Amidst all that is going on in the world around Coronavirus, more than ever people are looking for ways to build up their immunity and stay healthy. With a wide variety of methods and options out there to explore, we thought this would be a perfect time to share with you one of the beloved immunity boosters within the Off the Grid community: Acaí (pronounced ah-sigh-EE). Acaí berries are a Brazilian “superfruit” that are native to the Amazon region. These small, nutrient-packed berries gained popularity globally in the ’90s for all their amazing health benefits.
What Are Acaí Berries?
Acaí berries are a small circular fruit, roughly 1 inch in diameter, that grow on acaí palm trees in the rainforests of Central and South America. Their skin is dark purple in color and the interior shines bright with a yellow color surrounding a large seed, similar to a pit like you’d find in an apricot.
Is the raw fruit edible?
No. To make them edible, they are put into a process of soaking to soften the outer skin and then mashed to create a dark purple paste. Once processed, they are said to have an earthy taste that is similar to blackberry and unsweetened chocolate.
What are the health benefits?
Acaí berries have an unusual nutrient profile compared to other fruits, having high-fat and low sugar content. These superfruits also contain other minerals and compounds including chromium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are unique in that they provide the coloring of the fruit, as well as working as an antioxidant in the body. Anthocyanins may also lower oxidative stress and inflammation, promote brain and heart health, enhance and improve memory, and are believed to inhibit neuroinflammation, improving blood flow to the brain.
2. Packed with Antioxidants
Acaí berries have an especially high amount of antioxidants, even higher than other common antioxidant-rich fruits like blueberries and cranberries. Antioxidants are important because they offset the damaging effects of free radicals throughout the body, potentially causing diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
3. Impact on Cholesterol
Acaí berries are also packed with fiber, which helps to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative and Health (NCCIH) note that consuming acai berries may help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels in people with excess weight.
4. Weight loss
Many products on the market sell their acaí berry supplements as a solution for weight loss. While acaí berries may be remarkably healthy and contain an extensive range of nutrients, it’s not conclusive that consuming them alone will increase weight loss. Research shows that the high fiber and fatty acid content that is contained in acaí berries can help increase metabolism, increase fat burn, and decrease cravings. Thus it is recommended to consume acaí berries in combination with a healthy diet and exercise.
Now that we know the wide range of health benefits of acaí berries, how do you eat them?
Acaí can be purchased in a myriad of ways, including dried, frozen, and in a variety of food products. If you’re looking for an easy way to increase your immunity with acaí, consider purchasing a premade acaí bowl or smoothie from our friends at Cuia Acaí.
Cuia Acaí is bringing the true Brazilian Açaí experience to San Francisco. All the Açaí used at Cuia is wild-harvested from the southeast side of Pará, Brazil’s largest area for naturally grown Açaí. Most of the stores selling açai in the US blend other fruits, juice, or milk into their base, whereas Cuia keeps things simple and follows traditional Brazilian recipes.