Acai: 6 benefits and how to consume

Açaí is a fruit rich in nutrients and, therefore, regulates cholesterol, intestinal functions and also provides energy.

The acai has resemblance to the jabuticabas, being small and present the smooth bark and purple, almost black. It is typical of the northern region of Brazil , precisely the Amazon. Its scientific name is Euterpe oleracea .

Its most widespread form of consumption is based on its natural pulp, which has a texture similar to that of an ice cream. And it is sold in markets and specialized stores to compose different recipes, with emphasis on the famous açaí in the bowl.

6 main benefits of açaí

Açaí is a functional food as it supplies the body’s nutritional needs while acting as a source of beneficial and medicinal substances, avoiding the risk of chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer and diabetes. ( 1 )

1- Prevents diseases

According to nutritionist Rayane Tôrres, açaí is composed of vitamins E and C, which help the immune system, and has antioxidant power.

This benefit is configured as the inhibition or reduction of the negative effects of free radicals, which arise in the body through poor diet, stress, sedentary lifestyle or exposure to toxic elements such as smoke, cigarettes and alcohol. ( 2 )

The antioxidants fight these malignant molecules that damage cells and increase the risk of diseases such as cancer , diabetes , hypertension , Alzheimer’s , Parkinsonism, degenerative diseases, premature aging, and others.

“In this regard, the power of açaí is due to anthocyanins, which are the main compounds responsible for the dark color of its pulp”, justifies the nutritionist. The darker the fruit, the greater the concentration of this medicinal property. ( 3 )

2- It gives energy

This is one of the most popular fruit benefits: energy supply and disposal pro body. No wonder it is very suitable as pre-workout. “The fruit is rich in vitamin B1, responsible for helping the body to produce energy ”, explains the nutritionist.

In addition, the fruit has carbohydrates and proteins in its composition. Both also act as energy providers for the body. ( 4 , 5 )

3- Favors bone health

Did you know that this fruit is full of minerals ? Quality important both for the proper functioning of the organs and for bone health. “This fruit contains minerals relevant to health, such as iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, sodium, zinc , calcium and potassium”, emphasized Rayane.

4- Regulates bowel function

“Açaí has ​​a considerable concentration of fiber, which helps in the intestinal transit and benefits the digestive system as a whole”, stated the nutritionist. This action prevents both constipation and diarrhea , enabling the regular functioning of the bowel.

5- Improves cognition

The consumption of this fruit is able to protect the brain from damage common in old age. It helps to avoid problems like memory loss and reasoning difficulties . ( 6 , 7 ) Its properties can also act as a protector of motor functions.

6- Benefits heart health

Acai is able to regulate cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular problems. Its substances can reduce bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). It is also a benefit attributed to the presence of anthocyanins and other nutrients in the composition of the fruit. ( 8 , 9 )

Nutritional table

100 gram servingAmount per serving
Energetic value58 Kcal
Protein0,8 g
Cholesterol –
Carbohydrate6,2 g
Fiber2,6 g
Manganese6,16 mg
Match16 mg
Ferro0,4 mg
Sodium5 mg
Potassium124 mg
Zinc0,3 mg
Magnesium17 mg

Does acai make you fat? understand how it works

Açaí has ​​a great benefit for those looking for weight loss: it fills up quickly. For many people, even a small cup of açaí is enough to quench their hunger, as the pulp of the fruit is rich in fiber, according to the nutritionist. But, if there is an exaggeration , he can be a villain and end up increasing his weight.

“It is a food that can and should be introduced in everyday life, but it is important to emphasize that it, as well as any other type of food consumed in excess, can cause weight gain and measures”, he explains.

How to use açaí to lose weight?

To use açaí for weight loss, you should consult a nutrition specialist. The professional will indicate how much you should eat the fruit/pulp and how many times a day you should consume it. Other than that, we can only give you some tips to make your açaí less caloric and healthier.

Opt for moderate consumption of natural pulp (without preservatives, sugar, colorings and other additives). Do not complement açaí with powdered milk, granola , condensed milk or the like.

Prefer to use fruits, a little nuts, chia seeds and flaxseed, for example. And if you want to make it a little sweeter, use bee honey, also in a small amount. But remember, the fewer supplements used, the less caloric it will be.

Healthy recipes with acai

Many people like to consume acai in the bowl, but it usually comes with caloric and unhealthy supplements. With that in mind, we are going to teach you two different ways to consume: the vitamin and the frozen dessert.

acai vitamin

The açaí smoothie is made from the natural pulp of the fruit. It’s quite tasty and is great to satiate hunger in the afternoon or morning snack time. See how to do it:

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons of natural açaí pulp
  • 1 cup of milk
  • banana
  • 1 tablespoon of flaxseed.

Preparation mode

Cut the banana into slices and place in a blender. Add the milk, linseed and açaí pulp. Beat until smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, add a little more milk until it reaches the desired consistency. No need to strain.

Açaí in a cold bowl with fruit

This recipe is great for Sunday lunch desserts and combines the advantages of açaí with the vitamins of other fruits! See how to prepare:

Ingredients

  • 2 sliced ​​bananas
  • 1 cup (of tea) of sliced strawberries
  • 4 tablespoons of natural açaí pulp
  • 4 scoops of light cream ice cream
  • Coconut grated to taste.

Preparation mode

In a bowl, arrange half of the banana slices across the bottom. Add 2 heaped scoops of açaí pulp and 2 scoops of ice cream. Spread it out. Then make another layer of banana, with the remaining slices.

On top of it, place a layer of strawberries. Cover with another layer of açaí and ice cream. Finish with the grated coconut on top of the dessert. Freeze for approximately 2 hours.

Contraindications and care

The fruit itself has no contraindications, but ingested in excess can cause weight gain and nausea. In addition to seeking a moderate consumption, it is also necessary to stick to some criteria when buying it.

This is because the insect that transmits Chagas disease (known as a barber) loves to live on açaí trees, which can contaminate the fruit. ( 10 )

To avoid the problem, always choose to purchase the food in its natural version from specialized producers, who follow the sanitary requirements of the Ministry of Health. If the choice is for the pulp, check the packaging if the company is regulated by the agency.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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