Did you know acai berries are harvested in the rain forests of South America? Let us look deeper in finding out more about these humble purple berries.
The acai berries are a small round berry that are dark purple in color and resemble a smaller sized grape. The dark purple skin, which holds the berry’s health benefits, is often made into a pulp. Brazilian natives use this pulp as a puree that can be eaten by itself or in a variety of other wonderful foods. There is a lot more in store to discover what makes this little berry from Brazil taste so good and why it is healthy for our bodies.
In Brazil, the berries are harvested from acai palms as food. In a study of three traditional native populations in the Amazon, the acai palm was described as the most important plant because the fruit makes up to 42% of the total food diet and is economically valuable to the region. In order for the Brazilian farmers not to lose any more of the depleted forest cover from over harvesting, they are required to reforest up to 30% of their farmed land.
The majority of the population in Brazil enjoys eating the acai fruit. It is reported the people consume more acai juice than milk. Although it’s popularity only grew in the western world around 1990, the powerful punch this berry packs has been known in its native land for generations. Acai berries have ten times the antioxidant benefits of grapes and double that of blueberries.
The berry is a very tasteful fruit, combining the usual berry taste you would expect with the delicate sweet hint of chocolate. They contain essential omega oils, proteins, minerals, fibers, and vitamin E. Omega oils have shown the ability to raise good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol. The fatty acid ratio in acai is similar to that of olive in reducing heart disease.
The main benefits of acai are:
– Acai has more proteins than an average egg.
– The berries have essential minerals like Vitamins B, C, and E.
– They include minerals iron, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.
– Acai has a high concentration of fiber content.
– The berry’s amino acid contributes to proper muscle regeneration.
– Acai berries improve mental focus to enhance sleep.
Much research is being done to help in finding out more about acai berries. As the berries have practically just arrived in the west, we can look closer at the lives of the Brazilian tribesmen to learn the benefits the natives discovered hundreds of years ago.
In a 2006 University of Florida study, acai berries’ antioxidants were studied to test the effects on healthy human participants. The university was one of the first institutions outside Brazil to commission a study, and they determined how well the compounds affected blood pressure, and were absorbed into the blood stream, effecting good cholesterol levels as opposed to bad.
With a vast array of products being offered within the past five years, researchers and consumers are finding out more about acai berries. Before consumption and research was limited due to the unavailability of information and product in many parts of the world. Now we have plenty of opportunities to add this worthwhile fruit to our diets.