Amazing health benefits of berries are well-documented and familiar to everyone. We should eat them to improve our overall health, brain function, even for achieving that healthy skin glow we all want. But, what about acai berries? Do they match the standards set by other members of the berry family, what are their health benefits? The answers are provided below.
What are Acai Berries?
The acai berry is a grape-like fruit that is harvested from acai palm trees, which are native to rain forests in South America. These inch-long purple fruits are considered as a superfood, and it is believed they contain numerous health benefits.
Health Benefits of Acai Berries
People can eat acai berries to address various health conditions. For example:
1. Heart Health
Acai berries are rich in medium chain fatty acids such as oleic acid (Omega 9) and linoleic acid (Omega 6). It’ll help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol level and raise levels of good or HDL cholesterol thus preventing the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. The benefits of acai berries for heart health were also proven by a pilot study published in the Nutrition Journal. The study was conducted by Jay Udani, MD, CEO of Medicus Research and his team. The research included 10 overweight participants who were provided with the daily dose of 200 grams of acai pulp. A month later, the team of researchers analyzed risk factors of metabolic syndrome such as cholesterol level, insulin and glucose levels, etc.
The results showed that compared to levels at the beginning of the study, regular consumption of acai was associated with significant decrease of glucose, insulin, and total cholesterol levels.
Metabolic syndrome is a condition that is characterized by obesity, hypertension and impaired glucose and insulin metabolism. This syndrome is associated with high risks of getting Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Udani also confirmed the importance of conducting further studies involving acai berries and their health benefits.
5 Benefits of Omega 9 Fatty Acid Many People Don’t Know:
2. Cancer Prevention
A study conducted by Gary D. Stoner from Department of Internal Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Center, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University and his team showed that acai berries could prevent causes of cancer. Scientists discovered that consumption of acai berries successfully inhibited the growth of cancer cells related to esophageal cancer in rats.
The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of seven different types of berries on cancer. The findings that were published in the Pharmaceutical Research showed that acai berries are just as good in cancer prevention as other berries.
3. Improved Digestion
Regular consumption of acai berries is helpful for your digestion as well. These berries have powerful detoxification properties and are a great source of dietary fiber that improves digestion.
4. Immunity Boosters
Acai berries contain a polysaccharide called arabinogalactan which is known for inducing T cell activity. T cells or T lymphocytes are types of white blood cells that play a central role in cell-mediated immunity. Acai berries help our body fight against various infections and boost our immune system. According to researchers from Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Montana State University these components in acai berries could, also, be helpful for treatment of asthma and various infectious diseases.
5. Reduction of Cognitive Decline
Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care published conclusion of a review that inspected previously published researches about the influence of berries on cognitive functions. The results showed that berries, including acai berry, are rich in antioxidants and are beneficial in maintaining cognitive function in aged animals. Some antioxidants from these berries soften stress-related neural signaling and promote health and capacity of neurons throughout the aging process. Therefore, consumption of acai berries, or acai berry juice (without adding sugar or other sweeteners) is a useful way of preventing cognitive decline related to the aging process.
6. Weight Loss
Acai berries are often associated with weight loss and are included in various weight loss supplements or pills. The truth is, the connection between acai berries and weight loss is still subjected to clinical research but according to some scientists, they could prove to be effective in helping you reach your target weight. You should bear in mind that acai berries can’t shed those extra pounds overnight, but they can help you achieve that goal in a few ways. For example:
- Acai berries are rich in antioxidants that destroy free radicals and flush away toxins from your body. Detoxification is an important step for successful weight loss.
- 100-gram serving of acai berries contains 2 grams of dietary fiber and low amounts of calories and fat.
- Fiber improves digestion which is essential for losing weight.
- Moreover, acai berries act as appetite suppressants because fiber helps to absorb water in the colon promoting a feeling of satiety making you eat less.
- Acai berries have the ability to boost your energy levels and provide more endurance for your daily workouts.
Acai berries perfectly fit in with other members of the berry family. Due to high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients they help prevent cancer, protect heart health and much more. Additionally, they contain low amounts of calories and fat which makes them a delicious and healthy dessert.