Does Your Smoothie Need Acai?
(DM) — You’ve probably seen it on your Instagram feed — deep purple smoothie bowls covered in technicolor tropical fruits and juices touting “superfood” benefits. That deep purple is the luscious color of Acai. Adding this powerhouse from the Amazon to your daily smoothie is healthful too. Here are some reasons you should add acai to your smoothie.
What exactly is Acai?
Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a stone fruit native to the Amazon. Only a small percentage is edible, and it’s extremely perishable, which is why whole acai fruit is nearly impossible to find outside of South America. Fortunately, the benefits of acai are just as powerful in its commonly found powder and juice form.
Acai’s flavor is rich and often described as berry with chocolate undertones.
So what are the benefits of this tiny stone fruit? We have 5 healthy reasons to enjoy an acai smoothie that are really no secret.
5Acai Is High In Antioxidants
Acai is considered to have one of the highest ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) of any food. The higher the ORAC rating, the more antioxidants a food contains. Acai has 10 times more free-radical fighting power than grapes.
Studies show that in addition to promoting healthy skin and decreasing the risk of cancer, a diet high in antioxidants can also lower the risk of cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
4Acai Can Prevent Inflammation
Velutin is a flavonoid compound found in acai berries that are proven to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Adding acai to your diet can help offset the aches and pains associated with arthritis, or help prevent acute inflammation brought on by heavy exercise.
3Acai Promotes Healthy Cholesterol
In addition to free radicals, acai is high in fiber, omega-9, and omega-6 fatty acids all of which are thought to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. These healthy fats also encourage heart and skin health.
2Acai Contains Many Important Minerals
Potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron are just some of the minerals you can find in the acai berry. Potassium has been known to promote healthy blood pressure, and healthy iron levels are especially important to maintain on a vegetarian and vegan diet. Are you active? The acai berry’s potassium will assist in avoiding post-workout muscle spasms.
1Acai Has Immune Boosting Properties
Acai is rich with vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which in addition to promoting glowing skin, can prove extra beneficial around cold and flu season. All three vitamins are known immune system boosters, and vitamin C especially has been known to be a mood booster and when paired together, helps the body with iron absorption.
Acai-Peanut Protein Shake
Courtesy of Bon Appetit
1 3.5-ounce packet frozen unsweetened açaí purée
1 cup almond milk
1 cup of frozen strawberries
⅓ cup vanilla protein powder
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
Blend together and enjoy!
Do you need reasons why acai is great for your smoothie? Adding acai will provide a complex and healthy kick to your daily smoothie consumption and thanks to the smoothie bowl boom, is much more widely available in your local grocery store than years before. Take advantage of what this pint-sized powerhouse has to offer, and add an exotic twist to the morning smoothie.