Known as the Brazilian 'superfruit', acai berries have long been a staple in the kitchen pantries of fitness devotees the world over. All those beautiful, cafe brunch acai bowls you have been eyeing off on Instagram, there’s now no reason why you can’t be whipping them up in your own kitchen with ease.
At Happy Way, we not only have delicious protein and pre-workout powders, but we’ve also created a range of superfood products, to make nutritious recipes or to add to your smoothies and baked goodies. One of these superfood powders is our Organic Acai Berry Powder and it’s a must-have in your Happy Way stash!
In this blog, we’re going to discuss why you need an acai berry powder in your life and also look at:-
- where acai berry comes from
- acai berry benefits
- ingredients in acai berry powder
- acai berry powder for weight loss
Not sure which is the best acai berry powder? Want some recipe inspo using acai berry powder? We’ve got you covered at Happy Way.
WHERE DOES ACAI BERRY COME FROM?
As small round fruits grown on acai palms in the rainforests of Central and South America, acai berries are known for being a nutrient-dense superfood. Acai berries have been an important part of the diet for the indigenous people of the Amazon, and are not only eaten because of their flavour, but for their medicinal properties and health benefits too. The natives climb and pick the berries from the acai palms and then the berries are soaked for hours to soften the outer skin and flesh of the fruit—this is the same way it has been done for centuries!
Whilst we enjoy acai berries in our breakfast bowls, the indigenous tribes of the South American rainforests rely on them as a staple food, using them in soups, or with fish and other meats.
The acai fruit is a dark purple colour when ripe and looks very similar to grapes. The flesh itself is packed full of vitamins and nutrients, which isn’t offset by the fact that the seed takes up about 80% of the acai berry.
Some of these vitamins and nutrients include:-
- vitamins A, B, C, E
Because the acai berry is small and delicate, it makes transportation of the acai fruit difficult, so it’s unlikely that you will find it stocked in the fruit and veg section at your local supermarket. Instead, you’ll often see acai berry listed as an ingredient in your health food supplements, or in a juice or smoothie at your local health food store or cafe.
WHAT MAKES ACAI BERRIES A SUPERFOOD?
It’s easy to see why this fruit, and health supplement has gained widespread recognition over the years. Not only is it still popular in its regions of origin, but its increased popularity across western culture is due mostly to its nutritional value and flavour. So why do we call the acai berry a superfood?
- Contains healthy fats – The acai berry contains unsaturated fats such as omega-3, with approximately 74% of the fat content being made of these healthy fats.
- High in amino acids – 19 different amino acids are found in the acai berry, which are the building blocks of protein. With every 100 grams of acai berry powder, there are approximately 8 grams of protein.
- Rich source of fibre – With every 100 grams of acai berry powder, there’s roughly 14 grams of fibre.
- Packed with vitamins and minerals – The acai berry contains vitamins A, C and E, with the same levels of vitamin C as its berry brother, blueberry.
So what is acai berry good for? And what are the health benefits of acai berry powder? Read on to find out.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ACAI BERRY POWDER?
The health benefits of acai berry powder make it clear why acai berries have been called a superfood!
Enhances brain function
A diet that’s rich in antioxidants is said to improve overall brain health and lower the risk of brain-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's disease. Whilst there are currently no cures for these diseases, certain antioxidants that are present in acai berries are believed to help reduce oxidative stress—which is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body—as well as inflammation. These antioxidants also increase the blood flow to the brain, improving memory and brain function.
Improves heart health
Other than helping fight free radicals, acai has been closely linked to promoting heart health by helping reduce “LDL”, the bad kind of cholesterol in the body. This is because berries contain plant sterols, cholesterol-like compounds that help prevent the absorption of bad cholesterol in the body. In a study published by ‘Clinical Nutrition’ in 2018, acai berries were found to boost HDL, the “good” cholesterol in a group of 21-year-old women, whilst also aiding in boosting metabolism and gut health.
When it comes to fighting free radicals in the body, helping aid in cell renewal and slowing down signs of ageing, acai provides a potent dose of antioxidants. In fact, when compared to counterparts such as blueberries and wild berries, the antioxidant score doesn’t even come close.
The antioxidant content of food is measured using ORAC, an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity score. When comparing 100 grams of acai and blueberries, acai’s score sits at over 15,000 while blueberries sit at just under 5000. In short, acai berries are more than three times more powerful in helping fight free radicals in the body than their other berry counterparts.
Boosts energy and performance
Acai berry powder is a great superfood supplement for athletes, frequent gym go-ers, or those with fitness goals! The reason for this is because acai berry powder contains amino acids which are absorbed at a rapid rate, allowing the body to gain its benefits quickly. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are essential to maintain healthy bodily function. But because of their fast absorption, they help to increase strength, promote muscle growth, and boost energy—allowing you to not only have more endurance during your workouts but also help with muscle recovery and repair.
Fights against disease/illness
The antioxidant anthocyanin, which helps improve brain and heart health, is also believed to help prevent the formation of cancer cells and tumours—even helping to kill off pre-existing cancer cells.
Of course, there is no magic cure for cancer as yet, and no food can protect the body from such diseases completely, however one of the acai berry benefits is that it does contain antioxidants that not only help stop the growth of harmful cells, but restrict them from spreading around the body.
Helps maintain healthy skin
Being that it’s an antioxidant powerhouse and packed with vitamins and nutrients, the acai berry benefits when used in skincare are magnified! The fatty acids in acai berries help to keep skin looking smooth and supple, boosting the appearance of skin at times that it looks dry or dull. The vitamins in acai berries fight against the signs of ageing, reducing fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation in the skin, whilst also protecting against environmental damage and harmful free radicals. They also contain nutrients that boost collagen levels in the skin, keeping skin plump, firm and bright!
If you have questions about the health benefits of acai berry powder, we suggest you speak with a healthcare professional to determine if it’s right for you.
DOES ACAI BERRY HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS?
If one of your goals is to lose weight, it’s no secret that what you put in your body is just as, if not more important, than the amount of exercise you do. Whilst acai berries are filled with nutritional goodness, just using acai berry powder for weight loss will not help you achieve your goals faster. Unfortunately there’s no single food or ingredient that can magically burn fat or shed unwanted kilos—a combination of a well-balanced diet and regular exercise is key to achieving any weight reduction.
Adding an acai berry powder to smoothies, smoothie bowls and snacks will boost your nutrient intake and also increase your energy and endurance during your workouts. This allows you to train for longer periods and therefore burn more calories.
WHAT IS THE BEST ACAI BERRY POWDER?
The best acai berry powder is one that is made with organic ingredients, is full of essential nutrients and has no hidden additives or preservatives. Of course, you also want one that delivers a great flavour, but what exactly does acai berry powder taste like? Well, unlike most other berries that are mostly sweet in taste, the flavour of acai berry powder is somewhat earthy and nutty, with hints of berry and even cacao and red wine.
Happy Way’s Organic Acai Berry Powder is made from raw organic acai berries and packed full of all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients, ensuring you gain all the health benefits of acai berry powder!
ACAI BERRY INSPIRED RECIPES
We’ve all had acai bowl envy at one time or another when we’ve scrolled through our Instagram feed, catching friends at their local cafe or on that Bali holiday, but now with the help of Happy Way nutritionist Malissa Fedele, there’s no need to wait for your next brunch date or tropical vacation—you can create delicious and nutritious recipes right from your own kitchen!
Acai and Beetroot Latte
This super delicious and equally healthy latte was made to transport you straight back to your favourite Balinese coffee spot where the lattes were all the colours of the rainbow. The best part is that this recipe, developed by resident Happy Way nutritionist Malissa Fedele, is super easy to make, tastes delicious and is skin-friendly.
Tropical Acai Smoothie Bowl
So instead of scrolling through all those breakfast smoothie bowl images you’ve saved on your phone, it’s time to create a masterpiece of your own. Once you have the acai smoothie base down pact, you can layer it with your favourite fruits, nuts and toppings. This Happy Way Tropical Acai Smoothie Bowl offers the perfect base. It’s time to create your own masterpiece and surprise your little ones or plus one with an Instagram worthy breakfast.
Tropical Nice Cream
It’s time to put away the ice cream tub and whip up a squeaky clean, equally delicious alternative. This nice cream alternative is so delicious you may have to fight your kids or housemate for the final scoop, and the best part is that you can make it using any frozen fruit you have in the freezer. If you don’t have any tropical fruits on hand you can use bananas and frozen berries as an alternative.
Need a little more inspiration in the kitchen? Then don’t forget to check out the Happy Way YouTube channel where you’ll find a tonne of amazing recipes, or our recipe page on the Happy Way website—enjoy!