Acai: The Nutritious Super Berry
Acai is a blue-purple berry that grows on large trees in South America and is extremely rich in nutrients and antioxidants. In northern Europe, the nutritious berries are sold mainly in powder form and the acai powder has become very popular to use to increase the nutritional value of everything from smoothies to yoghurt breakfasts.
- More about the contents of the super berry acai
- It’s easy to get the benefits
Acai is a black-purple berry that grows on the Acai palm in the Amazon. For those of you who are wondering, the word "acai" is pronounced like Ah-Sigh-Ee, and not "ah-kai" as many believe. The acai palm can grow up to 20 meters high and the berries grow like ribbons of pearls that hang down from the branches of the palm. In appearance, the berries can be described as a mixture of blueberries and red grapes, and in the middle of the berry is a large core.
The acai berry is considered a so-called superfood due to the fact that the berry has such a high content of nutrients and antioxidants. In addition, the berries have a relatively high content of fatty acids, which makes the berries unique. In South America, the acai berry is seen as a real goldmine and it is only in recent years that the world has opened its eyes to this berry. In South America, the young leaf shoots of the palm trees are also eaten.
Despite the fact that we may live far from the majestic palm trees themselves, we can still take advantage of the acai berries’ useful properties. This is thanks to the fact that the berries can be ground down, after which you can benefit from the berries' healthy properties in the form of acai powder.
More about the contents of the super berry acai
That acai berries are useful is something most of us can agree on. But what really makes the berries so useful? First of all, they contain large amounts of antioxidants, mainly in the form of polyphenols. As mentioned above, they also contain plenty of different nutrients, including the polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, as well as vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and E, iron, potassium and calcium.
Antioxidants are very important for the body, as they help counteract free radicals that can accelerate cell aging. Free radicals are constantly formed in our bodies, but can be harmful in doses that are too high. The production of free radicals increases as a result of stress, poor eating habits and smoking, for example. If there are too few antioxidants, there is nothing to stop the free radicals’ progress in the body and they can then damage the cell membranes of the cells, causing them to age prematurely. In other words, there is no doubt that antioxidants are important, and acai berries contain high levels of them, especially polyphenols. Acai berries are estimated to contain more than 6 times as many polyphenols as blueberries and 30 times as much as in red wine.
Acai berries are also very rich in fiber and contain as much as 24 grams per 100 grams. Fiber is abundant in fruits and vegetables and helps keep the stomach and intestinal system functioning. Another advantage of fibers is that they help to increase the feeling of satiety. Fibers can often swell to many times their own weight, and this contributes to us feeling full for a longer period. In addition, fiber helps keep blood sugar at a more stable level.
In the table below you can see what the acai berry's nutritional content looks like per 100 g.
|Nutritional value||per 100 g|
|Vitamin A||374 µg|
|Vitamin E||30 mg|
It’s easy to get the benefits
In northern Europe, it is easiest to get hold of acai berries in powder or capsule form. In terms of taste, acai berries are like a mixture of blueberries and chocolate, which makes a powder excellent for mixing into smoothies, chia puddings or yoghurt to achieve a delicious taste while adding extra nutrition. If you don’t like the taste or just want to use acai for health reasons, a capsule supplement may be better suited.
Acai powder is made from freeze-dried acai berries from which the core has been removed. The freeze-dried berries are ground into powder which you can then buy and use in various delicious recipes.
Acai capsules contain a high concentration of acai powder. The difference between acai powder and acai capsules is basically just the capsule. The capsules are easily swallowed with water and are suitable for those who do not want to eat acai in powder form.