Acai berry nutrition facts and health benefits

Acai Berry Diet Basics & Nutrition

Açaí (ah-sigh-ee) is a Brazilian Super Berry grown in the Amazon rainforest. With more Antioxidants than blueberries, healthy Omega Fatty Acids, and many vitamins and minerals, Açaí is being called the most nutritious fruit on the planet. Açaí is 100% natural and it is harvested naturally from the depths of the rainforests of Brazil, by the people who have been using it for thousands of years. Açaí tastes like tropical berries with a hint of chocolate.

Acai Berry Diet Basics
The acai berry does have some important nutritional benefits, however by consuming a range of fresh fruit and vegetables and other foods that are high in antioxidants, it is possible to reproduce a similar enhancement of the dietary intake. Promoters of the acai berry diet claim that these antioxidants will enhance general well-being and vitality which will support weight loss. If dieters experience weight loss on the acai berry diet it will be due to the effects of simultaneously following a calorie restricted diet rather than any special effects of the acai berry.

Açaí is the only super berry on the market that contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, E, C, Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium, Fiber, Proteins, and good fatty acids such as Omega 6 and Omega 9 to help you fight your cholesterol problem.

List of Minerals and Vitamins that are found in Açaí:

Vitamin ACalcium
Vitamin B-1Magnesium
Vitamin B-2Copper
Vitamin B-3Chromium
Vitamin B-6Zinc
Vitamin B-12Iron
Vitamin CSodium
Vitamin DManganese
Vitamin ESelenium
Pantothenic AcidBoron
Folic AcidMolybdenum

Açaí pulp contains:

  • A remarkable concentration of antioxidants, to help combat premature aging, with 10 times the anthocyanins (purple colored antioxidants) of red wine.
  • A synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols, to help promote cardiovascular system and digestive tract health.
  • An almost perfect essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, vital to proper muscle contraction and regeneration.
Acai berries being picked in Brazil

Açaí is a dense source of particular class of flavonoids called anthocyanins (red-blue phenols with potent antioxidant properties)

  • Anthocyanins are a group of phytochemicals in red wine thought to contribute to the French paradox, i.e. France has one of the lowest incidences of heart disease of any westernized society despite a prevalence of smoking and a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol (5). Açaí pulp contains 10 times the anthocyanins of red wine per equal volume (1).
  • The primary anthocyanin in Açaí is cyanidin-3 glucoside (1). Cyanidin-3-glucoside has been found to be 3.5 times stronger than Trolox (vitamin E analogue) and the predominate anthocyanin found in red wine (malvadin-3-glucoside) in an ORAC analysis (measure of antioxidant capacity) (11).
  • Anthocyanins have been found to "exhibit numerous potential therapeutic effects including treatment of diabetic retinopathy and fibrocystic disease of the breast in human" (11). "Other potential physiological effects of anthocyanins include radiation-protective, chemoprotective, vasoprotective and anti-inflammatory agents" (11).

Açaí is a good source of:

  • Essential Fatty acids -- to aid in the transport and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins i.e. Vitamins A, E, D, and K (3).
  • The fatty acid ratio of Açaí resembles that of olive oil, which is thought to be a contributing factor to the low incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean populations (1, 5).
  • 60% Oleic (Omega 9) a monounsaturated, essential fatty acid, helps lower LDL (harmful cholesterol) while maintaining HDL (beneficial cholesterol) levels (5).
  • 12% Linoleic (Omega 6) a polyunsaturated, essential fatty acid, has been found to lower both LDL and HDL levels (5).

Fiber - to promote a healthy digestive system

  • 1 gram of dietary fiber in one serving of Sambazon Açaí.
  • Fiber helps to support a healthy digestive system. Low fiber in the American diet is thought to be a contributing factor to the high incidence of cancer and heart disease. Soluble fibers may help lower blood cholesterol; insoluble fibers are thought to help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers (5).
Acai Berry Bowl

Valuable phytosterols

  • Sterols are components of plant cell membranes providing numerous benefits to the human body, namely the reduction of blood plasma cholesterol (7).
  • Sterols are currently being used to treat symptoms associated with BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia) (6).
  • Preliminary evidence suggests that beta-sitosterol (the predominant sterol in Açaí) may help prevent immune weakness resulting from severe physical stress (7).

Açaí mixed with Guarana

  • Guarana has been found to increase metabolism, physical endurance, stamina and memory in laboratory mice (8).Guarana contains theobromine, a caffeine-like compound thought to contribute to the euphoric feeling experienced by some people when consuming chocolate (9).
  • Guarana is noted as being effective in the treatment of headaches and cold. Other uses include appetite suppression, pain relief, as well as an aid to smoking cessation (9)

Acai Berry Diet Benefits

  • A boost in energy levels
  • Improved digestive function
  • Cleansed the body and intestines
  • A stronger immune system
  • Healthier, younger looking skin
  • Improved circulation
  • Improved mental clarity and focus
  • Enhanced visual clarity

Acai Berry Diet also gives relief from minor aches and pains and increased injury recovery, fat loss, strength, stamina etc.

Açaí and Anthocyanins

The dark purple color of acai berry is due to the polyphenolic compounds present. One of the main plant chemicals getting a lot of attention in Açaí berry, is a compound called anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are a group of Flavonoids widely distributed in plants and lending a dark purple color to fruits acai berry in addition to the standard many vitamins and minerals found in acai berry.

Anthocyanins are naturally occurring compounds that impart color of Açaí berry, Anthocyanins belong to a group of plant compounds called Flavonoids. Flavonoids are a subclass of plant polyphenols that may have antioxidant abilities and are being studied for their anticancer and anti-aging potential. Currently under investigation for their ability to inhibit LDL (the "bad") cholesterol, prevent blood clotting, and defend cells against dangerous carcinogens, Anthocyanins may prove to be significant compounds in human health.

Anthocyanins and Their Protective Properties:

Inflammation and Collagen:

Anthocyanins neutralize enzymes that destroy connective tissue. Their antioxidant capacity prevents oxidants from damaging connective tissues and repair damaged proteins in the blood-vessel walls.

Acai Berry Baskets

The Nervous System:

By preventing tyrosine nitration, the Anthocyanin properties in Açaí may help protect against neurological diseases. The primary Anthocyanins in Açaí known as Cyanidin-3-glucoside have been found to help in the reversal of age related neurological deficits.

Large and Small Blood-Vessels:

Anthocyanins ability to counter oxidants make them a powerhouse in the fight against arteriosclerosis. Even in trace amounts, Anthocyanins effectively protect against LDL oxidation. Anthocyanins protect the integrity of the endothelial cells that line blood vessel walls and help to maintain micro capillary integrity. Diabetes: One of the serious diabetic complications is retinopathy, which in most cases can cause blindness. This condition occurs when the body attempts to repair leaking, damaged capillaries, but does so by over producing abnormal proteins. The protection of Anthocyanins may help prevent these capillaries from leaking and to help prevent abnormal protein proliferation.


Anthocyanins may also help improve eyesight by numerous mechanisms. In the Second World War, British fighter pilots were found to have improved night vision. These findings were thought to be contributed by the large amounts of bilberry in the pilot's diet. The effects of the improved night vision were not long lasting after the initial consumption of bilberry lasting just hours after initial consumption. With this new found advantage, the pilots would consume the bilberry fruits just prior to the mission.

Works Cited:

1. Rogez H. Acai: Preparo, Composicao, e Melhormento da Converacao. Belem: EDUFPA; 2000.

2. Seager S, Slabaugh M. Chemistry for Today: General Organic and Biochemistry-4th ed. California.

3. Wardlaw G, Insel P. Perspectives in Nutrition - 2nd ed. Saint Louis: Masby - Year Book, Inc; 1990.

4. Sillberberg S. Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of matter and Change - 2nd ed. USA: McGraw-Hill; 2000. 1086p.

5. Cook-Fuller C, editor. Annual Editions Nutrition 00/01 - 12th ed. Connecticut: Dushkin/McGraw Hill; 2000.

6. Berges B, et al. Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of beta-sitosterol in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Lancet 345: 1529-1532, 1995.

7. Pegel K. The importance of sitosterol and sitosterolin in human and animal nutrition. S African J Science. 93, 263-268, 1997.

8. Miura T, et al. Effect of guarana on exercise in normal and epinephrine-induced glycogenolytic mice. Biol Pharm Bull. 1998 Jun; 21(6):646-8.

9. Henman AR. Guarana (Paullinia cupana var. sorbilis): Ecological and social perspectives on an economic plant of the central Amazon basin. J Ethnopharmacol, 1982 Nov.

10. Duke JA. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985, 349

11. Hong W, Cao G, Prior P: Oxygan Radical Absorbance Capacity of Anthocyanins. J. Agric. Food Chem. 45, 304-309, 1997

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