The Truth About Acai Bowls: Fad or Fantastic?
by Samantha Peters
Acai Bowls have quickly become one of the nation’s leading trending healthy fruits; you can get one at just about every smoothie shop, every fruit bar, and even at the grocery store. Why have these small, dark-colored berries entered the health market with such zest and appeal?
Well, it doesn’t hurt that the nutritional elements of the berry are through the roof, with leading research giving more and more credibility to the theories that the little fruits are tied to weight loss, can be used as a great cosmetics foundation, and even contain nutrients connected to fighting cancer cells in humans. Talk about a superfruit!
What is Acai?
Acai berries grow on a type of palm tree commonly found in the Amazon Rainforest area, growing nearly 40 feet tall.
Native Amazon tribes quickly began eating the berry as a staple of their diet, due to the berry’s supposed healing qualities, energy boosts after consumption, and long shelf-life of the fruit.
Studies have suggested that these berries might have even been a sole source of sustenance for natives in times of famine and drought.
The berry is chock-full of a plethora of healthy compounds, including high levels of antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and amino acids that all combine to promote anti-aging processes in our body, including boosting our immune and metabolic systems, as well as removing harmful free radicals from our bodies.
Superfood or Super Not?
Though the fruit has been met with open arms and open mouths from across the world, the jury is still out for some of its “super” qualities. In particular, the acai berry has drawn criticism regarding its connection to weight loss. When you consider all of the heath facts acai berries already boast, it almost seems too good to be true that the fruit would also help you lose weight.
Still, the berry is proven to contain very high levels of nutrients rich with positive benefits, and every day more and more research is being undertaken to discover the complete story of the mysterious little berry (studies have suggested as many as 50-75 active natural compounds of the berry have yet to be discovered).
One of acai’s most commonly known facts is its extraordinary antioxidant levels. The berry has an abundance of one particularly powerful antioxidant called “anthocyanin,” thought to be the main force behind its antioxidant qualities. The berry’s ORAC level (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) has shown to be nearly 3,500, hundreds of times more than your common household fruits like apples and bananas. Oxidants don’t stand a chance with this antioxidant fruit.
Health Facts and Myths
Studies have suggested that the health compounds of acai result in cancer-fighting cells, and even cancer prevention seen in patients with leukemia. However, there is no research that proves this notion, and as much as we’d like to believe this little fruit can do such miracles, no proof exists that it fights cancer or promotes brain activity like at the Skull Base Institute. Still, no one can deny its extraordinary levels of healthy nutrients.
Still another myth about acai is its aphrodisiacal qualities. No studies have proven this notion, either. It seems that due to the berry’s famed healthy nutrients and abilities, a lot of talk has been occurring about the berry that may be unfounded and false.
Acai Berries Contain More Protein Than an Egg
There’s a ton of truth about acai, however. You probably wouldn’t believe acai berries pack in more grams of protein than an egg. You also might be surprised to discover that combined with all its nutrients and health compounds, the little berry is connected to developing healthier hair follicles, nails, and even healthier skin.
Wow! That’s a lot of nutrients. So even if acai berries aren’t directly connected to weight loss, energy boosts, or cancer fighting, incorporating the berries into your diet is an excellent way to promote better health and nutritious activities.
Acai has quickly become a very available and accessible fruit all around the world today. If you want to try out the berries yourself, they’re readily available at many produce and fruit sections of grocery stores, as well as acai juices and even acai-flavored ice cream (which might not be as healthy as the pure berries).
Nearly every juice shop and fruit bar has an acai bowl, complete with granola chunks, mixed fruits, and acai in smoothie/creamy form for a delicious blast of health and flavor. If you’re looking for a new fruit to mix into your diet that’s tasty, healthy, and loaded with nutrients, you can’t go wrong with acai.
(This is a Guest Post written by Samantha Peters, an avid blogger who enjoys writing about various career and job related topics. Sam manages The Education Update and lives in beautiful San Diego, California.)