Have you discovered Acai yet? If not, you’re in for a fantastic treat! Not only is this Amazonian super fruit berry high in anti aging antioxidants, but it also makes a great addition to your breakfast, nice-cream recipes, and definitely your pe and post workout smoothie.
In this post we will discuss organic Acai powder benefits, why you should be adding it to your diet, and also a tasty smoothie bowl recipe that will showcase one of the best ways to use your Acai powder supplement.
What is Acai?
Acai is a berry native to Brazil’s Amazon region where is classed as a superfruit by the Native people there.
The berry is a deep purple colour, yellow fleshed, 1-inch round fruit that grow on the Acai palm trees located in Central and South America.
Acai is consumed frequently by the Natives where it is eaten as part of their meals. The berry needs to be soaked and mashed down to make it more palatable, and if being used as a dessert then sweetener will more than likely be added to enhance flavour as they are naturally on the bitter side.
Organic Acai Powder Benefits
Acai usually comes in the 3 forms of dried, juiced or frozen. You will not find fresh Acai outside of it’s locality, due to the fact that it is so highly perishable and doesn’t keep well for long.
The fact that Acai berries need to be either juiced, frozen, or freeze-dried and powdered as soon as they have been harvested means you will get the highest amount of nutrition when you buy it in these forms. The juice will more than likely be pasturised, therefore losing some nutrition; but the frozen and powdered berries should still have all their nutritional benefits in tact.
Always buy organic Acai berries, whatever form you may choose to buy it in. This will give you the reassurance that your product is free from nasty pesticides and fertilizers that will very much harm the health benefits of the berry. Organic is also best for environmental reasons too, so bear this in mind when making decisions on which brand to purchase.
Acai’s impressive antioxidants
Organic Acai berry powder is hailed for its high antioxidant content. And, indeed this is the very reason why it is so popular in the rapidly moving towards health consciousness Western world that so loves to import the latest superfood trends.
Antioxidants are very important and help fight the damage done to our bodies from free radicals caused by smoking, alcohol, junk foods, sugar, pollution, exhaust fumes, household chemicals, sunlight and a million other factors we are exposed to on an every day basis.
Some of these exposures are within our control, and some are not. Either way, antioxidant rich foods help to combat some of this damage by neutralising those pesky free radicals, thus slowing down the aging process, both inside AND out. This is why getting as many antioxidants into your diet on a daily basis is a great way to boost your health and vitality levels.
Interestingly, the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) score of the acai berry is 15,405 compared to 4,669 in blueberries. Considering blueberries have long been hailed as a super high antioxidant rich fruit, the very impressive Acai berry is over 3 times higher.
Boosting brain function
As Acai has such a high ORAC value, anti aging, antioxidant, it may also help brain function and memory as a very wanted side effect when eaten alongside a healthy diet.
Some studies suggest that it can have neuroprotective effects, though these have only been conducted in vitro at the moment. Still, it can’t hurt to add the super healthy Acai berry to your diet for all it’s other benefits and possible benefits of boosting brain powder.
Fresh Acai Pulp Nutritional Values
(These values will also be the same for frozen acai berries)
Values PER 100G
- CALORIES – 70
- FAT – 5G in the form of healthy oleic acid (omega 9) and linoleic acid (omega 6)
- SATURATED FAT – 1.5G
- CARBOHYDRATES – 5G
- FIBER – 2G
- SUGAR – 2G
- VITAMIN A – 15% RDA
- MINERALS – Potassium, manganese, copper, iron and magnesium
- B-COMPLEX VITAMINS – Riboflavin and B6
- VITAMIN K
Dried Acai Powder Nutritional Values
- CALORIES – 492
- FAT – 35.5G
- CARBOHYDRATES – 19.2G
- OF WHICH SUGARS -0.1G
- FIBER – 31.1G
- PROTEIN – 8.3G
- SALT – 0.1G
- VITAMIN A – 770 ug
- VITAMIN E – 38.9 mg
- IRON – 8.7 mg
The Best Acai Bowl Recipe
Acai bowls are so tasty and nutritious that you can eat them for any meal of the day, though they do make a great breakfast more than anything. Making an Acai smoothie bowl in the morning will literally set you up for the day with a powerhouse of raw nutrition.
Eating a raw breakfast will give you tons of energy to power you through your busy day, noticeably make your skin glow, help you to think more clearly, and also makes a great pre or post workout.
The reason why we think this particular recipe is perfect for your morning start, is the fact that it’s so high in fiber and low GI carbohydrates. Both of these elements together will fill you up for hours and release their energy slowly throughout the morning to keep you satiated and full.
You can use any fruit you like in your Acai bowl recipes, but we have chosen raspberries for the fact that they seem to pair really well with Acai’s natural flavours. There’s also the fact that raspberries are one of the highest fiber, low sugar, low calorie, antioxidant rich fruits that are also great for your gut flora. The added banana is also a prebiotic fruit too.
You can add any topping s you like to your Acai bowl. Some great ones are:-
- Desiccated coconut
- Chopped nuts – cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts
- Seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, chia, hemp hearts
- Fresh, chopped fruits
- Dried fruits
- Chopped dark chocolate of 85% cacao solids
Our recommended toppings
Always go for a good ratio of nuts, seeds and even extra fresh berries to ensure the best array of nutrients. Our favorite combination is desiccated coconut, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cashews and dark chocolate for a good array of healthy fats to boost brain function and set you up for the day.
Walnuts are a superfood that are full of antioxidants, are heart healthy, boost brain power (so a great start to your day ahead), help boost melatonin, and are great for sperm quality.
Dark chocolate is another tasty treat that is full of antioxidants and has a great nutritional profile. Just be sure to keep the cacao solids to an 85% minimum, on a breakfast at least.
Brazil nuts are a powerhouse of nutrition, notably selenium. Just one Brazil nut contains 175% of your nutritional daily allowance, which is just astounding! Selenium is an essential nutrient for the proper functioning of the body, the immune system and the thyroid.
Pumpkin seeds are super high in protein, antioxidants, magnesium, vitamin E, zinc, are low GI, contain both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and contain the amino acid ‘tryptophan’ that helps regulate sleep. So, always eat a few pumpkin seeds every day if you can for all these reasons.
Depending on the fruit, dried fruits can offer a rich source of minerals. Always go for organic where possible with no added oils or sugars, both of which will negate any health benefits you might otherwise have had.
Did you know that there are also some dried fruits that can help with weight loss specifically? These include, apricots, dates, prunes, goji berries, raisins and apples, but ONLY in moderation!
Chia is super high fiber and low calorie considering it is a fatty seed. Its fats come in the form of omega 3 fatty acids, plus it boasts impressive amounts of protein, aids weight loss through blood sugar control, and nearly all of its carbohydrates come for fiber, just so you know.
Hemp seeds are high in protein, calcium, magnesium and many more trace nutrients. They have a delicious nutty taste, and are just perfect for your Acai smoothie bowl toppings.
So, the take-away here is, always mix your smoothie bowl toppings to ensure a daily dose of all the different nutrients. You can do this by mixing different nuts, seeds, and refined sugar and oil-free dried fruits in moderation.
Our Favorite Acai Bowl Smoothie Recipe
- High speed blender
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 large very ripe, frozen, sliced banana
- 100 ml (roughly) plant milk soy is good for added protein
- 1-2 tsp organic, raw Acai powder
- 1 tsp vanilla essence optional
- 1-2 tsp maple syrup depending on the ripeness of your bananas and raspberries (sometimes that tiny drizzle makes all the difference to sweetness and brings out the flavour of your raspberries and Acai)
- Toppings of choice desiccated coconut, dark chocolate, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, chia seeds roughly 1.5x heaped teaspoons of each. Or, use 4-6 toppings of your choice, but mix them up!
- Add your smoothie ingredients of plant milk, raspberries, banana, Acai and vanilla essence to a high speed blender.
- Blend for at least 10-15 seconds on full speed. You may need to add more milk to get a good blend going; or open and pull the ingredients stuck in the bottom up to the top with a spoon. The trick is to get a good blend going whilst using as little fluid as possible. You want a soft ice-cream texture; not a runny smoothie.
- Flatten your mixture down into a flat, cereal dish and arrange your toppings over the top.
- Eat immediately. This will not keep for long, and definitely won't freeze well!
Organic Acai powder seems to have many benefit and is a great addition to your healthy plant based diet.
You can eat up to 1 x tablespoon a day with no ill effects and you will probably see and feel a noticeable difference in your skin over time. I always believe that if something is good enough to show on the outside, then you can only imagine the good things it’s doing on the inside, right?
Thanks for visiting us at ZestForever – Plant Based World today. We are super grateful for your support of this website and the good we are trying to spread into the world through the plant based diet.
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