Besides being gorgeous to look at, acai bowls are super healthy! And if you haven't climbed on the Acai bowl bandwagon yet, I sure hope that this easy and super-scrumptious recipe can convince you to try one.
The increasing popularity of acai bowls is partly due to the rich purple hues of acai berries with fresh, colorful toppings that make for some Instagram-worthy photos. The age of Instagram, where posting pics of your food has become a part of daily life, is not going anywhere in a hurry, and people from all walks of life are captivated by these beautiful, single-bowl food creations. Plus, you can easily make an acai bowl at home!
Plant-based diets are on the rise, and for a good reason, too! The health benefits of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, and seeds are well known to promote health and increase resistance to illnesses, which is why you should look for any opportunity to include them in your diet. Interestingly, dairy milk consumption has been declining for decades, as we have increasing non-dairy options with several health benefits over regular dairy milk.
The additional advantage of going vegan, or plant-based, is the considerable contribution you can make to sustaining our planet. The meat and dairy industry directly contributes to deforestation on a massive scale, so healthier food choices for you equals doing your part for the environment, too.
Our plant-based recipe series introduces you to some great meals and snacks and closely examines some of the health benefits of a few ingredients.
Try this delicious Acai bowl for breakfast, or pack it in a glass jar and take it to work for a late afternoon energy-boosting snack.
I love it! I think you will too.
50 grams of acai puree or frozen acai (usually available as a frozen acai packet)
1/4 of Avocado
1/4 Cup of Almond milk or Coconut milk
1 tablespoon of Coconut Yogurt
1 tablespoon of protein powder of your preference
1 tablespoon of Antioxidant super blend - whichever type you prefer.
30 grams of Dragon Fruit
Toppings: This recipe uses dragonfruit, shredded coconut, strawberry, blueberry, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sliced almonds, sliced banana
Mix all ingredients in Blender
Decorate with coconut flakes, banana, dragon fruit, mixed berries, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds.
The exciting part of this homemade acai bowl recipe is that you have an almost unlimited choice of toppings and can switch up some ingredients depending on your mood. For a less creamy, drinkable smoothie version, you can substitute the almond milk and coconut yogurt for apple juice and coconut water. If you don't have seeds in your cupboard, most types of granolas would be an excellent crunchy choice instead, and don't worry too much about the type of fruit you use either -- fresh fruit is great, but frozen fruit works just as effectively, so don't be afraid to use frozen banana where the recipe calls for half a fresh banana.
For an added nutritional punch, you can include chia seed or add a nut butter of your choice, like almond butter, before blending.
An enjoyable breakfast idea for the whole family is to set out bowls of several topping ingredients and let the kids make their own custom acai smoothie bowl. It's incredible how much more likely they are to experiment with new tastes and textures if they are involved in the process of making them.
Shining the spotlight on the ingredients
There is something special about creating your own refreshing smoothie bowl on a hot summer day! It's much healthier than ice cream, and the combination of fresh fruit, frozen acai puree, and yogurt, combined with the crunchiness of granola, nuts, and seeds, is much more satisfying than an ice cream cone.
Let's explore a few of the ingredients in our acai bowl recipe. You might be surprised to learn that some of these humble ingredients pack a punch when maintaining your health.
Acai (pronounced ah-sah-EE) berries are harvested from acai palm trees, which are native to the rainforests of South America. They are similar in appearance to grapes, and many people describe the flavor as a mix between blackberry, raspberry, and dark chocolate - delicious!
You're unlikely to find fresh acai berries in the US due to their short shelf-life, so you would probably find it in the frozen foods section of the grocery store in either acai puree (also called acai pulp) or frozen acai (frozen berries) form.
Like most berries, acai berry is rich in antioxidants, and research into its health benefits shows that this tasty little berry may have some fantastic qualities. Researchers found acai berry to have anticarcinogenic and chemoprotective qualities in several experimental models, and they also established its anti-inflammatory properties. (1).
This delicious homemade acai bowl is just waiting for you to try it, and before you dig in, don't forget to snap a pic of your perfect purple masterpiece!
Did you know that bananas are botanically classified as a berry? I didn't either!
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and a tasty and convenient snack food. They contain essential vitamins like vitamin B6 and vitamin C while low in fat, making the perfect smoothie ingredient. Harvard University broke down the nutritional content of bananas to demonstrate just how impressive it actually is. One medium, ripe banana provides about 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, 28 grams of carbohydrate, 15 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and a whopping 450 mg of potassium (2).
Potassium is a mineral electrolyte that plays a vital role in your body by regulating nerve signals and muscle contractions (including those of your heart), maintaining the water balance in your cells, and reducing the effects of too much sodium in your diet. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, creating health problems, but potassium can help prevent this by flushing out extra sodium. This makes bananas an important food for maintaining heart health and reducing hypertension (2).
The National Institute of Health doesn't have a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for potassium. Still, it suggests an adequate intake (AI) level, the average daily intake estimated to meet the needs of 50% of healthy individuals. Their AI recommendation for healthy adults between the ages of 19 and 50 is 3,400 mg per day for men and 2,600 mg per day for women (5).
The WHO recommends that adults, in general, increase their potassium intake through dietary improvements to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. They suggest a higher potassium intake of 3,510 mg daily for all adults (6).
From these guidelines, it's safe to say that a healthy adult with no underlying reasons to require an unusual amount of potassium should probably be aiming for a daily dietary potassium intake of a minimum 2,600 mg, but around 3,500 would be ideal.
Whether you prefer your avocado on toast with a bit of salt and pepper, as a delicious guacamole dip, to add a rich and creamy texture to your smoothies, or a delicious smoothie bowl like this one, there's no denying that the simple avocado is full of goodness and fantastic versatility.
There are over 500 avocado varieties worldwide, but the most popular and widely available avocados consumed in North America are the Hass variety, grown in California.
Their low glycaemic index (GI) score means they can help keep blood sugar levels stable. Because they're very filling, they may also contribute to a healthy weight loss program (3).
An interesting review into Hass avocado composition and health effects revealed that eight preliminary clinical studies consistently demonstrated positive health effects on blood lipid profiles and indicated that avocados may promote normal blood pressure and help control inflammatory stress (3).
"Avocados are a nutrient and phytochemical-dense food consisting of significant levels of the following: dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K1, folate, vitamin B-6, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, choline, lutein/zeaxanthin, phytosterols, and Monounsaturated fatty acids "(3).
Perhaps we should reword that old saying to read: "an avo a day keeps the doctor away!"
Plant-based milk choices used to belong exclusively in the domain of the lactose intolerant and vegan community, but nowadays, the trend towards healthier and more ethically sourced products is increasing rapidly. In the non-dairy milk market, almond milk is projected to be the fastest-growing segment, partly due to its high nutritional value and readily available sources, making it quite an affordable alternative to dairy milk.
The US National Library of Medicine places the estimates of Americans that are either lactose intolerant or have problems digesting lactose at 65% of the population. This is where cholesterol-free, lactose-free almond milk comes in. With its creamy texture and nutty flavor, it also contains about a third of the calories of skim milk, making it an excellent choice if you're also watching your weight (4).
Did you know that dairy milk increases your risk of heart disease, type2 diabetes, and Alzheimer's? Primarily due to it being the top source of saturated fat and cholesterol in The American diet.
Considering how much milk you consume daily (in your coffee, cereal, smoothies, etc.), it makes sense to choose non-dairy, not only for its proven health benefits but also because you understand the environmental impact you can make when choosing plant-based alternatives.
If you would like to learn more about how you can live a healthier and more fulfilled life, visit our blog at www.nutririse.com, where we share information on nutrition and health supplements and explore holistic ways to improve your well-being.
If you have specific health concerns you want to examine in more detail, try our free assessment quiz, designed to understand your health challenges and help you optimize your well-being.
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If perhaps you have created a new and exciting plant-based recipe that you think people HAVE to know about, reach out to us, and maybe we will choose your recipe for publication! Don't keep your culinary genius all to yourself - let's share it with the world!
We aim to inspire you to make small changes to your diet for a healthier, more energized life.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and not intended for use as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplement.