Le açaí (pronounced "asaì") are the berries of Euterpe oleracea, one palm belonging to the Arecaceae family, whose name derives from Portuguese translation of the word Tupiana ïwaca'i, which means fruit "who cries o separate, acqua". Native of South America and dell 'Central America, the plant grows mainly in marshy areas north of Brazil, at the level of the estuary of the Amazon River. This fruiting palm, which can reach up to 30 m in height, possesses leaves fins up to 3 meters long; while I fruits (drupes) are small berries rounded shape, colored dark purple, weighing an average of one gram, without peel, but a big kernel and one pulp with a grainy texture.
The açaì were "discovered" recently, when the ethnobotanical research has come to identify them as the most nutritious fruits of the Amazon rainforest. Scientific studies have revealed that these berries are one incredible resource of anthocyanins (purple-red plant pigment with powerful antioxidant properties), protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals, whose multiple actions make açaí so precious. Let's get to know them better.
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The properties of açaí berries
There are several properties of açaí berries, let's see their actions and benefits in detail:
- Antioxidant action: i Anthocyanins are a group of active ingredients (with a value equal to about 30 times the antioxidant properties of red wine and three times those of blueberry!) capable of counteracting aging premature cells and tissues.
- Hypocholesterolemic action: essential fatty acids they help the transport and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, A, E, D and K; intervene on cholesterol, providing a 'protective action on the heart and circulatory system. The fatty acids of açaì, in particular theoleic acid (omega-9) lowers LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins or bad cholesterol) which causesatherosclerosis, a thickening of the arteries, responsible for many cardiovascular diseases. The presence oflinoleic acid (omega-6) helps keep cell membranes healthy.
- Anti-inflammatory action: i sterols they are components of plant cell membranes, which bring numerous benefits to the human body. Besides reduce cholesterol in the blood plasma, e demolish accumulated fats, phytosterols affect the metabolism of prostaglanins, an active biological component found in the body, by playing aanalgesic action e inflammatory. Sterols are now used for the treatment of symptoms associated with BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia), i.e.benign hyperplasia of the prostate.
- Remineralizing action: the considerable amount of Vitamins, amino acids e minerals, helps regenerate the body and muscles. In addition, the fibers promote a healthy digestive system, as on the one hand they help do not absorb fat, sugar e triglycerides from food, and to keep the colon clean; while on the other they give a sense of satiety. The presence of energizing nutrientsi makes açaì a matchless one fruit juice o energy drink. The grainy pulp of the berries, mixed with other fruits, cereals or muesli and honey corresponds to the classic recipe, able to reduce the feeling of hunger with very few calories, but with one very high concentration of nutrients.
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To learn more:
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