Berries of all manner, being anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants, can help keep you healthy, as well as help you get better when you’re ill. The acai berry is no exception when it comes to fitting the bill. In fact, according to some studies, the acai berry is even higher in antioxidants than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and the goji berry. (1) Furthermore, acai berry health benefits include its anti-aging components. Read below to learn more about this fantastic, nutrient-packed berry.
Here are 6 acai berry health benefits:
1. Extremely High in Antioxidants
Acai berry health benefits start with its ORAC score. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It’s a scale that measures the antioxidant properties within foods, and the acai berry has a high ranking. In fact, it’s close to the top of the list.
You may have heard that antioxidants are free radical scavengers, meaning they slow the process of free radical damage that cause the body to deteriorate. The antioxidants in the acai berry are particularly effective at scavenging superoxide and peroxyl. In fact, as measured by oxygen radical absorbance tests, it has the highest score of any food reported to date against the peroxyl radical. (2)
Free radicals are to blame for the wear and tear that comes with aging. They enter the body through poor diet, pollution, high amounts of UV exposure, and chemical contaminants. Help protect your body by consuming plenty of antioxidant foods, like the acai berry.
2. Boosts Skin Health
Another one of the fantastic acai berry health benefits is its ability to prevent signs of aging and regenerate skin. People have long used acai berries and other antioxidant-rich foods, both topically and internally, to keep skin looking healthy. (3)
Those who have high levels of oxidative stress will often see the evidence in their skin. For example, they might see dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines, saggy skin and discoloration. All of these signs are linked to free radical damage within the skin. However, by consuming acai berries and other antioxidant foods, you can address these issues and help your skin maintain a healthy glow.
3. Improves Cognitive Function
Foods high in antioxidants, such as the acai berry, can also help improve your cognitive function. Inflammation and oxidative stress can lead to cognitive issues, such as loss of memory and dementia. However, acai seems to have protective effects over brain cells, which is indicative of an improvement in memory and ability to focus. In fact, studies have found that fractions extracted from acai contain a wealth of brain-saving nutrients. (4)
Acai berries turn off inflammatory pathways that damage nerve signals in the brain. As such, this potent little fruit can help stimulate mental functions and help you to better focus and think more clearly. Furthermore, acai berry health benefits include helping you maintain high energy levels and better deal with psychological stress.
4. May Help Control Appetite & Boost Weight Loss
Acai berry health benefits may include, some experts believe, the ability to suppress appetite. This is due to how it effects hormones that control blood sugar levels and feelings of hunger and satiety. Acai seems to help improve metabolic functions, which in turn helps the body absorb nutrients, break down foods, eliminate waste, and regulate the release of insulin.
And some research has shown that acai berry health benefits involve curbing cravings. It helps lower the desire to overeat, plus it aids in the breakdown of fat. In this way, it could be a helpful addition to a weight loss plan.
5. Stimulates Healthy Digestion
The many acai berry health benefits continue with its ability to improve digestive function. While this food is an excellent source of fiber, it seems to improve digestion in ways other high-fiber foods do not. It cleanses the digestive system, which helps the liver and kidneys process and remove waste and toxins from the body.
Furthermore, acai is a colon cleanser, which prevents the accumulation of harmful substances lodged in the colon. In this way, acai berry can help prevent constipation and other digestive issues. Plus, as they improve metabolism, acai berries can speed up bowel transit time. This prevents foods from fermenting, an occurrence that can lead to bloating, gas, as well as constipation. (5)
6. Helps Protect Against Heart Disease & Diabetes
While acai is best known for its antioxidants, acai berry health benefits include the ability to protect the heart, as well. Acai contains monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and phytosterols, all of which promote cardiovascular health. Studies show, in fact, that acai berry health benefits include a positive effect on blood lipid levels. (6)
Furthermore, acai berry helps lower inflammation, which is one of the causes of coronary heart disease, as well as hormone-related problems like type 2 diabetes. And the monounsaturated fats like oleic acid found in acai berries are also found in heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil.
A small 2011 study looked at changes in reactive oxygen species and metabolic pathways in a small group of overweight adults. These adults took 100 grams of acai twice daily for a month, after which the researchers examined the results. Subjects experienced a reduction in fasting glucose and insulin levels, as well as a reduction in cholesterol. While more studies are needed, researchers concluded that acai might help overweight adults lower their odds of developing heart disease and diabetes. (7)
Incorporate acai berries in your diet. For example, try making your own acai bowl.