This article was co-authored by Claudia Carberry, RD, MS. Claudia Carberry is a Registered Dietitian specializing in kidney transplants and counseling patients for weight loss at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She is a member of the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Claudia received her MS in Nutrition from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2010.
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The acai berry is an antioxidant that has debatable benefits for weight loss. Some believe it reduces appetite and increases energy, making it appealing to those who have not accomplished weight loss through just diet and exercise. That said, there is currently no scientific evidence the berries have specific weight loss or health benefits. X Research source Many sources of information about acai and its health benefits are misleading and unreliable. Acai has not been shown to promote weight loss.
Part 1 of 2:
Using Different Forms of Acai
1Look for acai in many different forms. Because there is a lot of excitement surrounding acai, there are a lot of different way you can get it. Experiment with different brands and kinds of acai to discover the one that works for you the best.
- Fresh acai is ideal if you can get it. It may be uncommon, but it is the best way to ensure the acai you're eating is of top quality.
- Dried or frozen acai works well when it is hard to find fresh acai berries. These forms of acai will last longer than fresh acai berries.
- Juice or concentrates can be easier to consume on the go. However, these may be expensive, and it is hard to determine how much acai you're getting.
- Powder or pill forms of acai have a long shelf-life. They also make taking acai very easy. However, as these products are not evaluated by the FDA, it is difficult to tell exactly what you're getting. Look on the label for a third party verifier such as United States Pharmacopeia (USP).
A wikiHow reader asked: "What are the benefits of acai berries?"EXPERT ADVICE
Claudia Carberry, a registered dietitian, responds: "Some people believe they reduce appetite and increase energy but this has not been proven through research. However, acai berries are rich in antioxidants."
2Add acai berries to low-fat desserts, like frozen yogurt. Making frozen yogurt is a simple way to satisfy your sweet tooth, and to get your acai berry benefits at the same time. This takes some time to freeze and requires an ice cream maker, but it is worth the wait. Replace your ice cream with a healthier acai dessert.
- Gather your ingredients
- 1 cup of frozen or fresh pomegranate arils
- 7 ounces of açai puree, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 32 ounces of Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ cup of lime juice.
- Toss the frozen pomegranate arils with the açai puree, honey, vanilla, and lime juice.
- Drain the liquid from the fruit and honey mixture right into the yogurt and set aside.
- Whisk the yogurt/liquid mixture until smooth.
- Pour the yogurt base into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- In the last two minutes of mixing, pour in the acai-pomegranate mixture.
- Freeze for a little bit to allow the frozen yogurt to solidify.
- Gather your ingredients
3Toss acai berries into healthy snacks to sweeten them up. Liven up foods like granola, cereal, oatmeal, salads and plain yogurt using acai. There are plenty of foods to which you can just add fresh acai berries. Because they don't need to be cooked, you can liberally combine fresh acai with many of the things you already eat.
- Make a summer salad, with spinach, red onions, cashews, and acai berries.
- Built a yogurt parfait, by layering granola, acai berries, and yogurt in a cup.
- Throw acai into your oatmeal while it is cooking.
- Toss acai berries in Greek yogurt, then freeze for a tasty snack.
4Make an acai berry breakfast bowl. Acai berry breakfast bowls, which are essentially a smoothie in a bowl, are a popular way to consume acai. Making acai bowls are an easy way to get a nutritious, satisfying, acai-filled meal. While there are many variations on the acai bowl, highlighting the versatility of this recipe, there are some basic principles to producing one.
- Vary the kinds of raw foods you include. Try spinach, nuts, and banana to name a few. Add some apple sauce and some chia or flax.
- Blend your ingredients in a high-speed blender. This gives the dish an even consistency, a crucial quality of the acai breakfast bowl.
- Thicken with chia or ice to the desired consistency. This will help you to feel more full, aiding in your weight-loss.
5Add fresh acai berry to various recipes. While you're focused on losing weight, try to view acai berry like you would any other berry. The flavor of many foods, from muffins, breads, and pies to chicken, turkey, and fish can be improved or enhanced with the addition of this berry.
- Gather your ingredients:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Cognac or brandy
- 1/3 cup grapefruit juice
- 2 tablespoons acai berry vinegar
- 2 1/4 cups fresh or frozen acai berries, thawed
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 4 chicken breasts, without skin
- Melt butter in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Stir brown sugar until all the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes
- Mix Cognac, grapefruit juice and vinegar, and bring to boil, stirring. Add 1 1/4 cups berries and stock and boil, until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 175 °F (79.4 °C). Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken, skin side down, for a couple of minutes on each side. Then place the chicken in a greased baking dish.
- Pour the still simmering sauce over the chicken, and add the remaining berries.
- Bake, covered, for two hours, or until the chicken is heated to 175 °F (79.4 °C) in the center. For faster cooking, heat the oven to 400 °F (204.4 °C), and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer shows the meat has been heated to 175 °F (79.4 °C) throughout.
- Spoon sauce onto plates. Slice chicken and place atop sauce. Garnish with additional berries.
- Gather your ingredients:
6Drink acai berry. Using a powder, acai juice, or liquid concentrate you can make it really easy to take acai all the time. Making your own drink with it is a cost-effective method of using this weight loss product, though ready-made beverages are more convenient.
- Find juice that boasts acai berry or acai extracts as one of its main ingredients.
- Blend the powder into a smoothie, along with frozen yogurt, milk or soy milk, and any other fruits that you desire.
- Purchase ready-made juice or smoothies at health food stores, websites, or gyms.
7Find acai berry in herbal supplement capsules. This is usually the easiest form to find. It can also be the least expensive form of acai berry. Capsules will enable you to consume larger quantities of acai, without adding a lot of extra calories. However, as many herbal supplements are not evaluated by the FDA, it can be difficult to know exactly what you're taking.
- This is the method of choice for those needing large doses of acai.
- Capsules can be purchased online or in health food stores.
- Take a daily dosage as recommended on the packaging by the manufacturer.
- If you don't like to swallow capsules, look for chewable tablets or those that dissolve in the mouth.
Part 2 of 2:
Understanding the Facts
1Be aware that it is possible to be allergic to acai. People who are allergic to pollen or who have a palm allergy should be wary of acai. The severity of these reactions can vary. If you begin to feel abnormal or adverse reactions after taking acai, consult your doctor.
2Know why acai is purported to impact weight loss. Weight-control theories about acai rely on the idea that powerful antioxidants, such as those found in acai berries, help promote metabolic function. It is postulated that this in turn can help promote weight loss.
- Antioxidants in acai are credited with promoting weight-control by aiding metabolic processes. Anthocyanins are considered the major antioxidant component in acai, X Trustworthy Source PubMed Central Journal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of Health Go to source but these are found in a wide variety of berries and other fruit and vegetables. They can be extracted from all of these sources, the same as acai.
- Monounsaturated fats found in acai, like avocado and olives, are credited with controlling appetite. However, so much acai would have to be consumed to achieve these benefits that caloric intake would likely impede weight loss, and the diet would be impractically expensive in many cases. X Research source
3Look into the research behind acai and weight loss. Because there is not very much science supporting the impact of acai on weight loss, the science that does exist is inconclusive. However, there are two studies that specifically investigated acai in its regard to body fat and weight loss, finding that acai may actually cause people to put on more fat.
- In a study comparing the efficacy of a number of berries on weight-loss in mice, some berries actually had a measurable impact on weight-loss. However, acai berries were not only ineffective, they caused a build-up of fatty tissue in some parts of the body. X Research source
- In another study, acai consumption in humans was found to be positively correlated with an increase of visceral fat. Where minor weight loss was seen in individuals with an unhealthy level of body mass, the placebo effect cannot be ruled out. X Research source
4Pay attention to government advisories about acai. The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, released a warning to consumers about the abusive nature of misleading information regarding health benefits reported in the marketing of acai products. Pay close attention to the sources of information you read regarding acai. X Trustworthy Source Federal Trade Commission Independent U.S. government agency focused on consumer protection Go to source Specifically:
- False or unsupported claims that use of the acai products would cause rapid and substantial weight loss, including as much as 25 pounds in four weeks.
- News sites, where news reports, reporters who conducted independent tests of the products, and comments following the stories represented the views of independent consumers are fabricated.
- Failure to adequately disclose that the content on the fake news sites was authored by affiliated marketers.
- Failure to adequately disclose that consumers who sign up to receive a trial supply of the advertised products but who do not return the products and cancel quickly will be charged for the products, and will be shipped more products and billed on a recurring basis.
QuestionWhat is Acai Daily Cleanse used for?Cleanses are not recommended are not necessary for good health. Eating acai berries is the best way to use them.
QuestionIs the acai berry good for you?Acai berries can be a healthy part of a balanced diet. They are rich in antioxidants.
QuestionDo acai bowls help you lose weight?There is not strong evidence that acai will help you lose weight. Cut back on calories and exercise for weight loss.
Recipe Ratings and Stories
- ↑ https://nccih.nih.gov/health/acai
- ↑ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21569436
- ↑ http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/acai-weight-loss-wonder-fruit?page=2
- ↑ http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnme/2014/403041/
- ↑ http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Wendy_Weissner/publication/225047071_An_evidence-based_systematic_review_of_acai_(Euterpe_oleracea)_by_the_Natural_Standard_Research_Collaboration/links/00b4952ee40ee5ea96000000.pdf
- ↑ https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2012/09/ftc-charges-second-affiliate-network-internet-advertisers
About This Article
If you want to use acai berries for weight loss, bear in mind that the science surrounding it is currently inconclusive, however, acai berries are still a a great way to add flavor to healthy foods. For example, try adding a handful of berries to a healthy snack, like granola, cereal, oatmeal, low-fat yoghurt, or a salad. You can also use acai berries to flavor savory foods like bread, pies, chicken, turkey, and fish. If you’d prefer to drink acai berries, look for a juice with them as an ingredient, or add them to a smoothie for a convenient option. Alternatively, you can find acai berries in herbal supplement capsules, which is an easy way to consume larger quantities. However, more research needs to be done on how effective acai berries are and how much is a healthy dose, so use your discretion when consuming larger amounts. For more tips from our Dietary co-author, including how to make a breakfast bowl with acai berries, read on!