Acai berries grow on acai palm trees and are native to the Amazon Rainforest in South America. The fruit itself resembles a grape. These berries have long been praised for their superfood status and ability to help with a variety of health conditions. It has been used for centuries by indigenous tribes and civilizations to treat a multitude of ailments.
One of the main health benefits of acai berries is that they are extremely high in antioxidants. In fact, they are one of the best sources of antioxidants known to humans. Acai berries have 10 times as many antioxidants as grapes and twice as many antioxidants as blueberries. The antioxidants found in these berries have been shown to boost brain function and promote better overall cognitive ability.
The numerous phytochemicals found in acai berries also produce antioxidant effects. These photochemical have been shown to slow and/or reverse aging as well as prevent wrinkles and promote general skin health. Both antioxidants and phytochemicals work together to neutralize free radicals in the body and repair damage done by oxidative stress.
If free radicals in the body are not neutralized then oxidative stress levels will increase. Oxidative stress is one of the leading causes of many health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more. Oxidative stress also increases inflammation which is another leading cause of many debilitating health issues. Because acai berries reduce oxidative stress and neutralize these free radicals, overall cellular health is actually improved greatly.
One study showed that the polyphenolic compounds found in acai berries, which help improve cellular function, also work to boost the immune system. In fact, the study showed that the polyphenolic compounds reduced malfunctioning cells by up to 86 percent. It is thought that these compounds work to actually destroy the mutated cells at a molecular level, which stops them from multiplying.
Acai berries also have a powerful detoxifying effect. Because of this, they help the digestive system stay clean and function properly. The high fiber content also helps to promote digestive regularity and helps the body perform at optimum capacity. Fiber also helps you to feel fuller longer, which is why acai berries are often considered a food beneficial to weight loss.
The extract made from acai berries is also commonly used as an energy booster. The berries help to increase stamina and combat fatigue/exhaustion. The antioxidants are also at play here, as the better your cells function, the more energy you tend to have. Acai extract may also help the body to fight against harmful organisms and parasites, though more research on this particular health benefit is needed before any concrete conclusions can be drawn.
Acai berries also contain properties that prevent irritation in the lungs. This irritation is generally caused with various levels of respiratory distress and swelling. Many athletes consume acai berries to improve their overall respiratory and cardiovascular function, two crucial components in physical activity.