Acai berry powder is a dietary supplement made from the acai berry, which people often call a “superfood.” You may have heard the term before, but what are “superfoods?” The food and health industries commonly use this term to describe foods that are supposed to be good for you (x). Acai berries are one of these supposed “superfoods.” But what are they good for? And do they really live up to the hype?
What are Acai Berries?
Before we get into the details, your first question is probably how to pronounce acai. If you sound it out phonetically, it sounds like “ah-SIGH-ee.”
Now that we covered that, its scientific name is even harder to pronounce—Euterpe oleracea. Acai berries grow on the acai palm tree native to Central and South America and people in this region have used them as a source of nutrition for years. They look similar to blueberries or grapes and some people claim it has a tart taste, while others describe it as a combination between blackberries and dark chocolate (x).
What are Superfoods?
Like we said before, acai berries are a common member of a group of “superfoods.” This group includes mostly plant-based foods—like fruits, vegetables and grains—loaded with nutrients. Supposedly, these are some of the healthiest foods to eat, promoting optimal health and possibly helping prevent disease.
The term “superfood” has been around since the early 20th century (x). However, experts do not necessarily support this term. According to Dr. Richard E. Harris II M.D., Pharm. D., “there is no such thing as a superfood.” Dr. Harris is a leading health and wellness speaker and manages a site called Great Health and Wellness. He claims instead that all whole foods are beneficial to our health and that the term is mostly a marketing tool targeted toward individuals seeking to improve their health and well-being.
And it’s worked. According to research, there is a “billion-dollar industry” surrounding these foods and their supposed health benefits (x). However, even though these foods don’t really have superpowers, research does acknowledge some beneficial properties. Dr. Harris says, “These foods are usually high in antioxidants like polyphenols which have numerous health benefits.” That includes acai berries and acai berry powder.
5 Potential Health Benefits of Acai Berries
Before we consider how acai benefits the body, let’s find out what supposedly makes it a “superfood.” According to research, acai berry has a unique nutritional profile for a fruit.
Acai berries have an antioxidant content that surpasses several other berries (x). Additionally, they’re low in sugar and high in fats—mostly healthy unsaturated fats like omega-3, -6 and -9. They also contain nutrients common in other berries such as dietary fiber, some protein, B-vitamins and the following trace minerals & electrolytes:
Like Dr. Harris stated, the key ingredients in most “superfoods” are antioxidant properties and acai berries are no different. It contains polyphenols, anthocyanins, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. But why are these properties so important?
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances with the ability to prevent harmful unstable molecules called free radicals from damaging the body’s cells (x, x). Dr. Harris says, “We generate free radical oxygen species in the generation of energy.”
Free radicals are a natural part of the body, but they can cause damage. They are byproducts of a cellular reaction called oxidation. Free radicals are unstable unpaired electrons and if they bond to stable molecules, they can alter their function and cause damage.
Research associates free radical damage with the risk for several conditions, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and autoimmune and inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and certain types of cancer (x).
So, is acai berry good for you? As we’ve observed, it contains a rich supply of beneficial properties (x). But Dr. Harris also claims that “endogenous and exogenous antioxidants help deal with the oxidative stressors. Thus antioxidants can have a wide range of positive effects in the body including aiding in gut diversity, decreasing inflammation, improving cholesterol [and] decreasing DNA damage…. A nutrition plan high in fruits and vegetables in a rainbow pattern (all different colors) is essential for optimal health.”
Always consult your healthcare provider for diagnoses, accurate medical information and permission before taking any supplements. There is no evidence that acai berry powder or any other supplement can cure, treat or prevent any illness.
Research associates oxidative stress and free radical damage with the risk for heart disease and antioxidants may be able to combat this risk. As Dr. Harris states, “superfoods” like acai berries contain antioxidants including polyphenols
Polyphenols may naturally stimulate nitric oxide production in the endothelial cells (arteries and blood vessels). Nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator, a substance that widens and relaxes the arteries to facilitate easier blood flow and reduce excess pressure on the heart (x, x).
Acai berries also contain plant sterols, which may promote heart health by helping prevent the body from absorbing dietary cholesterol, reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol content (x). Studies also suggest that anthocyanins—another type of antioxidant in acai berries—may also support heart health and reduce the risk for heart attacks (x, x).
These nutrients may also help support cognitive health, which tends to decline with age. Studies suggest that the antioxidants in acai berry may help improve memory, sharpen the mind and protect brain function. These compounds may also help reduce the risk for neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (x, x).
Polyphenols can also promote autophagy, according to research. The literal definition for autophagy is “self-eating.” It sounds horrendous, but it’s actually how the body gets rid of damaged and poorly functioning cells to replace them with healthy ones. It’s like throwing out old, worn out furniture and bringing in new pieces. Researchers observe this process in patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases (x).
In addition, anthocyanins may also help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain’s cellular tissues. They can help naturally prevent neuroinflammation by supporting cellular communication and improve blood flow to the brain. This may help improve memory and other age-related neurological issues (x).
Skin Health & Wound-Healing
Free radical production is a natural process in the body. But there are certain factors that can stimulate free radical production and increase the risk for damage in the body, such as pollutants, environmental contaminants, stress and poor nutrition.
Another factor is UV exposure, which can cause sunburns, sunspots and increase the risk for skin cancer. Studies suggest that antioxidants may be able to help repair and protect skin cells from oxidative damage. Antioxidants also seem to be able to neutralize oxidative stress and boost collagen and elastin protein content—the fibers that support the structure of the skin—which may help speed up wound-healing (x, x).
Antioxidants and fiber may also help support digestive health. Evidence shows that polyphenols can travel all the way through the digestive tract to the colon, where they can help reduce inflammation and improve gut microbiota. A healthy gut environment helps to boost the immune system and increase metabolism (x, x).
Both the polyphenols and the dietary fiber may act as prebiotics, feeding healthy gut bacteria and promoting bacteria growth and diversity. The fiber can also increase satiety to make us feel full and add bulk to waste material in the intestines for easy exit out of the body (x, x).
Potential Anticarcinogenic Properties
Researchers associate oxidative stress with an increased risk for some types of cancer. But research also supports that antioxidants may help reduce this risk. In particular, anthocyanins seemed to have anticarcinogenic properties in lab studies. The researchers noticed that the compound activated detoxifying enzymes, prevented cell growth, destroyed cancer cells, reduced inflammation and interfered with tumor formation (x).
However, there is no accurate medical research that completely supports or confirms these results. This does not imply that acai berry powder or other antioxidant sources can treat cancer or replace medical treatment. Supplements including acai berry powder are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness. Consult your healthcare provider for diagnoses, accurate medical information and permission before taking any supplements.
How to Use Acai Berry Powder
There are a number of ways to use acai berry extract powder—in oatmeal, yogurt or acai smoothie bowls. (Here’s an easy and delicious acai bowl recipe for you to try!) Acai powder also makes a great smoothie ingredient. Whichever way you use acai berry supplements, you’ll get a boatload of nutrients. The recommended dosage for acai berry extract powder is 1,200 mg once a day, or as directed by your doctor. Make sure to consult a doctor or nutritionist before taking any supplements.
Possible Side Effects of Acai Berry Powder
There may not be reported evidence to imply side effects. But if you have a food allergy to other types of berries, you might experience an allergic reaction to the supplement. The berry also has a high sugar content that may negatively impact patients with diabetes and individuals trying to lose weight (x, x, x). Also, some supplements may contain fillers like caffeine.
Where to Buy Acai Berry Powder
You can purchase acai berry powder at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. Bulksupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other brands that distribute food and other supplement products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Are you interested in trying acai berry extract powder as a dietary supplement for its potential antioxidant properties and heart-healthy benefits? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
Acai berries are often referred to as a “superfood” because of its impressive and unique nutrient content and potential health benefits. It has a high concentration of antioxidant compounds including polyphenols and anthocyanins. It also contains healthy amounts of other antioxidant substances like vitamins A, C and E.
According to various research studies, these nutrients may have the potential to support heart, cognitive, digestive and skin health. These compounds may also have some anticarcinogenic properties. Although they may not really have super powers, acai berries boast a variety of potential health benefits that are definitely worth a try. You can load acai berry extract powder into your oatmeal, yogurt or smoothies for a healthy treat.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.