Guide to Acai Berrry Smoothies and Benefits
Wondering what acai berries are and what they’re used for?
Acai berries have benefits just as interesting as their name and are most commonly used in making healthy and exquisite smoothies.
Table of Contents
- What is Acai Berry?
- What Are The Benefits of Acai?
- How Is Acai Used In Smoothies?
- How Should You Buy Acai?
- Are There Any Risks Associated With Consuming Acai ?
- How Much Should You Take Daily?
- Delicious Acai Smoothie Recipes
What is Acai Berry?
Acai berries are a grape-like fruit that is grown on Acai palm trees in the rainforests of Central and South America. They have a rich deep purple color and are about 2 cm in diameter.
Acai berries don’t taste as sweet as other berries, but they do have a unique flavor to them. Most people describe the taste of Acai berries as a blend between rich raspberries and unsweetened chocolate.
So, are Acai berries really a superfood?
Many foods are labeled as “superfoods” and acai berries are one of them.
While there’s no one specific food item that does magic on your body, we can say Acai berries have plenty of health benefits when consumed within an overall healthy diet.
What Are The Benefits of Acai?
Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants are awesome because they reduce and sometimes even prevent damage caused to your body cells by free radicals.
That’s why it’s essential to eat plant-based foods that are rich in antioxidants and Acai berries are one of them.
According to NCCIH, a juice with Acai as the main ingredient has shown to have antioxidant effects on people.
May Lower Cholesterol Levels
Animal studies have shown a significant connection between consuming acai and cholesterol levels.
While more research is needed in this area, the consumption of Acai may have a similar effect of lowering cholesterol levels in humans as well.
Possible Anti-Cancer Effect
While we do acknowledge that there is no magic shield against cancer, some foods have properties that help stop cancer cells from growing and spreading.
One animal study implied that the intake of Acai may be beneficial for the prevention of colon cancer. That’s because Acai berries have anti-inflammatory properties so they’re likely to act as a natural shield against cancer.
Another tube test suggested that Acai has anti-cancer potential, and may have a therapeutic effect on the treatment of breast cancer.
Promotes Brain Health
As we age, our brain is likely to face damage from inflammation and oxidation. This can negatively affect our memory and learning functions.
Eating a healthy diet that is rich in antioxidants helps keep the brain healthy and since Acai is rich in antioxidants, research suggests that it could have a positive impact on cognitive and motor functions.
How Is Acai Used In Smoothies?
To prepare delicious Acai smoothies, you can either use frozen Acai puree or use it in powder form.
Acai goes exceptionally well with berries, grapes, pears, coconut, and cacao.
How Should You Buy Acai?
If you’re living outside the Amazon Rainforest (which is very likely the case), then you probably can’t get access to fresh acai berries because the fresh fruit only lasts for about 24 hours.
The best processing method used for acai is freeze-drying because it preserves all the nutrients in the fruit. The freeze-dried acai is then made into powder, tablets, and capsules.
If you really want to reap the benefits of Acai, there a couple of things to consider
Like with any supplements it’s best to buy organic Acai powder. Organic means no pesticides, no antibiotics, and no chemicals.
Read The Label
Are there any preservatives, additives or long complex names on the package that you don’t understand? Skip that one! You’re looking for a 100% pure product.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Consuming Acai ?
Not really! Acai is a fruit, no different than raspberries and blueberries.
However, you don’t want to buy one of those supplements that over-promise weight-loss results. These usually contain unnecessary ingredients like high levels of caffeine.
As always, it’s always better to check with your doctor for any potential allergies or health risk.
Expecting moms should never consume Acai without consulting their doctor because there isn’t sufficient research in that area.
How Much Should You Take Daily?
At the end of the day, Acai is a supplement, so there isn’t really a recommended daily dose of it.
Most Acai smoothie recipes call for 1 tablespoon of Acai powder or 1 pack (usually around 3 to 3.5 ounces) of Acai puree. Most products are concentrated so pay attention to the suggested serving sizes.
Delicious Acai Smoothie Recipes
Whether you’re going for smoothies or smoothie bowls, Acai is sure to add an exciting flavor to your recipe.
1. Authentic Brazil Acai Bowl Recipe
Here is a step-by-step video that shows how to make a traditional Acai berry smoothie bowls (the ratio of liquid to fruit is important for making it the right thickness).
2. Acai Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl
Who doesn’t love a little extra PB on the side? This recipe is one of the best Acai smoothie bowl recipes!
- 1/2 banana
- 1 (3.5-oz or about 1/2 cup) frozen Acai berry
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 1/2 tsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Optional: 1 cup of green spinach for extra nutrition
Add the fruits, peanut butter, cocoa butter, Acai puree and a bit of liquid to your blender. Blend on low speed until you’ve broken down the larger chunks and start adding the remaining milk, a little at a time as you slowly increase the speed.
When you’re done adding all the milk and the ingredients are well combined, blend on high to get desired consistency.
Pour the puree into a bowl and add bananas, strawberries, coconut flakes, peanut butter and maybe a drizzle of honey. This recipe is versatile so feel free to get creative with any toppings you like !
3. Acai Avocado Smoothie
This smoothie recipe is very simple. Blend in all your ingredients and you’re good to go with a flavorful refreshing smoothie.
- 1 pack (100 grams) of frozen Acai puree
- 1 1/2 cups of coconut water
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- Optional: Add a banana for a more filling smoothie, or cocoa powder to turn this smoothie into a dessert.
First step is run your frozen Acai puree under hot water. Add all ingredients into blender and then blend to desired consistency.
Acai berries are delicious, rich and full of nutrients that nourish your body, making them an amazing addition to your diet if you’re leading a healthy lifestyle or even if you just enjoy tasty smoothies!