I don't know about you, but I snooze at least three times before I get up.
I encourage you to give yourself a little more time during your morning routine to stretch a bit, make a nice breakfast, read a little, etc. but I know realistically some days we end up running late out the door. Because... human.
Well, this recipe is PERFECT for those days.
You may be thinking... "Acai bowl?! Sounds too complicated on a busy morning."
This bad boy can be whipped up as easily as a smoothie (it is a smoothie bowl after all). All you have to do is throw on some toppings, grab your reusable spoon, and you're good to go out the door.
I always take Bamboo Abode's Bamboo Cutlery Set with me. I keep it in my bag at all times so that I don't have to ever use disposable plastic cutlery when I'm out of the house. It even comes with a reusable straw (and a cleaner brush for it, too)!
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So what's so special about acai bowls? Well, for one thing, your body will absolutely love you if you start your day off with this superfood ingredient. Here's why!
This blueberry lookalike is native to the Amazon River delta, and has been used by the indigenous Amazonian community for its medicinal properties since before recorded history. They contain a variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and an array of B vitamins. They're also an excellent source of minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Acai's dense nutrient profile provides the body with strong immune support, potent cancer-fighting potential, cognitive enhancement, better cardiovascular health, natural muscle recovery, and helps slow the visible signs of aging.
Strong Immune Support
The human body kills and builds a billion new cells every day through a processing mechanism called an oxidative metabolism. As a result of this process, free radicals are created. Free radicals are essentially molecules with an unpaired electron, making them unstable.
It is part of a normal body to have a small amount of free radicals, but they can also be introduced to the body through the proliferation of stress and environmental toxins like air pollution that exists this day in age. If not kept under control, these free radicals can attack our DNA and trigger the growth of a number of diseases.
In order to stabilize them and prevent them from causing damaging activity, those free radicals need antioxidants. So consuming antioxidant-rich food helps the body reduce the amount of free radicals and support immune system functioning. Recent clinical trials have found that consuming antioxidants can significantly improve certain immune reactions.
The high levels of Vitamin C and E make acai berries a powerhouse of antioxidants. In fact, this little fruit has been regarded as having the highest antioxidant capacity to date. In particular, the polysaccharides (carbohydrates) in acai berries can prompt natural immune responses in the body and help fight off viruses and bacteria. Additionally, the zinc in acai further helps to boost immunity.
Potent Cancer-Fighting Potential
In addition to being chock full of antioxidants that help the body combat unstable free radicals, acai berries are loaded with phytochemicals such as lignans and polyphenols that give acai an exceedingly high cancer-fighting potential.
The anti-carcinogenic and chemo-preventive activities of acai have been proven to reduce the incidence, growth, multiplicity, and size of cancer tumors. In another study, using the concentration of acai phytonutrients that are expected to be in one’s bloodstream after consumption, scientists placed some droplets onto cancer cells taken from a woman with leukemia. The acai extract killed up to 86% of leukemia cancer cells when applied directly onto them.
An increase in oxidative stress and inflammation has been directly linked to age-related diseases that affect memory and learning capabilities. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between oxidative and antioxidative systems, and thus more antioxidants are needed to restore balance.
Vitamin B complex is also extremely healing for the brain, as B vitamins alleviate nervous system degeneration. These vitamins, especially Vitamin B-12, have an important role in maintaining normal neural functions. Additionally, B vitamins have been linked to an increase in psychomotor speed and cognitive performance, even more so in teenagers and children who were supplemented with Vitamin B-6.
Think “Vitamin B” for brain.
Better Cardiovascular Health
Acai berries have been regarded as a being a heart healthy fruit due to their abundance of polyphenols, phytonutrients, and fiber. This compound profile can produce significant improvements in LDL cholesterol oxidation, lipid (fat) integration, and glucose metabolism.
Due to their low glycemic index, acai berries can help stabilize blood sugars.
In a clinical study, two packs of frozen acai pulp were given to ten overweight adults every day for a month. Even when taking the acai with sugar, their fasting blood sugar levels, insulin levels, and cholesterol noticeably dropped.
A healthy metabolism, controlled blood sugar, and lower cholesterol can all help maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Natural Muscle Recovery
Acai berries are very high in amino acids. These building blocks of protein are in charge of critical bodily functions including the production of hormones and neurotransmitters, generating and repairing muscle tissue, and even helping the body absorb nutrients.
In a study where athletes were given an acai beverage, it was concluded that acai compounds may be responsible for improving performance during high intensity training and reducing muscle stress.
It has also been concluded that the anti-inflammatory antioxidants and polyphenols in acai can significantly reduce pain and improve range of motion for those living with illness and chronic pain.
The zinc and magnesium in acai can also play a role in healing and growing muscle tissue. Zinc reduces lactic acid build-up in muscles, helps the body produce growth hormones, and reduces muscle fatigue. Magnesium helps muscle tissues absorb oxygen, which relaxes muscles and allows them to handle more endurance. Magnesium is also known to promote deep and restful sleep, which also aids in the recovery of muscles.
Slows the Visible Signs of Aging
Free radicals can trigger the growth of disease in the body, but they are also responsible for the premature aging of cells, which can manifest on the skin and cause wrinkles and other imperfections. The antioxidants in acai berries can repair damaged skin cells caused by free radicals, thus making the skin smoother and more supple.
Besides slowing the signs of aging, the antioxidants in acai berries can help with other skin issues such as hyper-pigmentation by restoring and evening out skin tone.
Other Health Benefits of Acai Berries
Adding acai berries to your diet can also:
- Soothe the gastrointestinal tract by decreasing bloating and improving digestion (thanks, fiber!)
- Provide increased energy levels due to the high amino acid content making nutrients readily available
- Restore healthy electrolyte balance which helps keep the body hydrated and ensures proper functioning of cells
An acai bowl like this is the most delicious way to get in all this good stuff! So let's get started.
2 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen raspberries
1x 2.5 oz pack of acai puree
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbs almond or peanut butter
optional toppings: berries, granola, ground flaxseed, and a drizzle of nut butter
Blend everything together (you may need to stop every now and then and stir it around with a spoon or tamper if took thick).
Top with toppings and on the go!
Lots of love,