Over the past few years, the acai berry has gained popularity and has even been touted by many as a super food. Acai berries, which are native to the rainforests of South America, have been shown to possess a variety of beneficial health properties. Traditionally used to treat ailments such as diarrhea, parasitic infections, hemorrhages and ulcers, acai berries today are more widely utilized for their anti-cancer, detoxification, and anti-aging properties.
Though research is still fairly limited on the fruit, one of the most exciting potential health benefits to be associated with the berry is its myriad of weight loss properties.
What Makes Acai Berries So Effective For Weight Loss?
Unlike most berries, acai berries are naturally low in sugar, which makes them ideal for use in low-sugar diets. According to New Zealand researchers, excess sugar in the diet is linked with weight gain and even obesity. Likewise, low-sugar diets were linked with weight loss. Try replacing frozen fruit with frozen acai pulp in smoothies for a low-sugar breakfast idea.
Acai berries contain about 14g of fiber in every 100g of freeze-dried Acai powder. Relatively speaking, this is a significant amount of fiber compared to other fruits. Fiber is essential to the proper function of the digestive system, and paired with adequate water intake, aids in efficient elimination.
Acai is also one of the few fruits to contain monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are typically found in foods like olives, nuts, seeds, avocados, and dark chocolate. They are widely acclaimed for providing high levels of satiety, meaning they are filling and can help ward off hunger pangs for extended periods of time.
To be clear, there is not yet adequate research to show that acai berries on their own can dramatically increase weight loss efforts, but combined with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, acai berries can be a powerful tool in a weight loss program.
Beyond Weight Loss
Scientific studies on the weight loss effects of acai berries may be limited, but few would argue that there are plenty of other reasons to consume the fruit on a daily basis.
Anthocyanin, the powerful antioxidant that gives acai berries their famous deep purple color, maybe also protect the body against cancer, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections. Studies have shown that acai berries are actually higher in antioxidants than many other berries such as cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and even blueberries.
In addition to antioxidants, acai berries are also rich in calcium, iron, Vitamin A, and protein. A single acai berry contains more protein than an egg!
Ways To Enjoy Acai Berries
There are many ways to enjoy the benefits of acai berries. Today many people incorporate the juice of acai berries into their morning routine. Acai berry juice can be a great addition to a morning smoothie, just be sure to be on the lookout for added sugar or other sweeteners.
In South America, a bowl of blended frozen acai pulp topped with banana and granola is a popular warm-weather treat. Many large supermarkets and health food stores carry a selection of acai berry teas, as well as supplements, which can be seamlessly integrated into many different lifestyles.
Traditional Acai Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe
1 Cup Almond Milk
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
1 Cup Acai Juice OR 1 Cup Frozen Acai Pulp
½ Cup Ice
Instructions: Blend all ingredients until smooth. Top with sliced banana, granola, and honey. Enjoy!