Acai berries are tiny little berries akin to blueberries that are nutritional powerhouses. From warding off disease to keeping your skin flawless, these little blue beauties are great for your health and should be eaten daily to enjoy all of their benefits. Below are just a few of the many reasons to eat acai:

1. Protection against Cardiovascular Disease

The high vitamin C content of this tiny berry as well as its phenolic compounds has been proven to protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer. In a 30-day pilot study, researchers determined that their overweight patients saw a reduction in the levels of selected metabolic disease markers from consuming 100 grams of acai pulp twice daily for one month. Metabolic disease markers are associated with cardiovascular disease.

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2. Increased Energy

Acai berries contain many beneficial compounds: antioxidants, monounsaturated fats (omega fatty acids), iron, calcium, fiber, vitamin A, and anthocyanins which have all been clinically proven to be beneficial for health. These compounds, though, have the ability, especially fiber and monounsaturated fats, to keep you full and energized throughout the day. The berries allegedly combat fatigue and exhaustion as well.

3. Detoxification

A 2012 report by Sao Paulo State University concluded from 10 weeks of using acai berry pulp in treatment for urothelial bladder cancer in mice, transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) was reduced as well as DNA damage. The authors of the study believe that the positive effects of the treatment were due to the antioxidant abilities of the acai berry. Now, this is not conclusive evidence that acai can do the same in humans, but it’s better than nothing! Antioxidants are crucial to detoxification, and they help clean the body out so that it can heal like in the aforementioned study. So, get your helping of acai every day to help your body expel undesirable substances.

4. A Better Complexion

One key benefit of acai, according to Dr. Lindsey Duncan, ND, CN, is its ability to maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails, especially in women. He says that the acai’s “powerful polyphenol antioxidants” help to “fight free radicals and oxidative stress, and can even slow down the aging process.”

5. Increased Blood Flow

Blood circulation is key to warding off serious health ailments, and acai berries assist in regulating and establishing proper blood flow, even increasing its efficiency. Eating the berry daily will make you feel better and livelier because your blood is moving the way it’s supposed to.

Acai berries are full of good-for-you nutrients. You can eat them frozen, in supplements, in smoothies, freeze dried, as part of larger recipes, or as an extract. Fresh berries are hard to find, as they are highly perishable, but if you can get your hands on some fresh ones, go for it! Your body will thank you. You can read up even more about the awesomeness that is acai (plus some recipes) here!

Image source: Blueberry Acai Super Smoothie