Have you ever tried a delicious acai bowl? Or maybe you’ve seen one but never tried it! The acai berry offers many health benefits and has become increasingly popular in the US.
The Acai berry (pronounced aa·saa·ee) looks similar in appearance to blueberries but are native to Central and South America.1 Acai Berry is typically found in the US in acai bowls, acai puree, and juices.2 Acai is high in antioxidants which help to protect our cells from damage and can aid in the prevention of diseases like heart disease and cancer.1 Acai also contains nutrients such as vitamin A, calcium, and fiber.2 Vitamin A, calcium, and fiber all play an important role in different body functions including vision, immunity, bone health, and digestion.
Research on the health benefits of Acai show that Acai puree can help to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels in overweight individuals.1 Including fruits such as acai in your diet can offer you many health benefits, but be wary of unprocessed acai juice which has been linked to an illness called American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease).1 Always consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before consuming an unknown food source.
1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2020). Acai. National Institutes of Health. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/acai
2Jennings, K. (2017). 5 Impressive health benefits of acai berries. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-acai-berries
Author: Mercedes Martin
Editor: Kaitlyn Longstaff
Public Health Scientist: LaCher E-W, MPH