Keeping up with the latest health trends can be challenging, especially when so many different types of foods quickly become popular—but then disappear off the culinary radar, just as fast. Everyone jumps on the bandwagon before there is even enough time to explore the positive and negative aspects of the new “in” superfood. This is especially true for juicing, detoxing teas, and don’t forget the “all-kale everything” diets. Also Read - Gochujeon or Chilli Pepper Pancakes Recipe: Follow These Easy Steps to Make The Tasty Pancakes at Home

Though the desire to lead a healthy lifestyle is commendable, it should include accurate research. So, hold off on replacing the contents of your kitchen with the trendy açaí (Ah-Sigh-EE) fad until we get to the bottom of what açaí really is. Also Read - Easy Vegetable Pasta Recipe: With These Easy Steps, You Can Make This Mouth Watering Dish at Home

For starters, açaí’s name derives from the Brazilian Portuguese adaptation of the Tupian word ïwaca’i, which translates to “the fruit that cries or expels water.” Also Read - Crispy Fried Chicken Recipe: Check Out The Easy Steps on How to Make This Crunchy Non-Vegetarian Dish

Açaí is a reddish/purple berry, which grows on the açaí palm tree and was originally found in the rainforests of Central and South America.

This superfood, like most berries, is rich in fiber, heart-healthy fats, and antioxidants. Some studies claim that it is richer in antioxidants than more comman berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, etc.

Antioxidants contain three significant vitamins: beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E. These vitamins are usually found in colorful fruits and vegetables, but especially in berries. However, because foods within the fruits and vegetable family normally contain necessary antioxidants, it has yet to be determined whether or not açaí berries are more or less beneficial than other foods in this genre.

Similarly, many swear that by including açaí into your daily food intake you will lose weight. But, the verdicts still out on this. Studies have failed to determine if açaí berries have any connection to weight loss. That being said, incorporating fruit into your daily diet, and swapping out unhealthy snacks for more nutritious alternatives, will undoubtedly lead you to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.

Like most fruits, there are great benefits to consuming açaí but there are also side-effects. This is especially important if you are taking açaí as a dietary supplement. It may cause complications for those who are simultaneously taking medication for high cholesterol, diabetes or kidney disease. Increased amounts of açaí may affect other medical conditions when coupled with medication. Therefore, if you are at risk of this type of adverse reaction, you should consult your doctor in order to prevent any future health complications.

Açaí is not only a great fruit when eaten in proper moderation, but the oil that that the berry produces is used in lotions, anti-aging creams, hair products, shampoos, conditioners, and more. Despite processing these items, the antioxidant level remains high, which provides extreme benefits for the skin and hair.

And, if you did not think açaí berries were versatile by now, then you should also note that you can create your own homemade facial mask by simply crushing the açaí berry. This facial treatment will provide oxidation to the skin, and can be mixed with other household ingredients to create an indulgent mask, (i.e. honey, yogurt, avocados, etc).

One study actually found that the açaí berry may be the most beneficial ingredient to treat hyperpigmentation. This is a skin condition that occurs when patches of skin become darker than the surrounding area, usually it occurs because of excess melanin. However, this study like many others is yet to be confirmed.

Overall, açaí—like any berry, or food, for that matter—has great health and beauty benefits when consumed and used in moderation.