Every month Sonoma Hills will be featuring a Super Food. The Super Food for September is acai berries.

Acai Berries in a bowl

What Are Acai Berries?

Acai berries are small round fruit that grows on acai palm trees in the rainforests of Central and South America. They have dark purple skin and yellow flesh surrounding a large seed.

Why are they a Super Food?

1. They’re Nutrient-Dense — Acai berries contain healthy fats and are low in sugar.

2. They’re Loaded With Antioxidants —Antioxidants are important because they prevent or slow down damage to cells and lead to a number of diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Acai berries have an incredibly high amount of antioxidants, even more than other antioxidant-rich fruits like blueberries and cranberries.

3. They May Improve Cholesterol Levels — Animal studies have suggested that acai could help improve cholesterol levels by decreasing total LDL (bad cholesterol).

4. They May Have a Possible Anti-Cancer Effect — While no one food is a magic shield against cancer, some foods are known to stop cancer cells from forming and spreading.

5. They Could Boost Brain Function — The plant compounds in acai could also protect your brain from damage as you age. The antioxidants counteract the damaging effects of inflammation and oxidation in brain cells, which negatively affects memory and learning. The brain stays healthy by cleaning up cells that are toxic or no longer working. It makes way for new nerves to form, enhancing communication between brain cells. As you age, this process works less efficiently. However, in lab tests, acai extract has helped stimulate this “housekeeping” response in brain cells.

The Bottom Line — Acai berries have many potential health benefits. They’re loaded with plant compounds that act as antioxidants and could benefit your brain, heart, and overall health. They also deliver healthy fats and fiber, making them a generally healthy food.