Harvested from the açai palm tree in the Amazon, açai (pronounced Ah-sigh-ee) berries have an established reputation as a superfood. The açai berry grows in bunches and have been described as having an earthy taste, similar to dark chocolate with the tartness of the blackberry. As they are notoriously difficult to prepare (usually required to be soaked and blended usually before consumption), the purple açai berry is often sold in the form of frozen puree and powder.
The açai berry has a multitude of nutritional properties that have been linked with a healthy lifestyle, and using it within your daily food intake is easy! Here are five benefits of introducing the humble açai berry into your diet.
High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that may defend your cells against potentially harmful ‘free radicals’ molecules that may contribute towards serious health problems including cancer, heart and respiratory diseases and immune deficiencies. Açai berries are renowned for having a higher antioxidant level than cranberries and blueberries, and by introducing them into your diet can have a positive impact on your overall antioxidant levels.
Free radicals including ultraviolet light, pollution, cigarette smoke and even stress can have a detrimental impact on our skin cells and the antioxidants and phytochemical components within açai berries can potentially help to protect your skin from the ageing process and give it a healthy glow. Oil extracted from açai berries can also be used on the skin as an alternative to chemical products in the form of cleansers, toners and moisturisers.
Açai berries are often used as part of a detox diet - the high fibre content of the açai berry can assist with improved digestion, flushing out the system and help to regulate bowel movements.
Good for the Heart and Brain
Açai contains anthocyanin, an antioxidant that can be found in red wine that is linked to helping to control cholesterol levels within the body, and sometimes even reducing them, which has a positive impact on the functionality of the heart. The nutritional properties of the açai berry is also linked to brain health, with potential improvements to energy levels, memory and overall cognitive function. Additionally, they also help with improved sleep and support the immune system.
Açai berries are incredibly versatile and can be used in numerous fun and interesting recipes including açai bowls and smoothies, mixed with quinoa or chia seeds, snack bars and sprinkled over the top of desserts for extra flavour and nutrition. And let’s face it - the gorgeous purple colour created by the berry makes for a great instagram feed! Check out this mouth watering selection of ideas of how açai berries can be used in different recipes here: https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-recipes/11-mouthwatering-acai-berry-recipes
Want to start introducing the açai berry into your diet? Find out more here: http://acailife.com/recipes/