Acai berries are fruits that grow on acai palm trees that are mainly found in South and Central America. Their largest concentration is in the Amazon rainforest. They are composed of a large seed at the center covered by yellow flesh which is in turn surrounded by a dark purple skin. In the Amazon rainforest and other parts of South America, acai berries are a staple food loved by indigenous communities for their great health benefits. It is these benefits of the acai berries that are at the heart of their increasing popularity in many parts of the world outside the Amazon rainforest. Here is a look at some of the acai berry’s amazing benefits and why you should include them in your diet.
1. Has high nutritional value
Acai berries are highly nutritious. The berries have low sugar content and healthy amount of fats. A 100 grams of acai berries contains just 2 grams of sugar. Such low sugar levels are healthy for the body because high sugar levels have been associated with various major health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular conditions like high blood pressure. Apart from low sugar levels, acai berries also have important minerals such as potassium, copper, magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, and chromium.
2. Improves HDL cholesterol levels
There are three categories of cholesterol. These are high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low density lipoproteins (LDL), and total cholesterol. A healthy body should have high HDL and low LDL and total cholesterol. Acai berries have been found to improve contents of HDL in the body while simultaneously reducing levels of total cholesterol and LDL. A study conducted in 2011 involving 10 adults who were overweight found that they significantly reduced their total cholesterol and LDL levels after taking acai berries twice a day for one month. Acai berries are able to reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels because they have plant sterols which block the two from being absorbed into the body and a number of compounds that boost HDL levels.
3. Acai Berry Improves brain performance
Acai berries help the brain to continue performing properly using two methods. The first one is through slowing down the processes of oxidation and inflammation of brain cells which have been found to have a negative effect on learning and memory. It achieves this slow down thanks to large antioxidants content. Secondly, it improves brain performance by speeding up the process of autophagy. This process involves removal of dead or toxic brain cells. Removal of such cells allows for formation of new nerves thus improving communication between one brain cell and another. Acai berries are particularly helpful to older people because the process of autophagy reduces in effectiveness as one ages.
4. Has high quantities of antioxidants
Acai berries are among the most antioxidant-rich fruits in the world. . These high quantities of antioxidants are healthy because of the important role that they play in the body. One of them is neutralizing free radicals. In addition to reducing the ability of free radicals to cause diseases, the neutralization of the free radicals also leads to a healthy skin. Skin is the largest body organ. The reactive free radicals often target skin cells where they cause significant damage. Thus, antioxidants keep the skin healthy by reducing the number of free radicals that damage it. That explains why acai-based skin oils have gained prominence in the recent past at the expense of chemical skin oils.
5.Acai Berry Boosts immunity
The body’s immunity is maintained by white blood cells. The more they are in the body the higher the body’s immunity. Acai berries have been found to boost interleukin 12 production by myeloid cells, a type of white blood cells. Interleukin 12 is important in the body because it stimulates production of antibodies that are involved in combating organisms that cause various diseases. Thus, it is able to reduce infections caused by some viruses, fungi, intracellular parasites, and bacteria.
The benefits of acai berries are many and significant. Their increasing popularity across the world has attracted the attention of some the world’s top research institutions who are now studying many health benefits of these berries. Certainly, as more research is done more benefits of these berry are going to come to light. At the moment, the proven health benefits are enough to definitely find a way to begin incorporating them into your diet.
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