Last week after I wrote my article on the benefits of detoxing and the inclusion of some great super berry/matcha smoothie bowls, a customer suggested an acai berry smoothie bowl would also be a great addition to a detox regime. And I totally agree! which has prompted me this week to write about the special health benefits of the acai berry. The acai berry is a fruit which looks not unsimilar to a dark purple grape. Unlike a grape however, these berries grow in the Amazon rain forest in large clusters close to the top of palm trees. Also, unlike grapes, these berries contain a large seed which means there’s only about 10% fruit and pulp remaining after deseeding.
The tribes of the Amazon Rain Forest originally used the acai berry for medicinal purposes and its wonderful health benefits. In the 1990’s Brazilian surfers and fitness enthusiasts discovered the berry and found it to be a great pick me up. From there the Acai Bowl as we know it, became hugely popular all over the world. And with good reason!
The antioxidants found in the acai berry known as anthocyanins are very beneficial for good health. There is no doubt, heart disease is increasingly becoming a problem in the world, which makes including acai in our diet a good option. It’s believed anthocyanins are an excellent way of avoiding oxidation of cholesterol. Unfortunately, when cholesterol oxidises, it has a habit of adhering to the walls of our arteries thereby causing them to narrow. As we know narrowing of the arteries can lead to an increase in blood pressure and other ongoing problems. If we can avoid this oxidation by including foods such as acai berries in our diet, this may well be helpful.
We know there’s a very positive link between essential fatty acids and our heart health. Acai berries are high in essential fatty acids and interestingly have a fatty acid profile comparable to that of olive oil.
It’s also believed acai berry skin and pulp can help aid with our digestion. This fibre may also be helpful in preventing and alleviating constipation.
The antioxidants contained in acai berries may help reverse or slow down the ageing processes that are caused by oxidative damage to our cells.
Acai berries have an amazing nutritional profile containing high amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and E. They also contain minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper. As well they contain amino acids to help promote muscle growth, endurance, strength, and energy production. This nutrient dense berry has therefore been found to increase our energy levels and support a healthy immune system. No wonder the Brazilian surfers thought they’d won the jackpot when they discovered acai berries!
Acai berries can be found in a freeze-dried powder which can be mixed in juice or a smoothie. Alternatively, you can buy frozen unsweetened acai berries which are hand harvested from the Amazonian rainforest. They are delicious blended with bananas and other fruits to be eaten as a nutrient dense acai bowl. See below one of my favourite acai bowl recipes which can be added to your detox programme!
SUPERBERRY ACAI DETOX BOWL
1 Frozen Amazonia Acai Pure Superfood Pack; 1 frozen banana; ¼ cup fresh strawberries, ½ cup blueberries, 1 Tbsp Morlife Liv’a Detox powder; ½ tsp Kintra Matcha Green Tea Powder; ¼ cup coconut water, 1 tbsp almond butter.
Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Top with fresh fruit and Loving Earth Buckinis Deluxe Clusters.