Guide to health benefits of unique Brazilian superfood
What are Acai Berries?
To start, acai berries are round fruits measuring about 2.5 cm in diameter. They grow on acai palm trees in the rainforests of Central and South America. These small, dark purple berries have gained immense popularity due to their rich nutritional profile and potential health benefits. In appearance, they closely resemble blueberries or cherries in size and appearance.
The Benefits of Acai Berries
Acai berries can contribute to maintaining healthy skin and brain function, and they can act as a natural anti-aging agent. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibers, and various micronutrients present in acai berries have a positive impact on the body and mind. Many of these health-promoting substances are especially found in the berry's vibrant color. In fact, acai berries contain 10 times more antioxidants than blueberries. They contain 8% protein and are a rich source of essential omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, acai berries contain plant sterols that support a healthy heart and cardiovascular system, along with being rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A has antioxidant properties that promote the health of the skin, hair, and nails. It also protects mucous membranes, making it particularly beneficial for women prone to dry mucous membranes.
Let's delve a bit deeper into these benefits.
They are packed with nutrition:
In 100 grams of frozen acai puree, you'll find the following nutrition:
Saturated fat: 1.5g
Vitamin A: 15% of the recommended daily intake
Calcium: 2% of the recommended daily intake
This is a unique composition of nutrients, which includes anthocyanins, that gives the acai berries their deep purple color and it acts as antioxidants in the body.
They are loaded with antioxidants:
Antioxidants are crucial as they neutralize free radicals. If left unneutralized, free radicals can damage cells and contribute to various diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
They are rich in fiber:
While research is ongoing and conclusive evidence is yet to be established, there is much evidence pointing towards the potential of acai berries in lowering cholesterol levels, making them an exciting superfood.
They may have an anti-cancer effect:
This effect is also intriguing but still somewhat unproven. Researchers have suggested that acai may play a role in future cancer treatments. However, more research is needed, including human studies rather than solely animal experiments.
They can enhance brain function:
Many of the antioxidants present in acai berries also counteract the damaging effects of inflammation on brain cells, which can impact learning abilities and memory over time.
MAIKA’I’s approach and conception of the benefits of acai
You won't typically find acai berries in traditional Danish supermarkets. Fresh acai berries aren’t easily accessible in Denmark as they spoil within a few hours of being harvested. As a result of that, they have gained popularity primarily in Central and South America, where they are harvested. This also means that the most common way to consume acai berries is through frozen puree or freeze-dried powder (more about it here: https://www.maikaibowls.com/post/acai-berries-frozen-vs-powdered). At Maika'i, we use frozen acai puree, which provides the most authentic and flavourful experience. The berries are harvested in the rainforest, crushed, and pressed to extract the juice and pulp. The frozen puree is then pasteurised to preserve its flavour and nutrients. This careful process ensures that you get the full nutritional benefits of acai berries in our products. Pasteurisation not only extends the shelf life of the acai puree but also helps maintain the integrity of its vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This means that when you enjoy our acai bowls or other acai-based products, you're getting the true essence of this superfood, just as if you were enjoying it freshly harvested from the rainforests of Central and South America.