One of the most delicious members of the superfood squad — a.k.a. the cool kids of the food pyramid — is a fruit you've probably seen all over your Instagram feed. Açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) is best known for being the not-so-secret ingredient in picture-perfect smoothie bowls, but there's more to these berries than just their good looks.
Superfood Qualities of Açaí
What is açaí, anyway? Found on açaí palm trees in South American rainforests, açaí berries are a lot like grapes. The seed takes up about 80% of the berry, but the flesh and skin pack plenty of vitamins and other nutrients in the remaining 20%. Not to mention the berries are only about 70 calories a cup.
1. Antioxidants: Like other berries, açaí are packed with antioxidants that can help build up your immune system and protect your cells against damage from free radicals.
2. Fiber: Full of fiber, açaí berries not only help make your trips to the bathroom more regular, but also help keep you full and your blood sugar steady.
3. Heart-Healthy Fats: It might seem like a diet rich in fish, nuts, and avocados is the only way to get enough omega-3 fatty acids, but açaí berries are also a great source. Eating lots of these heart-healthy fats can lower your risk of coronary heart disease and improve your cholesterol.
4. Calcium: High in calcium, açaí berries will help keep your bones, heart, muscles, and nerves strong and healthy.