The acai berry (Euterpe oleraceae) originates from South America and has become popular in recent years due to its rich polyphenol (antioxidant) content, and subsequent health benefits.
Extensive research has suggested that acai berries can have neuroprotective effects i.e. help protect against damage to the central nervous system, which includes the brain.
A recent study, conducted at the University of Adelaide and published in Neuroscience Letters, has demonstrated a possible mechanism for the neuroprotective effects of acai berries.
The researchers found that certain polyphenols from acai berries may inhibit the formation of plaque from beta-amyloid proteins. Beta-amyloid proteins are strongly implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.
This was an in-vitro study, meaning it wasn’t conducted in live organisms. Greater research is therefore needed before any definite conclusions can be drawn.
Acai berries are however a very healthy fruit to include in your diet. Acai berries can be purchased in a range of formats including juice, pulp and powder. Try incorporating this exotic fruit into a smoothie for a super food breakfast or a snack.