Knowing the acai nutritional facts is the best way of understanding why many consider it a super food and why you should make it a part of your daily diet. The high levels of antioxidants, nutrients, good fats including omega fatty acids, carbohydrates, fiber, and amino acids all contribute to making acai berry the fruit and supplement that offers the most health benefits. Below is a nutritional analysis of a typical 100-gram serving of freeze-dried acai berry powder.
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- Carbohydrate: 43 g
- Healthy Omega Fat: 32 g
- Amino acids: 8 g
*Micronutrients that have no significant weight contribution.
Breaking down these components, let’s discuss some of the important roles that these nutrients play in our health.
Of the 43 grams of carbohydrates found in 100 grams of pure acai, 27 g of this is fiber and the remaining is made up of sugars and other carbs.
The more than 60% fiber that composes the carb content of acai is beneficial to the body in so many ways. It can help in weight loss efforts, lower cholesterol and therefore lessen the risk of heart disease, lower glucose levels and therefore decrease the risk of diabetes, reduce the possibility of colorectal cancer, prevent hemorrhoids, and help maintain a healthy digestive system. On the other hand, the sugars and other carbohydrates help sustain the body in its daily activity.
The second largest component indicated in the acai nutritional analysis is fat. While fat in general has a negative connotation, acai contains mostly useful fats: omega fatty acids. Here is a further breakdown of the fatty acids that acai contains and their uses:
- Oleic Acid
Oleic acid is also known as Omega-9 fatty acid and is known to lower blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of certain heart diseases such as the common heart attack and asteriosclerosis, and warding off certain forms of cancer. Olive oil which is an acknowledged health fat is composed of 55% to 80% oleic acid.
- Linoleic Acid
Linoleic acid, more commonly known as Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid that the body alone cannot produce. It is important therefore that Omega 6 be included in one’s dietary intake as lack of linoleic acid can lead to slow wound healing, loss of hair, and hair dryness.
- Palmitic acid
Amino acids make up for 8 g of a 100-g serving of acai. Being the building blocks of protein, amino acids are also very much needed in our bodies.
Antioxidants may not contribute significantly in the overall nutritional weight of acai berry, but the nutritional value that these micronutrients add is by no means insignificant.
Free radicals are caused by various pollutants, smoking, chemically treated or preserved foods, and just about anything else. In smaller concentrations, they don’t do harm to the body. But when found in high levels, free radicals give rise to oxidation reactions and can destroy our cells. Oxidative stress in turn leads to a host of ailments including heart diseases, most types of cancer, diabetes, neurological diseases, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other known illnesses.
Antioxidants are useful in slowing down or altogether preventing oxidation in the body. It also contributes to reducing the effects of aging and bacterial infections.
How does acai berry figure in all these? Acai contains the highest concentration of antioxidants as compared to other foods. A reliable measurement used in evaluating the antioxidant content of certain foods is the ORAC or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. The higher the ORAC number given to a substance, the greater the concentration of antioxidants. See how acai compares with other fruits in terms of its ORAC score:
Acai Berry: 610
The micronutrient phytosterol completes the acai nutrition facts that show just how much of a super food acai berry is. Phytosterols help in fat metabolism. Beta-sitosterol, a kind of phytosterol found in acai berry, is linked to lowered cholesterol levels in the blood.
As with any product, check the label for its benefits before purchasing anything. If this detailed explanation of the acai nutritional information will not convince you of the potential health benefits of acai, I don’t know what else will. It truly is a super food!