Acai Berry Nutrition FactsPublished:January 6th, 2012
Acai berry is a reddish-purple fruit of the acai palm tree. It is about 1 inch long and native to Central and South America. Research in acai berry is focused on its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help prevent disease related to oxidative stress such as heart disease and cancer. Acai berry has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It is available in health food stores and supermarkets in the form of juice or supplements. Acaí is also an ingredient in some juices, drinks, liquors, jellies, ice creams, and other foods. It’s also used as a natural food coloring.
Acai berry is rich in anthocyanins and flavonoids. Anthocyanins cause the bluish hue in many fruits. Anthocyanins and flavonoids are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help defend the body against life’s stressors and play a role in body’s cell protection system. Antioxidants specifically work against free radicals. Free radicals are harmful byproducts that cause oxidation of a normal cell. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants neutralizes free radicals and slow down aging process. Acai berry is growing in popularity because of its ability to promote digestion, cardiac health and immune system function, for its anti-aging properties, for treating some forms of cancer and even promoting weight loss.
Omega Fatty Acids
Acai berry contains a good amount of polyunsaturated fatty acid such as Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9. These PUFAs help the body by providing more energy, promote muscle development and build up endurance. They are also helpful in lowering the LDL cholesterol. The fatty acids found in Acai berry works against the aging and free radical damage.
Acai berry is known for its high-level antioxidants called anthocyanins, strong anti-aging antioxidants with disease-fighting capacity that exceeds that of both blueberries and pomegranates. The anthocyanins in acai berries are called cyanidin-3 glucosides, and are 3.5 times stronger than the antioxidant found in a glass of red wine. Acai berry has more antioxidants when compared to blueberries.
Vitamins and Minerals
Acai berry is an excellent source of vitamin A, B-complex and C. It also contains elements such as potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc. These vitamins and minerals promote neurological health, skin protection, healing and immune system. Potassium in the acai berry helps promote cardiac health by regularizing the blood pressure. The actual fruit is a better choice than the extract.
Acai berry contain soluble fiber which helps lower LDL cholesterol. It contains about 14 g of fiber in a 100 g dried acai berry. Because of its nutrient content it promotes weight loss, cardiovascular health and better immune system. The fats found in the Acai berry are heart healthy.
Acai berry is safe when consumed as a fruit. However, the effects of acai berry supplements are not well studied and documented. It is possible that the acai may worsen swelling, high blood pressure, intestinal bleeding or ulcers. Do check with your physician if you are taking any medicine to determine any food-drug interactions. They could interact with medicines such as Ibuprofen and other painkillers. As there is not much research for the safety of acai supplements or extracts in higher doses, they are not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.