Benefits of Acai Berry: How a Brazilian Food Staple Took the World by Storm

A fruit consumed by native tribes in the Brazilian rain forest, the acai berry has a number of health benefits and is proving valuable to the people who grow it for more than food.

Dubbed a “super food” by a number of different sources, there are a number of benefits of acai berry that may very well qualify it for that label. Unless you have been hiding away in a cave for the last few years, you’ve probably heard of the acai berry and may have even consumed a juice beverage that contains it.

The acai berry is a dark purple, almost black berry. To some, it might look like a grape but it is far less meaty as most of the berry’s size comes from its large inner seed.

The first of the benefits of acai berry is probably the one that most people think of when they hear it mentioned: that of weight loss. Acai berry allegedly works with the body in two ways: helping to expel excess water weight and helping to control hunger. To be truly beneficial, however, you have to make sure that you are getting a fairly high concentration of properly handled acai berry.

Other advantages of the acai berry are a little more complex and may actually be more realistic. Like other fruits, it has antioxidant properties, protecting our bodies from the damages of free radicals that build up inside of us. Again, the level of antioxidant protection that we get from the acai berry can depend on the type of beverage or other product we are consuming and how the acai berry was handled during processing. The berry also has polyphenols and flavonoids, which are also very beneficial.

Another benefit of the acai berry, being studied currently, is the effect it may have on blood cholesterol levels. For years, scientists have known that the berry does not impact blood sugar at all when it is consumed, not causing the blood sugar spike and preventing the body from pumping out a flood of insulin which leads to weight gain. However, they are now discovering that the berry may lower the level of blood cholesterol. This discovery can be very beneficial to the millions of people in the world who are at higher risk for heart disease because of their elevated blood cholesterol.

Finally, there is another benefit of acai berry, this one far beyond just that of the consumers. Because it is a sustainable crop, it can provide a source of income to those who are cultivating and harvesting it without forcing them to resort to more eco-damaging crops or livestock. The acai berry, which is the fruit of a palm species, grows in great abundance and typically produces two crops per season per tree.

After seeing the many benefits of acai berry, we can truly say that it is indeed one of nature’s most precious and healing foods.