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Acai Berry: Health benefits to Our Skin and Weight

Acai Berry: Health benefits to Our Skin and Weight

When it comes to health and wellness, you are familiar with the usual buzzwords. “Superfood” and “Power-packed” get thrown around a lot. Likewise, the words probably bring to mind images of leafy kale and bright, juicy blueberries. If you’ve ever visited a health-foods restaurant, then you probably also think of Acai berries.

The long, reddish-purple berry that closely resembles a blueberry is rich in antioxidants. In fact, many makeup and cosmetic brands even use it as an ingredient for their skincare! While there is debate as to whether or not Acai specifically promotes weight loss, there is no doubt that berries are part of a healthy diet which can aid in reduced pounds.

What is Acai?

The acai berry comes from the acai palm tree, which is native to Central and South America. The pulp is richer in antioxidants than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and even blueberries [1].

According to research, Acai really became popular around 2009. One website recorded this shocking find: “According to Spins, a market research and consulting firm for the natural products industry, Americans spent more than $108 million on acai products in the 52 weeks ending Feb. 21, up from just over $62 million the year before. [2].

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As you might expect, Acai berries are pretty fragile, so it’s hard to find them whole anywhere but Central and South America. That means most connoisseurs are going to have to purchase powdered or frozen acai pulp to add to smoothies.

While plenty of people like to add powder or frozen berries to smoothies, these antioxidant-rich superfoods can also be added to skincare.

    Raw acai berry

    Nutritional Profile

    While some fruits can often be high in natural sugar, acai berries remain relatively low. Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional profile of 100g of the food [3]:

    • Calories: 70
    • Calories from Carbs: 16
    • Calories from Fat: 50
    • Calories from Protein: 4
    • Vitamin A: 750 IU
    • Calcium: 20mg
    • Sodium: 10mg
    • Dietary fiber: 2g
    • Sugars: 2g

    Health Benefits

    Acai berries, like all fruits, have some pretty exciting health benefits. Here are some of the most important ones [4].

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    Acai helps to prevent cancer

    Remarkably, antioxidants found in Acai berries have been shown to kill cancer cells, especially leukemia. Other research proved Acai began destroying cancer cells in less than 24 hours of ingestion. In one exiting study, the berries successfully killed 86 percent of lung cancer cells [5]

    Acai helps aid weight loss by reducing appetite

    Some research indicates acai berry pulp is effective for weight loss for most people. In fact, it has been shown to reduce the negative impact of high-fat diets. If you’ve ever perused your local health food store, you may have noticed supplements boasting their acai contents. This is due to reports illustrating the health benefits of the food. One such study found that 30 days of using acai supplements or eating the berry on its own allowed for lower levels of fasting insulin and glucose.

    Acai is useful in treating various skin disorders

    Antioxidants have long been known to help boost skin health, and Acai berries are no exception. They can prevent early aging and even help regenerate skin cells. Our ancestors are believed to have used Acai and other antioxidant-rich foods internally and externally to prevent breakdown of skin cells and to avoid dark spots ,wrinkles and fine lines [6].

    Acai reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and stroke

    Acai berries are high in something called anthocyanin. This antioxidant is also found in red wine and has the ability to lower cholesterol levels in the blood stream! These powerful antioxidants can prevent blood clots and enhance oxygen flow to your blood while lowering the overall risk of stroke and heart attacks [7].

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    Acai boosts mental function and sharpness

    Unfortunately, we can’t always prevent certain things in our bodies from going downhill as we age. Damaged cells accumulate in our brains and can cause Alzheimer’s and other memory and mental related issues. Polyphenols are what give berries their red/blue hues. They activate proteins that can undo damaged cells [8].

    Acai aids in healthy digestion

    Acai berries detoxify the digestive tract and assist in healthy digestion. The berries are also a great source of dietary fiber. Many berries are high in fiber, but acai is one of the best [9].

    How to prepare Acai and incorporate it into your diet

    While Acai berries can be eaten on their own, they are typically added into smoothies or smoothie bowls or taken in a supplement form. If you like sweeter breakfasts, the pulp can be added on top of your waffles. When baking, they can easily be added into the recipe in place of other fruits. Acai juice also serves as an ideal substitute for juices or wines in receipts and is a great addition to marinades, sauces and salad dressings [10].

    Acai Bowl Recipe

    While there are plenty of acai smoothie bowl receipts out there, this one from Bakerita is one of our faves.

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      Acai breakfast bowl

      Ingredients:

      • 2 bananas, frozen
      • 1 packet unsweetened acai blend
      • 1 Cup frozen raspberries
      • 1/4-1/2 cup milk of choice

      Toppings

      • Raspberries, fresh or frozen
      • Dark chocolate, chopped
      • Chocolate hazelnut spread
      • Shredded coconut

      Directions

      1. In a high-powered blender, combine the bananas, acai berry packet, raspberry and 1/4 cup milk. Blend until completely smooth, adding up to 1/4 cup more milk if necessary to blend smooth.
      2. Pour into a bowl and top with raspberries, dark chocolate, coconut and a drizzle of chocolate hazelnut spread. Enjoy immediately [11].

      Make sure to share this post along with your favorite way to enjoy Acai. Now, time to go to the store and load up on antioxidant goodness!

      Reference

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      Jolie Choi

      Having experienced her own extreme transformation process, Jolie strongly believes that staying healthy takes determined and consistent action.

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      Last Updated on May 21, 2020

      The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

      The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

      You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

      Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

      Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

      An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

      Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

      1. The Paleo Diet

      The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

      The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

      In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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      How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

      The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

      With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

      It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

      Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

      2. Whole30

      The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

      With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

      During the month you are eliminating:

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      • sugar
      • alcohol
      • legumes
      • grains
      • dairy
      • soy

      Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

      At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

      Finding Out How Food Impacts You

      Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

      With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

      This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

      3. The Mediterranean Diet

      The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

      For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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      With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

      • Fruits & vegetables
      • Whole grains
      • Legumes & nuts
      • Replacing butter with olive oil
      • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
      • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
      • Moderate amounts of red wine

      Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

      Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

      With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

      4. The Alkaline Diet

      The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

      The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

      Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

      The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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      People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

      One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

      Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

      There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

      The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

      What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

      The Big Takeaway:

      Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

      Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

      Reference

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