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4 Powerful Health Benefits of Acai

Long hidden in the rainforests of the Amazon, acai (ah-SIGH-ee) has now become a part of North American diets and is heralded for its high antioxidant properties and associated health benefits. If you're looking for a way to boost energy and increase overall health, look no further than the amazing Acai berry.

1. Improve Digestion

All those powerful anti-oxidants in acai berries can be a big help to your digestion; helping to clear out unwanted toxins while providing you with a good source of dietary fiber. In fact, by adding acai to your breakfast, you might find that you can more easily achieve your weight management goals by using acai to keep your blood sugar levels more even so you don't have the afternoon energy crash and hunger cravings.

2. Increase Heart Health

Just about any food high in antioxidants is good for your health, and acai is one of the kings of the anti-oxidant world. Key to your heart's health is the antioxidant anthocyanin, which has the ability to lower cholesterol. Meanwhile, sterols help to relax blood vessels, improve circulation and prevent blood clots.

3. Beautiful Skin

Acai berries have long been used by native Brazilians to promote healthy, younger-looking skin. Now you can have the chance as well! Acai oil can be used externally to naturally treat skin conditions, while consuming acai berries regularly can help your body rid itself of old or damaged skin cells more quickly.

4. Perfect C+ Fighter

While heading into flu season, you can help stave off colds and flus with the help of acai. The combination of vitamin C and ellagic acid in acai berries can fight off many invaders to the body, including parasites, viruses, and bacteria. Meanwhile, studies have indicated that acai's anti-oxidants can help to prevent certain cancers by fighting free radicals in the body and prevent abnormal cells from growing and spreading.

How to Enjoy Acai

Unfortunately, unless you live in or near the Amazon rainforest, it's going to be difficult to get fresh acai berries. Don't worry – there are lots of great alternatives. If you prefer whole foods, look for acai puree in the frozen section of your local health food store, which can be used in smoothies or to prepare acai bowls (see below). Otherwise, you can get dried acai powder at the same stores (or online) and add to most foods, including smoothies.

3 Acai Bowl Recipes

Here are three delicious acai bowl recipes to try:

Rainbow Acai

Acai & Beet

Acai Choco Nut

½ cup non-dairy milk

½ cup non-dairy milk

½ cup non-dairy milk

3.5 oz frozen acai, defrosted

3.5 oz frozen acai, defrosted

3.5 oz frozen acai, defrosted

½ banana

1 tbsp chia seeds

½ banana

1 cup frozen berries

1 small beet, diced

1 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened

Blend together and top with:

½ cup frozen berries of choice

½ cup frozen strawberries

Blueberries

Sweetener to taste

1 tbsp nut or seed butter

Kiwi

Blend together and top with:

Blend together and top with:

Rest of banana

Shredded coconut

Rest of banana

Mango

Toasted almonds

Cocoa nibs

Granola or hemp hearts

Fresh fruit

Sweetener to taste

 

 

Shredded coconut

 

Have fun experimenting with different acai bowl combinations – you'll soon have a new favorite healthy (and yummy) breakfast!

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