Acai?
Acai berries are harvested from palm trees in South America. They're considered a fruit because they contain seeds. They look similar to grapes, but are smaller and darker in color.
Locals who live near the Amazon rainforest have been harvesting acai palm fruit and using the fronds for thousands of years. They've only recently become a popular export as the world has realized their numerous health benefits (and not to mention how delicious they are).
What Are the Benefits of Acai?
Eating acai fruit affects every system in your body, from your immune responses to your brain. It’s an easy (and delicious) way to efficiently improve your diet and, inevitably, your health.
The most important acai fruit benefits include the presence of antioxidants, cholesterol and blood sugar regulation, immune system benefits, healthier skin, and improved brain functioning and energy.
Acai berries are rich in antioxidants. They can even contain 10 times the amount of antioxidants than blueberries, the previous leader in the category.
As their name suggests, antioxidants prevent oxidation in your body's cells. This provides a wide range of benefits, including:
Preventing brain inflammation
Increasing the presence of free radicals to protect against carcinogens
Reduced oxidative stress
Relief from symptoms of osteoarthritis
The presence of antioxidants in acai berries explains many of the other benefits they provide.
Acai berries have 3 grams of fiber per 3.5-ounce serving, contain omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, and have low lipid levels. All of these chemicals help the body regulate the amount of cholesterol in the blood.
Healthy cholesterol levels are essential to preventing heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. The heart can't pump blood properly if the levels are too high or too low.
Reducing Blood Sugar
Many fruits have numerous health benefits but contain unhealthy levels of a type of sugar known as fructose. This can contribute to weight gain, diabetes, and other health issues.
Acai fruit is low on the glycemic index and helps lower blood sugar levels. This can help prevent long-term effects of hyper or hypoglycemia.
Immune System Boosts
The immune system is your body's first line of defense against everything from the common cold to cancer. It is important to incorporate foods into your diet that help boost your immune system. This way, you will be more efficiently protected from common illnesses.
Acai berries contain anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that protects cells from damage.
It also helps the immune system by reducing carcinogens. There's ongoing research into whether or not the fruit could reduce the growth of tumors and cancerous cells.
Acai fruit isn't just found in food and drinks; it's also a primary ingredient in many skin care products. This is because of the way its antioxidants work together with other compounds, such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, fats, and oils.
The fatty acids in acai berries help to promote collagen production. They keep your skin glowing by providing the proper hydration.
Brain Functioning and Energy
Acai improves brain functioning because it contains antioxidants that reduce brain inflammation. It also has anti-aging properties and boosts memory.
Acai berries don't necessarily provide more energy than other foods; they only contain 60 calories per serving. They are famous because of what they lack; they don't contain any starches, sugars, or other ingredients that could slow you down.
How Can I Find and Eat Acai Fruit?
Acai berries are not too hard to find. They have become readily available across the country. Acai is available in many different forms, including powders, purees, mixes, bowls, and as fresh fruit.
Acai powder is one of the easiest ways to add this beneficial fruit to your diet. You can use it to make acai berry fruit smoothies, oatmeal, granola bars, and more.
You may also find pureed acai, which can easily be blended with other fruits and vegetables into smoothies and bowls. The puree is easy to add to any recipe, and a delicious way to incorporate this superfruit into your diet.