People start juicing for a myriad of reasons, from wanting to lose weight to desiring better skin, but did you know you could make the health-boosting properties of juicing even more powerful by adding one particular superfood? Acai berries can really increase the health benefits of your juices — let’s explore how!
It’s a well-documented fact that our modern lifestyles are damaging to our health. According to the World Health Organisation, lifestyle diseases (also known as noncommunicable diseases), such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer, are the leading cause of death globally. The WHO’s statistics also indicate that 80 percent of these diseases could be prevented with better lifestyle choices[i].
The foods you choose to eat play a crucial role in maintaining your health and protecting you against these diseases.
Fruits and vegetables contain many of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to function at its best. Juicing makes these nutrients highly absorbable and enables you to consume more fruits and vegetables than you normally would, if you had to chew your way through them.
Diets high in fresh organic produce have been linked to reduced risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as improved longevity[ii].
The Benefits of Acai Berry Juice
Acai berries are packed full of powerful nutrients and anti-oxidants, and as such are a great addition to your juices.
They contain oleic acid, which has been proven to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood[iii], thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In addition, acai berries hold incredibly high concentrations of antioxidants, more so than other antioxidant rich foods like blueberries, cacao and red wine[iv]. Could it be time to swap that glass of merlot for a glass of acai berry juice?
Acai Berry For Weight Loss
Recently acai berries have received much attention due to their alleged weight loss effects.
Anthocyanin’s, the pigments that give the berries their vibrant purple colour, were studied by scientists at the Research Center for Biomarkers of Preventive Medicine in Japan. The study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, found that anthocyanin’s reduced the damaging effects of a high fat diet in mice, such as weight gain and hyperglycaemia, therefore providing evidence that anthocyanin’s could play a role in the fight against obesity[v].
Acai berries also contain a high amount of dietary fiber, an important factor in a healthy diet. Fiber slows down the digestion of your food, so you stay fuller for longer and are less likely to snack between meals. Diets that are high in fiber have also been shown to normalize blood glucose levels, reduce levels of blood cholesterol, and help with weight loss.[vi]
Add This Health Boosting Berry To Your Diet?
Juicing Fresh Berries:
Unfortunately, unless you live near the Amazon you won’t be able to buy fresh acai berries. Due to their high oleic acid content, they go off very quickly.
In order to conserve all their nutritional value, and enable them to be shipped all over the world, the berries have to be processed within 24 hours of harvest.
As with any food, it’s important to check the label, as this will give you a good idea of the amount of acai berry contained and whether or not the product is worth buying.
The first ingredient listed is the most prominent one. Some of these juices contain very little acai berry, and have added sugar. Others are made from acai berry extract, which does not offer the same health benefits as fresh or freeze dried acai berries.
Check the label carefully — some acai juices are not as healthy as the food manufacturers might like you to believe!
Acai juices that contain fruit juice blends, extracts, sugar or other additives will not provide your body with the same beneficial properties of pure acai juice.
Where To Buy Acai Juice
Many health food stores offer a range of juices, and you can also find them from online retailers, often at a slightly cheaper price. Out of the many acai juices available on Amazon, I found only one pure organic acai berry juice:
Dynamic Health 100% Pure Organic Acai Gold
- 473ml bottle for £15.99 - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dynamic-Health-473ml-Percent-Organic/dp/B000Y2LY7W/ref=pd_sim_121_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1Z68BZBV33H8S6HYSS6F
- 946ml bottle for £22.83 - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dynamic-Health-946ml-Percent-Organic/dp/B000X9D8Y8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439463223&sr=8-1&keywords=organic+acai+juice
Acai Berry Powder – A Better Alternative?
As you can see, buying pure acai juice regularly could quickly put you out of pocket. The next best thing to fresh acai juice is freeze-dried acai berry powder, which retains nearly all the beneficial nutrients found in the fresh berries.
As with acai juices, check the label to ensure you’re buying pure acai berry powder, without any stimulants or additives. Where possible choose an organic product, as this will ensure you’re getting the goodness of acai berries without any pesticide residues. For a truly health boosting drink, add a scoop of acai berry powder to a freshly made fruit or vegetable juice.
My personal favourite is Evolution Slimming’s 100% Pure Acai Powder, which can be mixed into juice or water. The powder is organic, contains no additives and tastes delicious!
You can buy a 100g tub for £19.99 directly from Evolution Slimming — http://www.evolution-slimming.com/store/health-beauty/antioxidants/acai-berry/pure-acai-berry-powder/100-pure-acai-powder-tub-100g-for-smoothies-cereals-foods/prod_203.html
Any Side Effects?
There hasn’t been enough research carried out on acai berry juice to know whether it is completely safe. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or taking medication, it’s best to err on the side of caution and check with your doctor before trying new supplements. Those who are particularly sensitive to pollen might want to avoid the berries.
Acai Berry Powder Or Juice?
If you’re trying to improve your overall health and lose weight, the beneficial properties of juicing and the powerful health boosting effects of acai berries will help you to achieve your goals.
Compared to buying pure acai berry juice, adding acai berry powder to your freshly made juices is a more practical and cost effective way of including the powerful benefits of acai into your diet.