The acai berry is the fruit of the cabbage palm Euterpe oleracea. This palm grows in South America on humid, humus-rich soils, especially in the Amazon region. It is a staple food for the indigenous peoples. They have a great knowledge of the fruit and use the oil of the fruit against diarrhea, a infusion against skin ulcers and it is also used for fever.
In North America and Europe she has become famous in recent years as an alleged slimming product, but there is something completely different about her. Due to a high proportion of antioxidants, which are very well absorbed in the body, the acai berry has a great health benefit for humans. Antioxidants have a positive effect on cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, fibromyalgia and immune disorders. Scientists at the Emory University School of Medicine found that fruit flies that feed on acai berries live three times longer. This is due to antioxidants that protect the cells and slow down their aging process.
Wide range of applications
The mix of different ingredients has in recent years led to different studies on the impact of the Acai berry on the human organism to fully discover the potential of the berry (more on this in the article below). An effect as a miracle of slimming could not be proven in these studies, but what lies in the berry is worth much more.
In addition to the consumption of acai berries and their consumption as juice and puree, the extract of acai berries is mainly found in dietary supplements such as powder or capsules. The focus is still on the application in the context of a diet.
Strong ingredients of the acai berry
When taking 100 g of Acai berries, the body consumes 80 to 250 calories, depending on the type of preparation. 50% of the total energy comes from fats. The low sugar content is 3.6%. The taste is described as oily and earthy, partly also astringent (the skin constricting). Therefore, a product of Acai berries is mixed with juice or syrup before taking.
The most important ingredients of the acai berry are the anthocyanins cyanide-3-glucoside and cyanide-3-glucoside cumarate: anthocyanins are antioxidants. They intercept free radicals in the organism and inactivate these reactive compounds. The free radicals are highly reactive oxygen compounds. They are formed in the body. Pollutants in the air, chemicals and also UV-radiation can intensify the development. They cause oxidative stress in the organism, which can lead to cell damage. These are associated with cell ageing and the development of various diseases. By intercepting free radicals in the organism, anthocyanins have an anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, cytoprotective (cell-protecting) and immunostimulating effect, i. e. the immune system and the cardiovascular system are strengthened, vision is supported and the aging process is slowed down.
On 100g come 133-309 mg calcium: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body and is mainly found in bones and teeth. It’s stored in the bone. If there is a calcium deficiency, it is removed from the bone, which can lose stability. This can lead to the disease of osteoporosis in old age. In addition to stability, however, calcium has other functions in the cell metabolism – excitation of nerve and muscle cells, participation in glycogen metabolism and cell division, as well as a component in the activation of enzymes and hormones. The recommended daily dose for adults is 1000 mg. With the acai berries there is a natural source of calcium. A sufficient supply of vitamin D3 is necessary for a good absorption of calcium in the human organism.
More than 40% of the berries consist of dietary fibres, which support digestion and stimulate metabolism. A healthy digestion also strengthens the immune system. The indigestibility of dietary fibres increases the volume of food without increasing its energy content. Fast saturation occurs. This is used to promote the Acai berry as a dietary aid and to claim that it has curbed her appetite. However, there is no evidence of the extent to which this effect affects the organism.
Vitamin B: The acai berry contains vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B6 (pyridoxine). These are water-soluble vitamins that act in the human organism as coenzymes and prosthetic groups in enzymes. Vitamin B1 is an essential component of the carbohydrate metabolism and is important for thyroid gland and nerve functions. Vitamin B2 has an effect on the ability to concentrate and is anti-migraine. Vitamin B3 is required for the recovery of fats, proteins and carbohydrates as well as for beautiful skin and nails. Vitamin B6 protects against nerve damage.
Vitamin C: also acts as a radical scavenger and protects against infections. Together with vitamin B3 and B6, L-carnitine production is controlled, which is required for fat burning in the muscles.
Vitamin D: is important for the absorption of calcium in the body.
Vitamin E: acts as a radical scavenger and is used to inhibit inflammatory processes, strengthen the immune system and promote cell renewal.
Omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids: These fatty acids protect the heart and have a positive effect on the entire cardiovascular system.
Acai berries also contain a variety of minerals such as magnesium, zinc, copper and potassium. Minerals are involved in the body’s composition as bulk elements and also fulfil important functions as trace elements. Magnesium, zinc and copper are important components of enzymes. Magnesium and potassium also have important tasks in the transmission of excitation signals.
Polyphenols such as catechin and epicatechin, quercetin and other flavonoids: Like other antioxidants, these polyphenols also have an anti-inflammatory effect and can prevent cancer. Fat deposits in the blood vessels can be reduced and atherosclerosis can be prevented.
The whole mix of different ingredients makes the Acai berry important for the human organism. The individual substances behave synergistically in the material cycle, i. e. they influence each other and interact with each other.
Multiple studies support the positive effects of Acai Berry
The application of Acai berries in the food industry has led to a strong increase in interest in berries as a study object in recent years and evidence of their effects can now be provided for the individual ingredients.
Some research has been carried out at the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences under Stephen Talcott and his team. In 2006, he was able to demonstrate from cell cultures that the extract of the acai berry triggered a self-destruction reaction in up to 86% of the existing leukaemia cells. However, it is expressly pointed out that this does not mean that leukaemia can be prevented. There are no figures on the behaviour of leukaemia. When the extract enters the body, it is important to remember that digestion, absorption and chemical processes play a role.
In 2008, Stephen Talcott and his team therefore investigated how antioxidants from the acai berry are absorbed into the human organism. It has been shown that antioxidant activity in the blood increased with consumption of the acai berry.
In 2011, a group of researchers from the University of Kobe and Fukui, Japan, discovered that the Acai berry has an inhibitory effect on IgE-mediated activation of mast cells. This activation plays a major role in allergic reactions.
All research groups agree that further studies are important to explain the full potential of the Acai Berry.
The acai berry is an ingredient in cosmetics, especially skin creams. The antioxidant effect is 1.5 times greater than that of pomegranate. UV radiation produces free radicals and is thought to be responsible for skin aging. The oil from the acai berry is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. It is designed to counteract skin aging and also provides moisture. Creams are applied twice a day.
The acai berry can be eaten as a fruit. It is mainly taken as a dietary supplement. Capsules are the best-known form of ingestion. The capsules contain between 1000 and 2000 mg of acai berry extract. Take 5000-6000mg daily. The capsules are taken with liquid. Another form of consumption is puree from the fruits. Daily consumption of 30ml of puree is recommended. Bottles of 500 ml are sold as juice. After opening, the juice should be stored in a cool place and used within 14 days. There is the acai berry in powder form. The recommended dosage is about 5g of powder daily.
Studies have not shown that the Acai berry is the slimming agent for which it is advertised. However, many of the berry’s ingredients have been decoded, which have a synergistically positive effect on the human organism and its metabolism. Particularly noteworthy are the antioxidants that protect human cells by intercepting free radicals. A total strengthening of the body takes place.