Cholestrol

How Acai Benefits Cholesterol Patients

Acai is a berry that resembles grapes. It was originally found in the rain forests of Amazon, Brazil. It is considered one of the best super foods because of the various health benefits it has to offer. This article describes how acai benefits people with high cholesterol.

Compounds That Contribute To Acai Benefits

Acai berries are a good source of :

  • Dietary fiber
  • Unsaturated fats
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Phytosterols
  • Anthocyanins

Phytosterols:

Some of the phytosterols in acai are – stigmasterol, campesterol, brassicasterol and avenasterol. Phytosterols reduce cholesterol in the following ways:

  • They work by inhibiting cholesterol absorption in the intestine. These phytosterols are similar to cholesterol in structure. Hence they compete with cholesterol in attachment to micelles (that transport cholesterol to the intestine). This reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the body.
  • They are also known to prevent cholesterol re-absorption from bile acids. Another advantage of these phytosterols is that they are very slowly absorbed by the body. Thus they remain in the body for a long time and protect us from cholesterol.

Fatty Acids:

Acai also contains the essential fatty acids – oleic and linoleic acids, that are known to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the body.

Anthocyanins:

  • A class of flavanoids called anthocyanins are known to be present in abundance in acai berries.
  • Anthocyanins are known to have antioxidant properties. This property prevents the oxidation of the bad cholesterol molecules. It is found that LDL is harmless until it gets oxidized. So, by preventing its oxidation, the entire sequence of plaque formation in the arteries is stopped.

Dietary Fiber:

Acai is also very fibrous in nature. This helps in cholesterol management. High fiber content in the diet results in a healthy digestive system and in turn lowers bad cholesterol levels.

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