Can Acai Bowls Be Healthy?
The vibrant purple hue of acai topped with some delicious and pretty-looking slices of fruits, chunks of chocolate granola, nuts or seeds, and some chia seeds is a pretty sight! One that will make anyone lust over an acai bowl and if you are a sucker for Instagram-worthy food, then you would surely be following this smoothie in a bowl trend!
This Instagram trendy superfood has become quite a rage and everyone seems to be amazed by this gorgeous bowl of delicious food. Because what’s not to love? Delicious smoothie topped with fruits, nuts, granola, and other toppings of your choice. Yum!!
But are acai berries, the superfood, really healthy? Are acai bowls healthy like everyone claims to be? Let’s find out but for that, we have to start from the beginning!
What Is An Acai Berry?
The acai berry is not like your usual berries. These deep purple berries are commonly found in subtropical regions of Central and South America, and come from the acai palm tree. These berries can’t be simply plucked and eaten as you would do with your strawberries or blueberries. To make an acai berry edible you have to soak them to make their skin softer. That’s exactly why you typically find acai either frozen or in powdered form in supermarkets.
What makes them different from the usual berries is not just their exterior but also the fact that acai berries don’t really have that usual tart-sweet taste but instead are more earthy and some even say they taste like tea. But the fact is, they are packed with powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins and are low in calories, which makes them a healthy choice.
What Are Acai Bowls?
An acai bowl is basically a smoothie in a bowl that you eat with a spoon! The base of an acai bowl is an acai smoothie, made using a packet of frozen acai berries puree or powder that is blended with other fruit juices and either milk or yogurt. Then it is decorated with different toppings like shaved coconut, chocolate granola, fruits, nut butter, seeds, and many other things. When it comes to the toppings the options are endless!
So Are Acai Bowls Healthy?
Now you must be wondering that something that comes from nature, is packed with antioxidants, and is topped with fruits and nuts would be healthy, right? Well, it actually depends on the ingredients used in making that gorgeous-looking bowl! The average acai bowl can be healthy and packed with nutrients like calcium, vitamin A and healthy fats, and good fiber. But sometimes acai bowls are high on calories and added sugars and are simply put just glorified desserts!
While acai smoothie, which makes the base of the bowl, is healthy when blended with milk or yogurt because what you get is the power of berries with a protein. But acai berries are not sweet on their own. That’s why many times they are blended with fruit juices or added sugar, which is not so healthy but obviously makes these bowls tasty!
Next comes the topping, which can also be healthy and nutritious when topped with nuts, sliced fruits, berries, or chia seeds. But the calories and sugar add up and make the whole superfood bowl unhealthy when it is topped with toppings like chocolate shavings, granola, sprinkles, or coconut flakes.
So, to conclude acai bowls are not completely unhealthy, the key is to keep a check on the ingredients when you have them outside. Make sure they are not loaded with added sugar and calories. Or the best way to have this gorgeous bowl and make sure that you get all the healthy nutrients and vitamins is to make one at home.
Just get some frozen unsweetened acai puree and obviously a fancy bowl, because it has to look fancy, right?! Blend the frozen puree with a protein like milk or yogurt and spread it on the base of the bowl and then top it with seeds, nuts, and fruits, and voila…. You can have your very own Instagram-worthy acai bowl at home! The gorgeous purple color makes everything look beautiful! And yes if you are out and about and want to order an acai bowl, simpy, customize it with all the healthy ingredients!