Acai Berry Health Benefits That Will Surprise You

No food holds the power to heal all sickness and health issues, but there are those which are packed with so many essential nutrients that they have become "must-eats" for you to stay healthy and active. These "superfoods" not only compliment your meals and snacks, but also amplify your diet.

Chief among the superfoods are berries, specifically the acai berry. Having at least seven distinct varieties, this small, dark purple-colored fruit comes from the acai tree, a type of palm tree that is native to parts of Central and South America, especially in Brazil where it is abundant in parts of the Amazon jungle, sustaining native populations there for hundreds of years.

The main health benefit of the acai berry is also its most notable one: its high antioxidant content, said to be 10 times that of red grapes. Their unique purple color comes from high concentrations of some pigmented nutrients that they contain, which include anthocyanins, of which it has 10 to 30 times the amount compared to that of red wine.

Long associated with its antioxidants that aid your body in fighting many kinds of diseases, the acai berry has other, lesser-known health benefits, including: 

Promotes Skin Health 

Besides removing dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines and other types of skin problems, the acai berry assists your body in repairing damaged skin cells faster, giving you a more youthful appearance. Acai berry-based oil and supplements also aid in repairing the skin, helping you get rid of scars, stretch marks, crow's feet and dry skin.

Improves Cognitive Function 

Along with inflammation, oxidative stress, which is the huge presence of free radicals that cause damage to the body, leading to ailments, causes many cognitive problems, including amnesia, dementia and age-linked mental disorders, and acai is said to be able to reverse the effects of both. In addition, it can also provide protection from the damaging effects of stress. Acai-based fractions contain brain-repairing nutrients, which include many types of anthocyanin and disease-fighting phenolics.

Weight Loss 

The acai has certain appetite-suppressing abilities that aid in weight loss, being able to affect the movement of hormones that control blood sugar levels along with feelings of hunger and fullness. It also improves metabolism, aiding in nutrient absorption and food breakdown while eliminating waste and regulating insulin release.

Stimulates Healthy Digestion 

Besides improving your body's metabolism for faster bowel transit time, acai not only supports and cleanses the liver and kidneys, but also serves as a natural colon cleanser, reducing the likelihood of constipation and other digestive problems.

Protection Against Heart Attacks And Disease 

The acai is not just known for its antioxidants; it can also fight against inflammation since it is packed with monosaturated fats such as oleic acid found in heart-boosting extra-virgin olive oil, in addition to dietary fiber, both of which aid in cardiovascular health. Some studies suggest that drinking acai juice protects your heart, having positive effects on blood lipid levels. One study concluded that though more studies are needed to support the claim, acai can also lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Acai berry basket Aside from its high antioxidant content, the acai berry has other, lesser-known health benefits. tucowsme / Flickr