Some health and weight loss trends are a flash in the pan – all the rage one minute, obsolete the next. One that has been around for a long time now and is continuing to grow in popularity is acai berry.
The reason for its longevity is that the consensus of experts in the health and wellness fields, as well as those who regularly include it in their diet, is that the acai berry benefits for health and vitality are undeniable.
In this article, we will answer the question, what is acai, look at acai berry benefits for weight loss and health and cover possible acai side effects.
How is Acai Pronounced?
The correct acai pronunciation is “ah-sigh-EE” or “ah-sah-EE”, the emphasis being on the last syllable.
What is Acai Berry?
Red/purple in color, the acai berry grows in hanging clusters atop 25 meter high palms. About one inch long and grainy in texture, it consists primarily of seeds with a little pulp.
Native to Central and South America, in centuries past acai was utilized for medicinal purposes by tribes in the Amazon. Introduced to the Western world in the 1990s, this so-called “miracle fruit” went mainstream.
What Does Acai Berry Taste Like?
Acai berry tastes somewhat bitter, resembling a cross between strong dark chocolate and raspberries or blackberries. This flavor can take a bit of getting used to, and the berry doesn’t transport well, so it is not commonly available in grocery stores. So to experience Acai Berry benefits, most of us will need to take it in juice or supplement form.
Benefits of Acai for Weight Loss
According to proponents of the acai berry, people who take it at the recommended dose will burn fat more quickly and easily, increase their metabolism and suffer less from food cravings while dieting. Furthermore, acai detox products are said to help shift body fat and flush out toxins.
While there haven’t been a lot of scientific studies into acai berry benefits for weight loss to date, many medical professionals have readily acknowledged that, along with other berries and fruits in general, acai can play a fundamental role in promoting health and weight loss.
Feedback from people who take the berry is overwhelmingly positive. The vast majority of those who now include it in their diet say it has curbed their food cravings and enabled them to drop unwanted pounds. This is because along with being extremely nutritious, acai berries are a low-GI food.
Low GI foods release their energy at a slow and steady rate help to keep blood sugar level stable. When eating low GI foods such as acai, we don’t get that sudden surge of glucose we get when consuming sugary and highly processed foods, high GI foods.
When we consume high GI foods, our pancreas releases insulin to remove the extra glucose from our bloodstream. During this process, our metabolism, and therefore the speed at which we burn fat, slows. A sudden surplus of insulin also makes us feel tired, hungry and craving more sugar when the level dips back down.
Low-GI foods, on the other hand, create a gradual increase in insulin. This promotes fat burning. It also delivers a steady supply of energy and keeps us feeling satisfied for far longer, so the urge to overeat dwindles.
What are Acai Berry Benefits for Health and Vitality?
The health benefits of acai are numerous. A natural cholesterol leveler, it is very rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanins and flavonoids. Numerous studies have shown that these antioxidants can help counteract free radical damage that can contribute to aging and diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Other nutrients including the B group vitamins, omega-6, omega-9, Vitamin K and a range of minerals. The acai berry is different to most other fruits in that, like avocado, it contains monounsaturated fats (MUFAs – pronounced moo-fahs).
Exercise is an important factor in losing weight, and acai berries can help in this regard, too. Providing an ideal balance of protein, carbs, fats, minerals and high in antioxidants, regular doses of the acai berry will provide the energy needed to train optimally. It will also help to offset the free radical production that occurs when we exercise, and in doing so aid in recovery.
Acai side effects are rare, but they do exist. We will look at these next, along with the possible risks and interactions.
Acai Berry Facts
Possible Acai Side Effects, Risks, and Interactions
When taken at the recommended dose, Acai berries are considered very safe.
Acai side effects, risks, and interactions that can occur include the following:
People with pollen allergy and anyone who is sensitive to acai or similar fruit should avoid taking acai supplements.
Acai could trigger or worsen high blood pressure, intestinal bleeding, ulcers and swelling. It could also interfere with test results from an MRI.
Acai supplements can decrease the effectiveness of drugs taken to treat cancer. They might also interact with certain OTC drugs, including ibuprofen and some other pain killers.
Final Thought on Acai Berry Benefits
Acai berry benefits for health and vitality are a given.
More studies need to be carried out to prove or disprove acai berry benefits for weight loss unconditionally. There are, however, many unbiased positive reviews and testimonials online from people who credit their weight loss success to this superfood.