Scientific studies reveal that the consumption of certain foods such as berries can offer cellular protection, immunity and overall health-promoting benefits on our bodies. Did you know that the consumption of the berry fruit has been widely recognised to be highly beneficial to human health? The açaí palm, which is botanically referred to as Euterpe oleracea Mart originated from the Amazon region especially in the northern region of Brazil. Its fruit, which is the Açaí berry has gained global recognition over the past years as a “miracle or functional food that can be eaten as a fruit, used for food preparations or used for the production of beverages. These striking attributes of this distinctive fruit are due to its unique colour, numerous medicinal properties, its phytochemical composition and its high constituent of flavonoids. Açaí belongs to the family of Arecaceae, genus Euterpe with three main species namely: Euterpe precatoria, Euterpe edulis and Euterpe oleracea.
The E. oleracea Mart. species is a distinctive fruit that changes from green to dark purple when mature and it comprises of a single seed enveloped by a small edible pulp that makes up approximately 13–15% of the acai fruit. Scientific reports have shown that berry fruits are accustomed to amazing health benefits that are as a result of their constituent of non-nutritive bioactive compounds especially phenolic substances (e.g anthocyanins ellagitannins and flavonoids). The anthocyanins are responsible for the antioxidant and the anti-inflammatory properties of acai. Açaí berry contains a high quantity of fatty acids (Palmitic, linoleic and oleic) thus graded as a high-caloric food. It is a rich source of minerals, vitamins C, E, selenium, folic acid, calcium, dietary fibre, potassium, lutein, flavonoids, phytochemicals, alpha and beta carotene. It is also worthy to note that acai berry contains green-looking oil, which is a rich constituent of oleic acid, palmitic fatty acids and polyphenols (syringic acid, protocatechuic acid, ferulic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, procyanidin oligomers and vanillic acid).
Antioxidant Activity
As previously mentioned, acai is a rich constituent of anthocyanin that contributes to its reddish-purplish colour. Studies reveal that phenolics and anthocyanins positively impact the antioxidant effects of açaí. The key anthocyanins present in acai pulp are marked by peonidin3-rutinoside, cyanidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin-3- rutinoside, cyanidin-3- sambubioside, peonidin-3-Glucoside and pelargonidin-3-glucoside. The high level of presence of these compounds in acai was revealed based on the isolation of anthocyanin cyanidin-3-rutinoside and cyanidin-3-Glucoside in the freeze-dried samples.
Tackles Overweight
Researchers attest that the consumption of açaí pulp is beneficial for tackling excess fat in overweight adults. This suggests why this fruit has gained global popularity for use in weight loss. The weight loss benefit of acai is achieved through its ability to eradicate unwanted toxins and waste from the body thereby improving the overall functioning of the body. Acai also has a low glycemic index, thus helpful for maintaining a balanced energy throughout the day. Despite the overwhelming claim about the effectiveness of acai in tackling overweight, it is equally recommended that users should eat healthily as well as regular exercise.
Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Studies reveal that the daily consumption of acai fruit is important for minimizing the risk of cancer as well as aiding cancer patients to manage their lives. It has been reported that acai possesses a chemoprevention power over the breast and gastrointestinal tract cancer.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
The high amount of anthocyanins or flavonoids present in acai have been reported to be essential for boosting human cardiovascular health. Anthocyanins are effective for protecting the heart thereby keeping cardiovascular diseases at bay. The anthocyanidins protect the blood vessel walls thereby improving blood circulation to the heart.
Reduces the Cholesterol Level
The antioxidants in acai help to repair and protect the blood vessel walls, thereby preventing the accumulation of cholesterol and plaque. Moreover, the presence of anthocyanins in acai help to reduce the cholesterol levels and endothelial inflammatory effects. Some researchers observed a significant statistical reduction in total cholesterol levels, reduction in LDL-c and HDL-c.
Boosts the Energy Level
Acai is notable for its low glycemic index thus helps to boost the energy level throughout the day.
Reduction in Fasting Glucose Level
Due to the low glycemic level of acai, it is considered effective for regulating the blood sugar level in diabetic patients.
Boosts the Immune Cell
Scientific observations reveal that açaí is suitable for boosting the functioning of the immune cells even at very low doses.
Other Uses of Acai
Açaí oil can be used for salad dressing, for cooking food and for cosmetics production such as skin moisturizers, body cream, shampoos and soaps.
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
- Basu et al., (2010), Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health, Nutr Rev., 68(3): 168–177.
- Figueiredo and Biernet (2014), Assessment of the scientific evidence of the potential use of açaí (Euterpe oleracea, Mart.) in clinical outcomes: analysis with focus on antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, International Journal of Nutrology, vol. 7, no.2, p. 26-32.
- Fragoso et al., (2013), Açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) feeding attenuates dimethylhydrazine-induced rat colon carcinogenesis, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 58, 68-76.
- Kristo et al., (2016), Protective Role of Dietary Berries in Cancer, Antioxidants, 5(4), 37.
- Neida and Elba (2007), Characterization of the acai or manaca (Euterpe oleracea Mart.): a fruit of the Amazon, Arch Latinoam Nutr (in Spanish). 57 (1): 94–8.
- Google free images (2018), Images from

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