With the rise of the health food industry, people are becoming more aware of what they should or should not be eating.
People are making changes to their diet by removing or replacing food items that they usually eat.
Accompanying this change is the increasing popularity of dairy-free milk like oat milk and soy milk, as well as antioxidant-rich superfood options.
One such fruit is Acai berry, which has become a fan favorite among health food enthusiasts.
If you have any form of social media, particularly Instagram, then you are bound to have seen people raving about their Acai bowl.
Not only are Acai bowls aesthetically pleasing in an Instagram post, with their creamy texture and vibrant colors, but they also have numerous health factors.
What Is Acai?
The first question that you may have is what acai is.
Acai is a berry and one of the many hyped-up health foods that people are gradually incorporating into their diets.
You may have heard many people talking about their acai bowl and how they simply can not function without it.
Acai berries are fruits grown in central and South America, particularly in the rainforests; they are found on palm trees.
The acai berries belong to the Euterpe genus and have eight different species. This berry closely resembles grapes more than berries.
While the seed of the acai berry takes up about 80% of the berry, the remaining 20%, the acai pulp is packed full of nutrients.
These berries are one of the main sources of food and nutrition for native tribes in these regions.
How Many Calories Are In an Acai Bowl?
What Are Acai Bowls?
Açaí bowls are made from puréed acai berries. An acai bowl is a smoothie in a bowl that has been sprinkled with different delicious and nutrient-dense toppings.
The nutrition label of an acai bowl varies depending on numerous factors.
From the toppings, you add to whether you made the bowl yourself or purchased it.
Most bowls, however, contain high amounts of antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese.
Keeping in mind that the nutrient profile varies depending on the amount of acai and topping used, a standard 170-gram acai bowl contains a set number of nutrients.
A 170-gram acai bowl calories count can be as high as 211. It contains 6 grams of healthy fats, 19 grams of sugar, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of proteins.
The grams of sugar, as well as the calorie and fat count, can vary greatly depending on the toppings you use as well as the method of production.
Store-bought acai bowls will have more grams of added sugar compared to a homemade bowl.
Are Acai Bowls Healthy?
The acai berries themselves are super fruits that are packed with nutrients. The many potential health benefits of acai bowls depend on whether you are consuming commercially prepared acai bowls or you are eating homemade acai bowls.
Acai bowls purchased from a store will have a different nutrition level compared to making an acai bowl at home. Similarly, frozen acai purée will differ from acai powder and fresh acai.
What Are The Health Benefits Of An Acai Bowl?
Your acai bowl packs a wide range of health benefits.
At the same time, several health benefits can be negated due to the addition of toppings that have added sugar and fat, which can cause unwanted weight gain.
However, if you make your own acai bowl, you can avoid harmful compounds, maximize potential health benefits, and increase the nutritional value of your acai bowl by using additional fruits.
The main cause of the acai berry that is beneficial for your health lies in its antioxidant content.
The reason it is classified as a superfood is due to the antioxidant level it contains, which is due to the anthocyanins present in the fruit.
Numerous human and animal studies suggest that the acai berry’s antioxidant levels can help in the reduction of colon cancer cell growth, increase brain function and improve cardiovascular health.
2) Skin Care Benefits
Acai berries are an incredibly rich source of antioxidants. Consuming acai pulp can increase the levels of antioxidant levels in your body.
These antioxidants have numerous beneficial functions in the body.
It is these antioxidants that give acai their place in the superfoods group.
The main function of these antioxidants is to neutralize the free radicals that the body produces. The antioxidant content in acai bowls comes from plant compounds like anthocyanins.
These compounds then combat environmental damage to the skin.
This is why many skincare and beauty brands use acai powder or acai oil in their products.
It provides the skin with moisture while also decreasing redness and irritation in the skin.
An Açaí bowl is a healthy snack that can provide these same benefits, along with improving other aspects of your health.
3) Beneficial For Cardiovascular Health
Acai contains the plant substance known as anthocyanin, which is a strong antioxidant.
These antioxidants are used to remove harmful molecules from the body that are created during oxidation reactions as they cause health issues such as heart disease.
Acai itself is a great substance to increase the antioxidant in our body to combat these harmful substances.
However, most acai bowls contain other fruits that are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C as well as potassium which is an important nutrient that regulates blood pressure levels, an important aspect of cardiovascular health.
4) Increasing Energy Levels
When one turns to a healthier diet and lifestyle, the first thing they notice is the increase in their energy levels.
You no longer feel tired and sluggish throughout the day; you find that you have more energy than usual despite working long hours.
The acai berry enhances this effect.
It increases your energy levels, both physical and mental, due to a combination of an improved diet and the nutritional content of the berry itself.
5) Boost Weight Loss
This berry has been found to not only boost weight loss but also help people maintain their weight once they have reached their goal weight.
This serves as a healthy breakfast or snack replacement.
One thing to be aware of is when you eat an acai bowl that has been premade.
Most store-bought acai bowls contain two to three servings which can cause unintentional weight gain.
6) Slow Down Premature Aging
One of the main causes of aging is the presence of free radicals, which lead to numerous destructive processes in the body.
This can cause problems like age-related bone loss, eye issues, kidney stones, and hair loss.
By consuming acai berries, you can reduce these harmful molecules through the antioxidants present in the berry.
The acai increases the level of antioxidants in the body, which then reduces the effect of these harmful compounds.
7) Improves Digestion
Fiber is essential in your diet to ensure the smooth functioning of your gastrointestinal tract, particularly the intestines.
Among the many fruits that are a great source of fiber is acai.
Eating acai can increase your body’s digestion due to its fiber content.
How To Make Your Own Acai Bowl?
The best way to limit high-calorie choices of acai bowls is to make your acai bowl at home.
This is not a hard process to do, and you can make it a fun family activity by choosing different toppings to add to your bowl.
You will need to find acai powder or puree, which can be bought from specialty stores.
Begin by blending unsweetened frozen puree or powder with milk or water to create the foundation of your bowl.
Then all you need to do is add toppings whatever suits your fancy. Be it sliced fruit, nut butter (like peanut butter), coconut flakes, cacao nibs, or seeds.
Ensure that you keep in mind how many calories and grams of sugar you are adding to your bowl.
If your goal is to lose weight or begin a healthy diet, then you may need to rethink the toppings that you use.
It is best to stick to healthy options such as seeds, fruits, coconut flakes, and nuts.
You can also make changes to the base of your bowl. Instead of simply using acai, water, and milk, you can add healthy greens such as spinach and kale.
This gives your bowl an increased nutrition profile compared to a standard bowl.
Keep in mind the recommended portion sizes for your weight and age group so you can accurately control your intake of sugars, fats, calories, and carbs.
Things Not To Add To Your Acai Bowl
It can be easy to take something healthy like an acai bowl and make it unhealthy through high-calorie indulgence or through the addition of sugar that is beyond the daily added sugar intake allowance set out in the most recent dietary guidelines.
How many calories you eat is dependent on the toppings you use.
Keeping in mind, a group of wellness professionals for Americans recommends limiting your intake of sugars, fats, and calories; there are certain toppings you should not be adding to your acai bowl.
1) Agave Nectar
This is an ingredient that is used in stores, cafes, and juice bars to make the acai bowl sweeter due to the bitter taste that it usually has.
However, this is a topping that you should look to avoid if you aim to have a healthy diet.
You can still have a delicious and sweet acai bowl without the use of agave nectar. Simply use sweeter tasting fruits as your topping to achieve this effect.
2) Chocolate Chips
While it is easy to fall into the temptation of chocolate chips, we would suggest you not add them to your acai bowl, especially when you are looking to reduce your intake of sugar.
If you can not avoid the temptation at all, then replace the chocolate chips with cacao nibs.
These provide you with the kick of chocolate and sweetness without the unnecessary sugar and calories. So your acai bowl remains a healthy option.
In summary, acai berries are the perfect superfood to make a healthy and delicious smoothie bowl. You can top your acai bowl with any topping of your choice.
Additionally, it has numerous benefits for your health and well-being.