What are acai berries?
Acai berries are spherical 1-inch (2.5-cm) fruits that grow on acai palm trees in Central and South America’s jungles. It is used in traditional medicine and as a meal. A big seed is surrounded by a dark purple skin and yellow flesh. They’re classified as drupes rather than berries since they include pits like apricots and olives. Regardless, they’re usually known as berries.
Acai berries are commonly included with meals in the Amazon jungle.
They are soaked to soften the thick outer peel before being crushed into a dark purple paste to make them palatable.
They have an earthy flavour that has been compared to blackberries and unsweetened chocolate.
Acai berries have a short shelf life and are only accessible in the areas where they are cultivated. They are marketed as a frozen fruit purée, dry powder, or pressed juice for export.
Acai berries are also used to flavour culinary goods such as jelly beans and ice cream, and acai oil is used in certain non-food items such as body lotions.
Flavonoids, which are found in the berries and seeds, have antioxidant properties. Acai berries lower cholesterol, protect the heart and blood arteries, and induce leukemia cells to undergo programmed cell death.
Acai fruit’s pulp and peel are high in anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and fatty acids. It’s sold as a nutritional supplement with the claims of lowering cholesterol, improving heart health, and having antioxidant qualities.
Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, proapoptotic, antitumorigenic, atheroprotective, and anticancer properties are all found in acai berries. Acai extract reduced beta-amyloid inhibition, suggesting that it has neuroprotective properties. Nasal injection of acai polysaccharides improved innate immunity against pulmonary infections in a murine model.
Acai Berries Have Many Health Benefits
1.They’re High in Nutrients
Acai berries have an unusual nutritional profile for a fruit, since they have a high fat content yet low sugar content.
Other trace elements in acai berries include chromium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Plant components, on the other hand, are responsible for some of acai’s most potent health benefits.
Anthocyanins, which give acai berries their deep purple colour and function as antioxidants in the body, are the most noteworthy of them.
Antioxidants are vital because they protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Free radicals may harm cells and cause a variety of illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, if they are not neutralized by antioxidants.
Acai berries have more antioxidants than blueberries and cranberries, and they beat out other antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries and cranberries.
An Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score is used to determine the antioxidant content of foods.
Acai berries contain a variety of plant components, including anthocyanins, which have antioxidant properties.
The antioxidant content of acai pulp is higher than that of acai juice.
3.They have the potential to lower cholesterol levels
Acai berries may lower total and LDL cholesterol, which may assist to reduce cholesterol levels. Anthocyanin intake has been associated with a reduction in oxidative stress.
Acai’s fiber and heart-healthy lipids also help to keep your heart healthy. Healthy fats raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol while lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Fiber consumption is linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as a slower development of the illness in high-risk people.
Acai berries may assist patients with extra weight, lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).
Acai also includes plant sterols, which help to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the body.
Acai’s many plant components may also protect your brain from harm as you become older.
Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are age-related brain illnesses with no treatment, but research shows that eating a diet high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenolic substances may reduce the risk of both diseases.
The antioxidant anthocyanin, which is prevalent in acai berries, may help to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which is good for brain function. Anthocyanins have also been found to boost and increase memory. They’re considered to operate by reducing neuroinflammation, stimulating synaptic signalling, and increasing cerebral blood flow.
Acai berries in cancer
While no one meal will protect you from cancer, several foods have been shown to prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading. Although the specific processes are uncertain, anthocyanins have been shown to have anticarcinogenic properties. Anthocyanins have been shown in laboratory experiments utilising a range of cancer cells to:
• Antioxidant properties
• Detoxifying enzymes are activated
• Stop cancer cells from multiplying
• Cause cancer cells to die
• Act as an anti-inflammatory
• Stop certain cancers from forming in the first place
• Stop cancer cells from spreading
Mechanism of Action
Acai’s antioxidant effects have been linked to its ability to scavenge reactive oxygen species. It also protected human vascular endothelial cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, inhibited gene production of adhesion molecules and NF-B activation, and downregulated IL-6 and -8 expression at the mRNA and protein levels. NO or COX inhibition may have anti-inflammatory effects.
Acai-induced apoptosis in HL-60 leukemia cells might be due to caspase 3 activation . Increased expression of LC3BII, a protein marker of autophagosome formation, was found to have cytotoxic effects on several malignant cell types.