If you have any health-conscious friends, odds are you’ve heard them go on about a number of different superfoods. Avocados, leafy greens, and ancient grains such as quinoa are some of the many nutrient-rich foods.
Yet any healthy person also knows all about the health benefits of acai. But what is acai, and how can you enjoy it?
Keep reading for a guide that’ll teach you everything you need to know.
What Is Acai?
If you’re unfamiliar with it, acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a berry that resembles a grape. It comes with a tropical and sweet taste that can complement many different ingredients and dishes. This makes it versatile and easy to enjoy.
Most of the berry contains the seed, with a small part containing all of the nutrients. Acai fruits grow on acai palm trees. You can find these in South America, in the Brazillian rainforests. Once it’s off the trees, acai doesn’t last long on the shelves. Because of that, people need to be creative with how they consume it.
Today, most people eat acai purree. This is a mashed version of the berry that comes with all the same health benefits. You can find it in the frozen section of the grocery store or from a variety of different online retailers.
A Long (and Healthy) History
Westerners have enjoyed acai for a short period of time, since the late 1990s. Once people began understanding the extent of its benefits, it gained popularity across the world. However, other peoples have enjoyed it for thousands of years.
The amazon rainforest extends across eight different countries in South America. Such a huge diversity of foliage and fauna means that the acai is only one of many healthy berries and foods from the region.
Amazonian tribes such as the Shuar used thousands of different types of fruits and plants for medicinal purposes throughout history. The acai is one of the fruits they used for medicinal purposes.
Medicine men and women relied on the secrets of nature to heal people. Some medicinal concoctions they crafted could remove snake venom, while others boosted sexual health. Healers found that acai contained antioxidants, protected the immune system and the heart, and helped to fight off infection.
Health Benefits Galore
As people have enjoyed acai for such a long time, its health benefits should be numerous. So what are they?
Acai berries are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that fight radicals that can cause cancer, heart disease, and other deadly conditions. Acai is also full of fiber and healthy fats, and some studies have found that it may help with weight loss.
Although acai is great for you, it’s important to note that studies haven’t been able to find any notable health benefits that differentiate it from other berries. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are some of the other healthy berry choices that provide many of the same things as acai.
Food experts and scientists have yet to decide if there’s something extra special about acai. Whether or not there is, eating acai will let you enjoy the health benefits that it shares with other healthy fruits.
How to Eat Acai
As mentioned, you can’t eat a fresh acai fruit due to its short lifespan. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to travel to the Brazillian jungle to enjoy one. After purchasing frozen purree or powder, you can enjoy it in a variety of delicious different ways.
One of the most common ways to get the benefits of acai is through an acai bowl. To make your own bowl, mix an acai packet into milk or yogurt, then stir it until it’s creamy. You can then add other things, such as nuts and granola. Fruit, like berries and bananas, can also be a great addition.
For a sweet and healthy snack, you can use acai to make cookies and other desserts. Acai pairs well with coconut, oatmeal, lemon, and other flavors. If you’re a skilled baker and want to enjoy the benefits of acai, try baking it into some of your different recipes. The rich flavors of your new creation may surprise you!
Another delicious way to enjoy acai is in a smoothie. This takes all the best parts of an acai bowl but puts them in a drink, making it easy to enjoy on the go. For a detailed guide on how to make one, check out this acai smoothie recipe.
Acai in Cosmetic Products
Most people get the benefits of acai when they eat or drink it. However, modern cosmetic companies are trying to bring those benefits to the beauty industry, as well.
Aside from leading to heart disease, cancer, and other serious conditions, free radicals can also damage healthy skin. They can harm otherwise healthy skin cells and create oxidative stress. Antioxidants stop them from doing that, and also help reduce pigmentation and wrinkles.
Because of the antioxidant benefits along with the presence of different vitamins, some cosmetic companies have begun adding acai to different skincare products. Today, toners, cleaners, and different serums can all contain acai and other fruit extracts.
Enjoy This Powerhouse of Health and Flavor
Doctors and health experts continue to stress the importance of eating a healthy diet. If you’re wondering what is acai and are curious as to how you can enjoy it, this guide should help. Although experts are unsure as to whether or not acai contains anything extra special, it remains a healthy superfood regardless.
Are you ready to run to your kitchen to make a delicious acai bowl? Before you do, don’t forget to browse our online magazine for some more healthy lifestyle tips!