Acai is an indigenous berry commonly found in the rainforests of the Amazon. It is an inch-long, reddish-purple fruit, born on the acai palm tree. Acai evolved from obscurity of the rainforests into the cities of Brazil where it was mixed with smoothies and juices.
Surfers and sports people indulging in these drinks claimed it boosted their energy levels. Eventually scientists latched onto this and found that Acai did indeed have some beneficial properties. Aside from antioxidants, Acai also has amino acids, fibre, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals making it a near-perfect energizer, and a member of the superfood group.
Superfoods offer superior nutritional value for the amount of calories they contain. While we have seen one for each day of the week, there a lot many that have not been talked about, such as Puy lentils. Due to their incredible antioxidant properties, and numerous other health benefits, Acai berries are considered to be a superfood.
Acai is naturally high in essential fatty acids having a fatty acid profile similar to olive oil. The link between essential fatty acids and heart health and a healthy nervous system is well-documented.
The fibre found in Acai berry skin and pulp can aid digestion. Fibre can help prevent or relieve constipation and may help support a healthy cardiovascular system. Acai berries contain as much Vitamin C as blueberries and is also a source of Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and E. It is also a source of calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper.
Acai berries contain amino acids, which help promote muscle performance, energy production, endurance and strength.
Unfortunately as any food gains popularity, with that comes misinformation and claims. Acai is claimed to be a magical weight loss solution.
The truth is that Acai contributes to the overall health of the body, and should not be relied upon solely for weight loss. A healthy lifestyle including a variety of vegetables, quality protein and fruit coupled with some form of exercise will be of benefit and will aid in losing weight. Antioxidants help in neutralizing fat-burning by products, and this thereby ensures that you can continue burning fat, but that cannot be solely relied upon for proper nutrition.
And while the fibre content in the berry helps clean the colon, which is one of the first steps in weight loss, as rational thinking beings, we must try and understand that no one food can cure your weight worries. The key, as always, is healthy and timely eating habits as well as daily exercise.