Posted on 11 April 2018
The Acai berry was first used by Amazonian tribes thousands of years ago for medicinal and nutritional purposes. This magical fruit was used by ancient tribes such as the Shuar for immunity, vitality and to fight infections. Despite its fame amongst primal societies, Acai was introduced to the Modern World relatively recently. And since then it has taken the world (and Melbourne) by Storm. – it’s no wonder, this delicious berry takes the label ‘superfood’ to a new level. Here are 5 quick research backed nutritional benefits of Acai consumption:
1. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Acai berries contain high levels of Phenolic compounds like anthocyanins (found commonly in red wine) that actively support circulation and improve overall blood composition.
Studies have found that the polyphenols found in Acai terminated the division of potentially carcinogenic cells by up to 86%. It is thought that the acai berry contains phytochemicals that can disrupt cell mutation at a molecular level, essentially killing the affected cells before they multiply. Studies on humans have yet to confirm this but it is highly likely that Acai boost immunity from pathogens and ailments.
Acai helps to increase HDL (good cholesterol) and Lower LDL (bad cholesterol)- Improving blood lipid and cholesterol profiles. Acai also contains various forms of Plant sterols that disrupt the absorption of cholesterol through the digestive tract.
100g of freeze dried Acai berry pulp contains around 52g of fibre. (That’s equivalent to the amount of fibre you get from eating 4 cups of almonds.) Fibre is an essential component in any healthy diet. Fibre improves digestive health and motility. Some forms of fibre also feed the healthy bacteria in your gut, improving your microbiome health.
5. Weight Loss
One study found that Acai consumption combined with a exercise rich lifestyle can can accelerate healthy weight loss dramatically. Making Acai a delicious addition to a healthy weight loss diet (when consumed in moderation).
Like we said, it’s not only taking over the world, it’s definitely making it’s mark here in Melbourne.
One of Mr.Men’s favourite Acai shops is Raw Galore, based in East Bentleigh. We sat with the awesome and super friendly owner, Courtney, who gave us her take on the Acai craze.
After experiencing the Acai hype in Queensland and New South Wales, Courtney decided to open up her own Raw Dessert Bar in Melbourne. We had her most popular peanut butter acai bowl with passionfruit, choc goji berries and a choc peanut butter protein ball added on (Which was insanely delicious!) Coming from a Sports Science and exercise background, Courtney is passionate about wholesome, healthy foods with “no hidden nasties, no refined ingredients and certainly no funky additives”.
Besides Acai bowls, Raw Galore also creates raw desserts, cakes, smoothies and other healthy treats that can be delivered.
Not local to Raw Galore? We’ve got you covered. Here’s where you can get some of the best Acai in Melbourne:
Raw Galore – Bentleigh East
– Shop 2/6 Matthews Road
Suggestion: Peanut butter acai bowl with passionfruit, choc goji berries and a choc peanut butter protein ball
Tropicana Juice Bar – Melbourne CBD
– 213 Elizabeth Street
Suggestion: Amazon Bowl – Acai Bowl with Banana and Toasted Muesli
Mr. Hubbard – Malvern
– 117 Wattletree Road
Suggestion: Acai Bowl with Fruit & Homemade Granola
Combi – Elwood
– 1/140 Ormond Road
Suggestion: Organic crunchy Granola bowl served with house made Chia & Blueberry Jam
Bentwood – Fitzroy
– 237 Napier Street
Suggestion: Granola bowl with Acai, Yoghurt, Peanut butter, banana, strawberries, hazelnuts, and bee pollen.
Jules Rosenstein is a Bachelor of Science with a major in physiology from the University of Melbourne. His personal ambition is to improve himself and others holistically through motivation, discipline and education.