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Açaí Benefits

  • Acts as a cardioprotective tonic

  • Helps the circulatory system

  • Lowers Cholesterol Rates

  • It has anti-inflammatory action

  • Helps the digestive tract

  • Promotes intestinal health

  • Protects the skin from the action of the sun's rays

  • Acts on eye health

  • Can help prevent Alzheimer's disease

  • Contributes to longevity

Due to its antioxidants, açaí helps fight free radicals and, therefore, helps to reduce aging and the risk of some diseases, including cancer. "Furthermore, the antioxidants and the lipid profile present in the fruit have an anti-inflammatory effect and reduce tissue damage. The fruit's polysaccharides act on cells that improve the immune system", states Cyntia Maureen.

Açaí is also extremely rich in phenolic compounds, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Among these compounds, highlights Michelle, anthocyanins prevail, responsible for the dark color of the fruit. "Due to the abundance of these substances, scientific research has associated the consumption of açaí with the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, allergic processes, neurodegenerative diseases and increased longevity", she adds.

"Because it provides a large amount of energy and favors muscle contraction (which includes cardiac function) and bone health, açaí is extremely recommended for those who practice physical activity", recalls Cyntia Maureen.

The fruit also helps in muscle recovery, energy replacement, lean mass gain and increased satiety. "Consumption should be in moderate amounts, from 100g to 200g depending on the objective", emphasizes Cyntia Bassi.

Açaí, according to Michelle Mendes, can be consumed both pre and post-workout. "Its consumption in the post-training period can help to quickly replace the glucose lost during training. In the pre-workout period, it can contribute to increased energy, as it is considered a true natural energy drink, different from other products that call themselves as energizers and are just stimulants", she explains.

 

 


Açaí is filled with antioxidants (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2008). "It contains a high content of polyphenolic compounds such as resveratrol, anthocyanidin, ferulic acid, delphinidin and petunidin; and it also contains tannins such as epicatechin and ellagic acid. Antioxidants help reduce the risk of cancer, degenerative diseases and premature aging," he says the nutritionist Tamara Mazaracki.

Açaí is very rich in antioxidants. No wonder it has an ORAC index far superior to any other fruit that has been officially tested, with ORAC 102,700 per 100 grams. The ORAC index (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or oxidizing radicals absorption capacity) is a method for quantifying the antioxidant capacity of foods.


The antioxidants present in açaí have a profound effect on reducing the oxidative stress that invading microorganisms and environmental toxins produce. "Its immunostimulating action increases the body's ability to fight bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Acai contains a polysaccharide called arabinogalactan, which induces phagocytic (defensive) activity in white cells, according to a 2011 study published by the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Montana State University," says Tamara.

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Recommended Amount

"Açaí can be consumed daily: in producing regions, people can ingest up to 1 liter a day of the product, which is the basis of local food mixed with flour. If açaí is consumed without the ultra-caloric additives, there is no problem with its use. diary", highlights Tamara.

In the case of athletes and practitioners of physical activity, aiming to gain body mass, the consumption of açaí every day can be an effective nutritional strategy. "As for weight loss, it may not be the most suitable. However, the amount indicated in general would be approximately 100g a day", says Natalia Alcalá.

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What is Açaí?

Açaí is a true arsenal of nutrients, such as vitamins (A, E, D, K, B1, B2, C), minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron), amino acids, antioxidants and essential oils. Every 100 grams of pure açaí contains approximately 70 calories.

"It is rich in polyphenols that act directly on the health of blood vessels and detonate free radicals, those responsible for aging and damage to the skin. In addition, açaí is a great source of essential fatty acids, such as omega-9 and betasitosterol, which contributes to lower cholesterol. This superfruit is still a source of fiber, and for good health, the intestine needs to function well," says nutritionologist Tamara Mazaracki.

Açaí is a Brazilian delicacy originating in the north of the country. "The fruit of a palm tree, it has an important caloric density. Its purple color is responsible for bringing a range of important nutrients to the body", comments Cyntia Maureen, nutritionist and consultant at Superbom.

Functional nutritionist Michelle Mendes, from Aliança Instituto de Oncologia, also highlights that açaí is the fruit of the açaí palm tree, a palm that has the scientific name of Euterpe Oleracea. "The fruit became popular in the forms of juices, pulps, ice creams, creams and the famous bowls", she adds.

Açaí contains a high level of lipids, according to Cintya Bassi, a nutritionist at the Hospital e Maternidade São Cristóvão. The fruit even has a high content of essential fatty acids, such as Omega 6 and Omega 9, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin E and minerals, such as iron and zinc.

"The açaí pulp is rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins", she says. Of the lipids present in the fruit, "the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic prevails, the same found in olive oil and associated with cardioprotection", adds Michelle.

 

Before being processed, the acai berry has about 65 calories for every 100g.

 

The problem is when it is pulped. "Its caloric content can even triple due to the guarana and banana syrup, which are usually added to it for marketing", emphasizes Michelle.

Therefore, in its natural form, açaí does not have as much impact on weight, "since it is rich in fiber and has only the natural sugar of the fruit. Açaí, in its most popular form, should be consumed in moderation, on the other hand, most of the times it already has ingredients in its composition such as sugar, guarana syrup or corn syrup", completes the nutritionist.

In addition, Cyntia says that, in general, if consumed on a correct and balanced diet, açaí can promote weight loss, as it increases satiety. "Açaí's antioxidants can stimulate the reduction of lipids, bad cholesterol and glucose, which reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. However, there is no miracle, just consume açaí, with no change in lifestyle and eating habits, does not lead to weight loss", she points out.

And let's not forget the popular açaí accompaniments, which can also greatly increase the caloric load of the food. "Its consumption with several other ingredients is very common, such as bananas, granola, condensed milk or powdered milk - and then, in these cases, an açaí in the bowl can easily reach 1000 calories", says Cyntia.

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Anthocyanins are responsible for coloring açaí with its bluish-purple pigments. "They provide antioxidant protection against the harmful effects of constant exposure to ultraviolet light to which these fruits are exposed. More than 600 types of naturally occurring anthocyanins have been discovered.

The most abundant form of anthocyanin is C3G, and it regulates our genes to protect the body from the action of free radicals. A study carried out at the University of Florida showed that the açaí extract was able to trigger the mechanism that eliminates 86% of the leukemia cells in the samples, due to the high concentration of C3G and other anthocyanins", explains Tamara.


As it is a food rich in iron, nutritionist Maria Jane says that açaí can indeed be indicated in the treatment of anemia. "To enhance the absorption of the nutrient, a tip is to consume it with some citrus fruit, such as orange, lemon, acerola or kiwi", she completes. Natalia Alcalá also highlights that this large amount of iron in the fruit ends up helping in the metabolic regulation, which helps to prevent anemia.

Açaí has a high content of anthocyanin, responsible for its color. This substance prevents cell degeneration and prevents the production of free radicals. "The benefits for the heart, immune system and premature aging are related to this substance, in addition to the B complex vitamins, vitamins C and E", highlights Maria Jane Dias Pereira, nutritionist at Complexo Hospitalar Edmundo Vasconcelos.

Açaí contains zinc in its composition, which has a healing action and maintains the integrity of the cell membrane. "It is considered an antioxidant (fights free radicals), and can act to prevent cellular aging. It is also responsible for the skin's elasticity and hydration", emphasizes Marisa Coutinho, nutritionist at the São Camilo de São Paulo Hospital Network.

Tamara Mazaracki, nutritionist

Michelle Mendes, Functional and Oncology nutritionist at Aliança Instituto de Oncologia

Cintya Bassi, nutritionist at Hospital e Maternity São Cristóvão

Cyntia Maureen, nutritionist and consultant at Superbom

Natalia Alcalá, nutritionist at Estima Nutrição

Marisa Coutinho, nutritionist at the São Camilo de São Paulo Hospital Network

Maria Jane Dias Pereira, nutritionist at Complexo Hospitalar Edmundo Vasconcelos

https://www.minhavida.com.br/alimentacao/tudo-sobre/18142-acai

https://www.unicamp.br/unicamp/unicamp_hoje/ju/maio2010/ju461_pag03.php

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf8007037

https://news.ufl.edu/archive/2006/01/brazilian-berry-destroys-cancer-cells-in-lab-uf-study-shows.html

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21386979/

What do nutricionists say?

Açaí and exercise

The power of antioxidants

Purple
Anthocyanins

Strengthens the Immune System 

Açaí & Skin

References & Links

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