What is a superfood? In recent year, the concept of foods that offer superior nutritional value for the amount of calories it contains are superfoods. They are foods that contain a large variety of essential nutrients, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and polyphenols and are mostly plant-based (but some are fish and dairy). Often times, superfoods are also recognized as the same foods that were considered highly superior to ancient civilizations. Primary examples include quinoa, garlic, blueberries, kiwifruit, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, kale, squash, salmon, and ACAI.
Acai fruits, an exotic fruit from Brazil, have recently been recognized as one of the most popular superfoods. They are served in smoothies, as supplements, and have even had their own creation, acai bowls. Researchers have found that the acai plant has quintessential health benefits to the human body. Acai fruits are an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. But how do these elements help your body?
First element, antioxidants. Antioxidants protect an individual’s body from getting damaged by oxidative processes (also known as getting older). When cells in a human body oxidize (combine chemically with oxygen) , there membranes become damaged, resulting in free radicals (highly reactive and short lived molecules). These free radicals take electrons from other healthy cells. Antioxidants, such as the ones found in acai fruits, protect against this oxidation process. Ultimately this assists in preventing diabetes, heart disease, and various other conditions related to the aging process.
Second element, fiber. Fiber is the part of fruits and vegetables that cannot be digested or absorbed by the human body. It passes through your body, through the stomach, small intestine, and colon, and then out the body. Having high fiber in your diet can aid the body in normal bowel movement and maintains bowel health, lowers cholesterol levels, and helps control blood sugar levels.
Last element, healthy fats. Acai fruits contain high levels of omega-3 and omega-6, and monounsaturated oleic acid. Omega-3 and omega-6 are particularly recommended by nutritionist for good health, as they can aid in increased energy. Oleic acid is a fatty acid often used in skin care products to assist in a healthy epidermis (skin!).
Overall, researchers have found that the elements in the acai berries can improve your general health. The acai fruit has had gained such popularity that there is a new revolution of the acai bowl – a smoothie type food, with a thicker texture, whose primary ingredient is acai. It is served as a breakfast food and can be found nationwide.