Acai

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Acai (correctly spelled "açai") is a South American palm tree, its name loosely meaning the fruit that removes water". Its fruits, similar to our blueberries, are considered the most important part of the plant and are currently included in a multitude of nutritional studies regarding the benefits they could offer. These fruits are round, about 2.5 cm, have a dark purple skin and a yellow core around a single seed.

 





#1. Improving cognitive function
Age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease have no cure, but research suggests that diets rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenolic compounds can reduce the risk of these diseases.

Specifically, the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is abundant in acai berries, can decrease oxidative stress and inflammation, promoting brain health.

It has also been proven that anthocyanins improve memory. It is believed to work by inhibiting neuroinflammation, activating synaptic signaling and improving blood flow to the brain.



#2. Maintaining heart health
Anthocyanin consumption was strongly linked to protection against oxidative stress.

One study found that regular consumption of anthocyanins can reduce the risk of heart attack by 32% in young and middle-aged women.

The heart-healthy fibers and fats in acai also support heart health. Heart-healthy fats raise HDL ("good") cholesterol and lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

Several studies have reported a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease and reduced all-cause mortality with high fiber consumption. The fiber intake provided by the small grains also lowers LDL cholesterol.

Fiber intake is not only associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, but also with a slower progression of the disease in high-risk individuals.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) notes that regular consumption of acai berries can help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels in overweight people.



#3. Anti-cancer properties
Acai berries contain pigments called anthocyanins, which give certain fruits and vegetables their deep purple color. Anthocyanins are antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of cancer.


After analyzing 300 foods, acai berries came out on top for their antioxidant content. They beat out other foods known to be very high in antioxidants, including cocoa powder, blueberries and pomegranates.

In fact, just half a cup of acai contains approximately 75,000 antioxidant units. This amount was significantly higher than any of the other foods in the study.

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