Acai Berry Smoothies Benefit Weight Loss, Brain Function & Metabolism
- Published on: 21 March, 2016
- Last update: 07 August, 2017
Ever since I got back from California (where acai breakfast spots are abundant!), I’ve been hooked on making my very own smoothie bowls every morning. I began noticing how wonderful I felt each day after my acai-based meal, so I knew I had to do a little research on what exactly makes these unique purple berries such a powerhouse. It turns out they are packed with nutrition, boost your metabolism, heal your skin, and so much more!
Acari berries are native to Central and South America, especially Brazil, where they have sustained tribes such as the Caboclo for hundreds of years (sometimes making up to 40% of their total calories!) Doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me 😉
Benefits of Acai Berries
1. Acai berry is considered a natural cleanser, helping the liver and kidneys to process and remove waste and toxins from the body.
2. On top of its ability to work on the kidneys and liver, it’s also fiber-rich and a natural digestive cleanser, which means it prevents the accumulation of harmful substances and undigested matter from staying lodged in the colon where they can cause constipation and toxic by-products such as ammonia.
3. Some experts believe that acai berry has certain appetite-suppressing abilities thanks to how it effects various hormones that control blood sugar levels and feelings of hunger, fullness and satiety. It also boosts metabolic function.
4. Acai is protective against the damaging effects of stress, including disrupting hormonal balance and raising cortisol levels, which is why some consider acai berry to be an “adaptogen” similar to herbs such Ashwaghanda and Nettle.
5. Studies have found that fractions extracted from acai contain brain-saving nutrients, including anthocyanins (such as cyanidin + peonidin) along with phenolics (such as catechin, ferulic acid, quercetin + resveratrol).
6. In fact, acai is estimated to have 10 to 30 times the amount of anthocyanins than red wine!
7. These compounds turn off inflammatory pathways that damage nerve signals in the brain, thus acai berries are believed to help stimulate mental function, maintain high energy levels and deal with various effects of psychological stress better.
8. Acai berry is useful for preventing early signs of aging (wrinkles + fine lines) and helping with skin regeneration, thanks to the astronomical antioxidant content. Acai berry is close to the top of the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) list, which ranks antioxidant-rich foods.
9. Some studies show that acai is even richer in protective antioxidants than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries or the goji berry.
10. Even more research suggests that the ellagic acid in acai has anti-proliferative properties, due to its ability to directly inhibit DNA binding of certain carcinogens.
Healthy Omega Fats
Did you know that this fruity berry is actually rich in beneficial fatty acids? Acai is actually richer in Omega 3s than some types of fish per ounce. Acai berries are nearly 50% fat! These Omega 3s boost brain function and keep our hearts healthy.
The other medium chain fatty acids, like oleic acid (omega-9) and linoleic acid (omega-6), help reduce LDL-cholesterol level and raise good HDL-cholesterol levels in the body and thus help prevent heart disease. In addition, the essential fats help prevent skin dryness by maintaining adequate moisture in the skin.