[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Acai berries are extracted from a palm tree which has the scientific name, Euterpe oleracea, originating from South America and more precisely from Brazil. These are small fruits that are very popular in the daily diet of the indigenous people of the Amazon. The latter also use them as real remedies to treat various digestive and dermatological pathologies and many other ailments. They nickname them “iça-çai” which means “the crying fruit”.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
This food of choice cultivated and consumed by Indians of the eastern Amazon rainforest marketed worldwide in many forms and for various uses. Berries acai, sometimes presented as being a food characterized by slimming properties, are available in the form of powder, puree frozen, frozen dough, drinks, supplement food powder or capsule. Filled with a multitude of benefits and nutrients, they are used in several culinary preparations.
Berries acai: for whom? For what uses?
Acai berries have a round shape similar to that of a grape. They are distinguished by delicate flesh and an exceptional content of fiber and essential nutrients. They therefore constitute an ideal food for those who are looking for fruits likely to provide essential nutrients to their body. Thus, they are well suited for those who wish to naturally provide their body with an increased number of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
In doing so, the different contributions nutritional benefits of acai berries could constitute a source energy for athletes, help for those who want to lose weight. Thus, berries constitute a cocktail of nutrients. For In doing so, they can be used as an excellent ally for health. Due to the various vitamins they contain, acai berries can be used as a supplement in the daily diet.
Properties Beneficial benefits of acai berries can be used for a variety of purposes. In the field of the food industry, acai berries are used to the development of energy drinks. They are consumed as desserts or are sometimes added to sauces or ice creams when they are available in powder form. In the form of puree, they are used for the preparation of ice creams, desserts and jellies. They are also present in several cosmetic products (creams, lotions, gels).
Made up of antioxidants and nutrients, acai berries are used to make medicines and are available in supplement form. They are also sold in pharmacies or drugstores.
Characteristics of acai berries
A palm tree from the Amazon, notably the Palm Euterpe oleracea, belonging to the botanical family Arecaceae, produces a fruit called the acai berry. Purple or violet in color when ripe, this globular, very pulpy berry has a diameter of approximately 1 cm and an average weight of 1 to 3 g. Inside the flesh of the fruit, there is a hard core containing the acai seed. Each fruit contains a single seed with a diameter of approximately 8 to 10 millimeters.
The acai berry is therefore a fruit consisting of a skin, a pulp and a seed. It is very rich in fiber, with a high concentration of antioxidants (anthocyanins, phenols, flavonoids, pro-anthocyanidins, xanthones, etc.).
The index ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), measuring the antioxidant power of a food, reveals that acai berries constitute a good source of antioxidants, with an ORAC index of 102700 per 100 g. This fruit is also made up of carbohydrates, proteins and a multitude of amino acids. The acai berry also contains:
- natural vitamins: A, C, D, E, B1, B2, B3;
- fatty acids: omega 3, omega-6 and omega-9;
- trace elements: potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, iron, calcium and copper.
Benefits of Acai Berries
Excellent antioxidant power
The acai berry contains substances belonging to the polyphenol family, characterized by antioxidant properties. Thus, it makes it possible to effectively fight against oxidation of the body and free radicals which are responsible for the destruction of our cells and the acceleration of aging in the body.
Antioxidants are characterized by properties that allow the body to increase immune defenses. They help reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood.
The antioxidants contained in this fruit help fight skin aging by slowing down or reversing the aging processes induced by oxidation damage. Vitamin C contributes to the regeneration process in the body.
The skin is firm, young and healthy thanks to fatty acids. The acai berry improves skin health and helps control the signs of aging, with fewer wrinkles and skin imperfections.
Beneficial for heart health
The high content of the acai berry in antioxidants helps to effectively fight against cardiovascular pathologies. This berry promotes the elimination of bad cholesterol with cardio-protective benefits resulting from the action of a plant compound, sterol.
It contributes to the improvement of blood circulation and the dilation of blood vessels, thus reducing the risks linked to the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, arrhythmia and high blood pressure.
The acai berry thus has benefits for heart health by regulating heart rate, normalizing the functioning of the cardiovascular system and stabilizing blood pressure.
The acai berry lowers cholesterol levels and helps eliminate bad cholesterol. Antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, help balance bad and good cholesterol levels.
Specifically, acai berries contain essential monounsaturated fatty acids which promote the reduction of blood sugar levels. bad cholesterol and contribute to maintaining the level of good cholesterol in the blood.
Excellent for the digestive system
The acai berry is a source of dietary fiber. This fiber content helps maintain a healthy digestive system, while promoting the proper functioning of the intestines and cleaning the colon. As a result, it makes food transit more fluid and is useful in cases of digestive problems, particularly against constipation. Also, it improves the digestive process and contributes to the elimination of toxins from the liver.
The acai berry strengthens the immune system
This berry contains vitamin C as well as antioxidants which are greatly beneficial for the immune system. Thus, it protects and strengthens the immune system by acting against free radicals which are likely to weaken the body’s natural defenses. It strengthens immunity and body cells. Also, acai berries help fight infections and help fight bacteria and viruses.
Significant improvement in energy level
Consumption of this fruit provides a lot of vitality and increases energy levels. The exceptional antioxidant content relieves the body which no longer mobilizes its forces to fight against free radicals. To do this, the body has enough resources for other functions and to ward off fatigue, resulting in an increase in the amount of energy available.
By increasing energy levels, acai berries improve endurance and muscle strength. They allow athletes to improve their performance and effectively combat fatigue and exhaustion.
Very good for cognitive functions
Acai berries have a beneficial effect on cognitive functions. They boost memory and improve brain functioning. They contain antioxidants which improve attention, memory and protect brain cells. These antioxidants may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. These fruits thus promote brain health.
Acai berries may be allergenic for some people
Some people may be allergic to acai berries. They should therefore avoid consuming this fruit or consult a health professional before including it in their diet if they are allergic to pollen or other berries (blackberries, grapes, etc.). Thus, allergic reactions may occur in some people when consuming acai berries.
Risk food intolerance
People who have a food intolerance to acai berries are likely to experience symptoms when they consume a significant amount of acai berries. This intolerance can also manifest when they frequently consume acai berries.
A particularly perishable fruit
Acai berries are quickly consumed after picking, because they are difficult to store. One day after picking, they deteriorate when left in the open air and at room temperature. They thus lose the virtues that characterized them. To avoid this deterioration, they undergo conservation processes and are marketed in the form of frozen pulp or powder.
Poor quality acai berry can be harmful to the body
the addition of additives or unhealthy ingredients during the preservation process can alter the properties of this fruit. All acai berries sold in different forms are still not healthy and are likely to cause health problems. However, it is recommended to only take pure acai berries in order to avoid any medical problems.
Not recommended for people affected by underweight
The acai berry is a appetite suppressant may reduce appetite, reduce daily food intake and aid in weight loss. Consequently, it is not suitable for people who wish to increase their body mass. Therefore, for those trying to gain weight, acai berries are contraindicated.
Risk of transmission of Chagas disease to humans
This disease is caused by a parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi. It manifests itself by several symptoms, including palpitations, dyspnea, chest pain. This parasitic disease can cause death. This is an infection that can be contracted through the bite of the parasite or during a blood transfusion or through food transmission, by ingesting acai berries. Indeed, there are cases of transmission of the parasite through the ingestion of acai berries or through the consumption of acai juice.
Acai berries can be the cause of the transmission of Chagas disease in humans: this disease is caused by a parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi. It manifests itself by several symptoms, including palpitations, dyspnea, chest pain. This parasitic disease can cause death. This is an infection that can be contracted through the bite of the parasite or during a blood transfusion or through food transmission, by ingesting acai berries. Indeed, there are cases of transmission of the parasite through the ingestion of berries or the consumption of acai juice.
Frozen acai berries and those processed into powder
Acai berries deteriorate 24 hours after harvest. This is why these fresh fruits are not available in stores, just after picking. Also, it is not possible to find fresh acai berries on the international market, given the fact that they expire very quickly. So, to preserve them, they are then frozen or transformed into powder.
The acai berry is therefore a fruit that undergoes various preservation processes to make it available in several forms (juice, frozen puree, powder). Some of these processes alter the vitamins, minerals and flavor of the berries to a greater or lesser extent. But, the benefits and qualities are better preserved through one of these processes, in this case freezing (at – 30 degrees).
Thus, freezing allows the nutritional values of acai berries to be preserved, 24 hours after harvest. This very expensive process makes it possible to obtain frozen acai pulp. It is not used by all manufacturers. Others use freeze-drying or drying to obtain the powder.
Freeze-dried acai powder
Freeze-drying is a process that occurs before transforming the acai berry into powder. It consists of first freezing the fruits before then removing the water they contain using a vacuum pressure system. It allows the nutrients contained in acai berries to be optimally preserved, thus preserving the benefits of the fruit. Compared to freezing, freeze-drying is less expensive.
The latter helps preserve the color, texture, all of the antioxidants, minerals and vitamins of the berries transformed into powder. Thus, the properties of the acai berry are preserved. This process, which allows you to obtain a completely natural product, is more expensive compared to the drying method. This is why freeze-dried powder is more expensive compared to dehydrated powder.
Dehydrated acai powder
Acai powder can be obtained through dehydration by drying. This process consists of heating the fruits at high temperature in order to dehydrate them before processing them into powder. But, this high heating temperature alters the taste, color as well as the vitamins and antioxidants contained in the fruits.
Thus, by resorting to this treatment process, the nutritional properties of the berries are altered. The price of dehydrated powder is low compared to that of freeze-dried powder. But, this process causes the berries to lose their characteristic benefits.
How to use frozen or powdered acai berries?
Frozen berries can be used for smoothies or acai bowl (Brazilian dish), as can acai powder. But, it is possible to mix the powder with water to obtain a juice. Dissolved in water, the powder is pleasant and easy to consume.
This powder can be easily incorporated into drinks. It can be useful for sprinkling mueslis (mixture of oat flakes or other cereals and fruit, consumed with milk). It is advisable to use organic powders, because they are better.
Or buy acai berries at the best price?
Before making the purchase
The best acai berries come from organic farming with palm trees that have not been treated with pesticides. Organic farming allows you to obtain fruits of excellent quality and 100% natural.
This is why, before purchasing, you must ensure that it is a pure and entirely organic product or extracts. It is difficult to find palm fruits from the Amazon rainforest on the market; These are essentially acai berries in the form of drinks or powder which are commercially available.
It is important to choose products based on acai berries, certified without fertilizers or pesticides. They allow you to fully benefit from the beneficial effects of fruits. Non-organic products, of poor quality or containing additives or preservatives do not provide all the nutrients and do not offer all the advantages linked to the consumption of acai berries. You must therefore ensure that the product does not present a health hazard before making any purchase.
The different places of sale
On the market, there are a multitude of products extracted from acai berries. But some sellers, especially on the internet, are unreliable. Also, some brands are also unsavory because they sell products that are not pure or are less nutritionally beneficial. You have to be careful and be wary of fraudulent products that exist on the market, and even on the web.
The best acai berries, processed into powder with a high concentration of nutrients, are available in organic stores or grocery stores. It is therefore advisable to read the labels to ensure that it is a pure product. Acai berry products are also available in pharmacies as well as online stores.
There are also online pharmacies that sell acai berry products. On the web, you should be wary of products sold at attractive prices with misleading advertising. You should favor reliable sites or platforms of reputable brands for the sale of organic or excellent quality products.
The acai berry Does it make you lose weight?
The fruit contains a significant amount of dietary fiber which limits the feeling of hunger. This appetite suppressant effect can help reduce the amount of food ingested each day. This daily reduction in food consumption helps reduce the number of calories swallowed.
Beyond the satiety provided by fiber, there is no direct link between the consumption of acai berries and weight loss. There is no study to confirm that these fruits make you lose weight or contain nutrients that can specifically reduce excess weight.
Only as an appetite suppressant, it can help or facilitate diets for people who want to lose weight. Thus, the consumption of these berries does not allow you to get rid of excess kilograms, but can be associated with a slimming diet with the aim of regulating intestinal transit. These berries are not a miracle solution for slimming the figure or a cure for excess weight.
To lose weight, it is important to follow a healthy diet, without saturated fats, and to do sports regularly. It is by doing this that it is possible to take advantage of the benefits of acai berries which can, therefore, be an aid in a program aimed at losing kilograms.
The acai berry is a fruit that contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This natural fruit is therefore made up of nutrients beneficial to the body and health, even if not all the medical properties attributed to acai berries are supported by scientific evidence. Likewise, the effectiveness of the acai berry in weight loss has not been proven, although it is low-calorie with an exceptional dietary fiber content and could thus help promote weight loss.
Thus, this berry does not have weight-loss properties documented by reliable studies and does not constitute a miracle food concentrating all the therapeutic virtues. It cannot therefore replace a healthy lifestyle, a healthy, varied, balanced diet, and regular physical activity which are necessary for health and for achieving weight loss objectives.
That said, one should be cautious of any claims or advertisements regarding the acai berry. Only fresh berries, especially fresh fruit, have a certain nutritional value with beneficial concentrations of nutrients. Unfortunately, this fresh fruit, being very perishable, is not marketed throughout the world. These are mainly berries that have undergone preservation processes, sometimes with the addition of (unhealthy) substances, which are sold.
The preservation of all nutrients is not certain, so not all products sold can provide the body with certainty the benefits of fresh fruit. You should favor products made with fruits from Brazil and resulting from freeze-drying, a preservation method that preserves nutrients.