Acai is everywhere! You see it being added to smoothies, the popular acai bowls, and even margaritas!
So what is the hype all about? Is it really that beneficial for you? I did some digging and this is what I've found out! (Real research included here….not random information taken from celebrities' websites…)
What is it?
Acai is a berry grown on the acai palm tree, and can be found in the tropics of Central and South America. Acai fruit looks like reddish-purple berries, and taste like a mixture of berries and chocolate (1)
Acai has been shown to have anticancer and anti-inflammatory activity, possible due to its high antioxidant properties (2, 3, 4)
Acai has even been shown to "reduce levels of select markers of metabolic disease risk" and was used safely for one month (5)
In folklore medicine, acai has been shown to treat diarrhea, jaundice, skin ulcers, fevers, malaria, diabetes, liver disorders, hair loss, kidney diseases and menstrual and muscle pain (sign me up!) (1)
When used in patients taking antilipemics (agent that reduces lipid levels in the blood) frozen ac ̧a ́ı pulp (Sambazon Ac ̧a ́ı Smoothie Pack) twice daily for 1 month re- duced total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, as well as the ra- tio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (Udani et al., 2011).
Good to know! That's actually the same brand I used to make my first ever acai bowl!
1 packet of Acai Smoothie pack
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup raspberries
2-5 banana slices
splash of milk
Directions: Blend the Acai packet until it gets soft. Place mixture in bowl. Add your favorite toppings! (It's really just a smoothie in a bowl)
Total Calories: 158 Carbs: 15g Protein: 2.2 Fat: 10.3
Many recipes call for honey, but I think the other ingredients make it sweet enough. It definitely tastes good, but I would not use it as a meal replacement. Just like all other green juices and bowls, I recommend to supplement your diet with these items, not rely on them 100%.
More recipes: http://sambazon.com/recipe_types/bowls/
1) C. Ulbricht, A. Brigham, D. Burke, D. Costa, N. Giese, R. Iovin, J. M. G. Serrano, S. Tanguay-Colucci, W. Weissner, R. Windsor. An evidence-based systematic review of acai (Euterpe oleracea) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. J Diet Suppl 2012 9(2):128 - 147W. Weissner, R. Windsor. An evidence-based systematic review of acai (Euterpe oleracea) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. J Diet Suppl 2012 9(2):128 - 147
2) Pozo-Insfran D, Percival SS, Talcott ST. Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) polyphenolics in their glycoside and aglycone forms induce apoptosis of HL-60 leukemia cells. J Agric Food Chem. 20 06;54(4):1222–1229.
3) Stoner GD, Wang LS, Seguin C, Rocha C, Stoner K, Chiu S, Kinghorn AD. Multiple berry types prevent N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine-induced esophageal cancer in rats. Pharm Res. 20 10;27(6):1138–1145.
4) Schauss AG, Wu X, Prior RL, Ou B, Huang D, Owens J, Agarwal A, Jensen GS, Hart AN, Shan- brom E. Antioxidant capacity and other bioactivities of the freeze-dried Amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae Mart. (acai). J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54(22):8604–8610.
5)Udani JK, Singh BB, Singh VJ, Barrett ML. Effects of Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) berry prepa- ration on metabolic parameters in a healthy overweight population: a pilot study. Nutr J. 20 11;10:45.