Acai Berry: A Healthy Fiber Food

Antioxidants explain
the popularity of the Acai Berry.

But a food nutrition chart shows its full beauty.

Not only able to stimulate antioxidants health benefits, acai blends healthy fats, amino acids, and a large serving of dietary fiber into this small nutritious tropical fruit.

Antioxidants

Those who market the nutritional benefits of the acai berry promote this fruit’s natural antioxidant richness.

True. Eating acai berries does activate beneficial antioxidant effects in your body.

Plus two very potent compounds in these berries give you extra antioxidant power:

  • Polyphenol compounds include flavonoids, often found in or near the skin of the fruit.
  • Anthocyanins give foods the deep red or purple color and provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits. The dark purple variety of the acai berryis the best choice.

Additional Nutrition

Protein:  Nineteen amino acids deliver more protein than an egg (based on weight).

Omega Fats:  Three quarters of the fat in an acai berryprovides essential Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, and beneficial Omega 9 unsaturated fat.

Phytosterols:  Plant sterols reported to have benefits for digestion and heart health include B-sitosterol, campesterol and sigmasterol.

Dietary Fiber:  Like the blueberry, acai fruit contributes significant amounts of fiber to a diet. Fiber benefits digestion, bowel regularity, blood sugar, and the cardiovascular system.

Vitamins:  Rich in B vitamins, acai nutrition includes vitamin A, C, and E also.

Minerals:  High in potassium, copper, and manganese.

Food Processing

Acai berries perish quickly after harvesting. So unless you live in a tropical climate where acai grows naturally, this super food is only available in processed forms.

The most available forms in the United States include juice, tablets, and freeze-dried powder. Yogurt and smoothie products with acai may be found, especially through on-line shopping sites, and acai drink mixtures rate fairly high with health and weight conscious customers.

Unfortunately, in these processed forms, the acai nutritional benefits wither.

While science confirms that acai fruit drinks and diet supplements still offer vitamin-rich nutrition, the beneficial health effects from acai seem to show no more brilliance than other deep colored fruit products, like blueberry, grape, or cherry.

Also, no evidence has been found to confirm that acai products promote weight loss or improve health conditions.

Eat Local

If you live near the Amazon river, you may find fresh acai fruit or pulp in your local market. The rest of us will not be so lucky.

When acai berries are ripe and plentiful, local customers are the one who should most enjoy access to this small dark purple fruit and its amazing nutrition. In Brazil, acai has been a part of the typical diet for many generations. In northern Brazil, one traditional way to serve acai is sweetened with sugar or honey in a warm tapioca pudding. In southern Brazil, cold acai is often mixed with granola.

Before commercial marketing placed high demand on the export of this lovely little berry, acai was a food staple for the local populations. The sad news is that now acai is not as affordable or as plentiful. Many people can not longer afford to enjoy this fruit as part of their diet.

The good news is that acai berries will continue to grow so long as the tropical environment remains healthy. And, after the marketing blitz calms and global demand wanes, this amazing fruit will again be plentiful, affordable, and an important nutrition source for the people living in tropical South America.

Those of us who live in more temperate climates need to find antioxidant-rich nutrition in the fruits growing closer to our homes.