Rich in antioxidants, fiber, and heart-healthy fats, the Acai berry has long been labeled as a “superfood.” It offers a multitude of health benefits, from anti-aging properties to protection against oxidative damage. I have also seen many supplement manufacturers peddle this fruit as an effective solution for weight loss.
Today we’ll dive deeper into the science behind Acai berry to figure out the truth behind its benefits. Is it actually effective for weight loss? Let’s find out!
What is Acai berry?
Acai berry, also known as Euterpe oleracea in scientific terms, is a small round fruit found in Central and Southern America. Its skin has a dark purple color with yellowish flesh. In my experience, it tastes like a mix between blueberries and chocolate before it’s sweetened.
Traditionally they were consumed as a pulp. but now they have found their way into many dishes, from smoothie bowls to energizing drinks, proving they're a versatile fruit with delectable taste.
Nutritional value of Acai berry
From what I've researched, Acai berries contain a lot of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The most notable of these include:
The question is, do any of these components help with weight loss?
Acai berry and weight loss
Here are a few ways Acai berries can have an impact on your weight loss efforts:
Consuming fewer calories than your body needs is one of the most effective ways of losing weight. But, I’ve seen many people struggle with such a diet due to the constant feeling of hunger.
This is where Acai berries can help you stay consistent.
The thing is, Acai berries contain a decent amount of fiber in them. Not only does this provide a host of digestive benefits, but it can also reduce your hunger — making it easier to stick with a calorie deficit diet.
The Magnesium content of Acai berries can accelerate your weight loss progress. This was clearly illustrated in a recent 2021 meta-analysis which combined the result of several trials. According to this meta-analysis, Magnesium intake can reduce BMI, body weight, and even waist circumference in some test subjects.
In addition to that, I also found a 1992 study that shows how Magnesium supplementation can boost your body's strength. This can help you increase the intensity of your workout sessions, allowing you to lose weight at a much faster rate.
Studies show how Vitamin A intake can lower obesity and help with your weight loss efforts. That said, it’s unlikely that the Vitamin A content of Acai berries will provide these benefits.
This is because the daily recommended intake of Vitamin A is 125 mcg, while 100 grams of this fruit contain only 25 mcg. So, even if Vitamin A can help with weight loss, there isn’t enough in Acai to make a noticeable difference.
What this means
To be fair, there are some promising nutrients in Acai berry — like fiber and Magnesium — that might help with your weight loss efforts.
That said, 100 grams of Acai berry contains only 3 grams of fiber. So, you will have to consume 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of Acai daily to get the 30 grams of fiber required for consistent weight loss. Similarly, the Magnesium content of 100 grams of Acai berry is around 124 mg, while you need about 450 mg to experience its weight loss benefits.
In other words, you’ll have to consume a frankly ridiculous amount of Acai berry every day to see any meaningful weight loss benefits. So, I cannot label it as an effective weight loss supplement.
An even bigger issue, however, is that I did not find a single conclusive study that demonstrates the weight loss benefits of Acai berries as a whole.
The FDA also issued warnings to several Acai berry products in 2007 that oversold its potential as a weight loss solution.
Other proven benefits of Acai berries
While the weight loss benefits of Acai are very inconclusive, it does have some proven benefits for its users. These include:
Bad Cholesterol reduction
A 2011 study tested this correlation in 10 overweight adults. All of them were given 100 g of Acai pulp, twice a day, for one month. After this trial period, most of these test subjects demonstrated a reduction in their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Acai berries contain a number of flavonoid compounds such as orientin, homoorientin, vitexin, luteolin, chrysoeriol, quercetin, and dihydrokaempferol. These compounds can protect the cells in your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
From what I know, this antioxidative property of Acai can improve your health in the long run and reduce the risk of several diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart-related issues.
Acai berry is not a complete weight loss solution, not even close. Its fiber and Magnesium content might provide some improvement in your diet and exercise routine. However, until we get confirmation from more in-depth human-focused studies, I do not recommend consuming these berries in the hope of getting slimmer.
That said, Acai is still a fruit with a quirky taste and plenty of beneficial nutrients. Not to mention its other benefits such as cholesterol reduction and protection from oxidative damage.
So, making Acai berries a part of your diet is not a bad idea. Just don’t expect it to help you shed pounds of weight.