Healthy and Slim

Perfect Body

Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts

<p>Sergey Kirsanov / Getty images</p>

Sergey Kirsanov / Getty images

Medically reviewed by Suzanne Fisher, MS

The açai palm—Euterpe oleracea—is a plant native to the Amazon region of tropical Central and South America. It produces small, deep purple-colored berries that are rich in nutrients and antioxidant compounds.

Indigenous communities of the Amazon have used açai berries as a food source and natural medicine for thousands of years. More recently, the popularity of açai has grown in other areas of the world, including the United States, as more people learn about the health benefits of this tropical fruit.

Benefits of Acai

Açaí berries may be small, but they’re packed with health-protective vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. Typically, fresh açaí berries are not sold in the U.S., but you can still get the benefits from juiced and frozen forms of the fruit.

Provides Powerful Antioxidants

Açaí berries are rich in protective phytochemicals, which are plant compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Antioxidants help protect against oxidative stress, a process that otherwise can lead to cellular damage and diseases including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Anti-inflammatory compounds inhibit pro-inflammatory pathways in the body that can sometimes encourage inflammation and lead to disease.

Research shows açaí extract has a greater antioxidant capacity than both vitamin C and vitamin E, and supplementing with açaí products may help improve the body’s antioxidant defenses.

A small study found drinking 200 milliliter (ml) of açaí juice per day for four weeks led to significant increases in antioxidant levels and activity. The treatment also decreased markers of oxidative stress.

Another small study found consuming 400 grams (g) of açaí pulp per day for 15 days increased the men’s blood antioxidant capacity and decreased markers of cellular damage.

Research also shows açaí has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and could help

Read the rest