Health Reasons You Should Eat Acai

A decade ago, most of us had never heard of acai in the U.S. Then it was all the rage, and it was everywhere. Every fast-food restaurant seemed to have a special dessert featuring it; every health website spoke about its virtue as a “super food.” And then it just became part of the scenery.

It’s in the frozen section, and you can buy it powdered in the supermarket. But it doesn’t get spoken about much anymore. What are the beneficial properties of this tasty fruit, and should you eat acai berries more often?

As anyone who reads our blog knows, we don’t like the phrase “super food.” We don’t buy into the concept of any single ingredient being perfect. But, we do enjoy eating a healthy diet filled with lots of nutritious, beneficial fruits and veggies. When we eat many foods with excellent nutrients, it can add up and help our overall wellness.

Acai is a berry from South America. They spoil very quickly; that is why they are almost always sold frozen or powdered. The powder and pureed frozen berries can be found everywhere, in places like Walmart, not just health food stores. When you buy them frozen, be sure to get ones that haven’t had sugar added to them.

Their big claim to fame is that they are high in antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acai and calcium. That’s a lot to like it one berry! One hundred grams of pureed acai berries has 73 calories, two grams of sugar, three grams of fiber, six grams of fat and two grams of protein. They also have four percent of your daily calcium and 25 percent of your daily vitamin A. They have 10 times the amount of antioxidants as blueberries.

Because of their high fiber content, adding the pureed berries to smoothies, yogurt or another healthy dish can help you feel full and help maintain normal blood sugar. The fiber may also help your microbiome and help with digestive tract problems. Additionally, a small study found that women who had 200 milligrams of acai every day for a month saw improvements in their levels of HDL cholesterol. Other studies have found eating acai lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol.  

Acai bowls sold at smoothie stores are usually served with fruits, granola, seeds and nuts. Often the calories can add up quickly, and the portion sizes are huge. The acai is usually sweetened in stores. Generally speaking, when you see an acai bowl on a menu, it isn’t a healthy treat. But, making one at home where you control the portion size and what you add can be delicious! You blend the frozen puree with milk or water as a base and add the healthy toppings of your choice.  

We’re big fans of acai berries and think this once trendy fruit deserves a place in your kitchen. You can add the powder to smoothies or turn the puree into delicious treats this summer!

Banner image: Vicky Ng via Unsplash

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