Acai berries are delicious fruit berries that are loaded with essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and dietary fibers, etc. and provides numerous health benefits such as aids in detoxification, helps with weight loss, regulates blood sugar level, reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, improves cardiovascular health, promotes digestive health, strengthens the immune system, promotes sound sleep, etc.
These round-shaped berries are reddish-purple and are mainly found in rain forests of South America. These berries started gaining popularity around 1990, but they were being used by Amazon tribes for centuries for curing several ailments. Although acai berries have a rich nutritious profile such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc. and provide amazing health and beauty benefits, it is suggested to be on the safe side and consume them in moderation to avoid the risk of possible side effects.
Interestingly, pure and unprocessed acai berries or acai berries juice and puree are relatively free from any serious side effects. It is mainly the addition of other ingredients such as caffeine, sugar, tobacco, and toxic fillers present in the acai berries supplements that are responsible for these side effects.
Side Effects Of Acai Berries
Some common side effects that may arise due to acai berries are as follows:-
(1) May Cause Buildup Of Toxins
The dietary fibers present in the acai berries make it a natural detoxifier that aids in the removal of toxins and other impurities from our system. When there are fewer toxins in our system then it eases the functioning of our vital organs such as the liver and kidneys and also improves or skin health.
Acai berries juice is also known for its detoxifying benefits.
However, the same doesn’t hold for the acai berries supplements as unwanted substances such as tobacco and toxic fillers are often added as ingredients during the preparation of acai berries supplements.
Because of this reason, it is recommended to consume acai berries in their natural and unprocessed form. Not just the acai berries but acai berries juice and puree made from acai berries is also good as long as they are not mixed with harsh chemicals.
(2 ) Blood Thinning Complications
On one hand, acai berries have flavonoids that help with the blood-thinning, and on another hand, they have vitamin K which is known for its anti-coagulant properties. Both these neutralize each other which means unprocessed acai berries don’t have much impact on changing the consistency of blood.
While on the other hand, acai berries supplements mostly contain herbs such as garlic, ginkgo, and feverfew which are known for their blood-thinning properties.
Prolonged long use of such supplements should be avoided as they make our blood thinner which means even minor injuries such as cuts and wounds can lead to severe bleeding.
If you have any scheduled surgery, then it is suggested to stop using acai berries supplements two weeks before surgery, and also avoid consuming it up to two weeks after the surgery.
(3) May Cause Liver Inflammation
Acai berries are good for our liver because of the presence of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, etc.
The antioxidants in the acai berries protect our vital organs like the liver and kidneys from the oxidative stress caused by the free radicals.
The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C help with liver inflammation and also provides relief from pain and inflammation caused by other inflammatory problems like gouts, rheumatism, asthma, bronchitis, arthritis, and osteoarthritis, etc.
However, if you have liver inflammation then you should avoid acai berries supplements as it contains “Echinacea”, a herb that is known to cause and worsen liver inflammation, leading to liver damage. Prolonged consumption of acai berries supplements can weaken our immune system and cause havoc to our health.
(4) May Cause Hypotension
Acai berries are very beneficial for people with hypertension or high blood pressure as it is a natural vasodilator that relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and provides relief from hypertension. Regulating blood pressure also improves our cardiovascular health and minimizes the risk of heart attack, heart stroke, irregular heartbeat, and so on.
Although acai berries are good for regulating high blood pressure, it is suggested to consume them in moderation as excessive consumption of acai berries may lower our blood pressure to an abnormally low level giving rise to hypotension, giving rise to dizziness, nausea, fainting, dehydration, blurred vision, and pale skin, etc.
Also, if you are already taking medication for high blood pressure, then consumption of acai berries may interfere with the medication. In such a situation, it is suggested to consume acai berries only after consultation with your doctor.
(5) Not Recommended For Underweight People
Acai berries are not suitable for underweight people as it contains compounds that slow down our appetite.
This could lead to calorie deficiency in underweight people who might already be low in calorie consumption.
However, for people who would like to get rid of some extra pounds, this is advantageous as it decreases our urge to eat, again and again, controls overeating, and thus helps with the weight loss.
Eating 100 grams of acai berries provides around 70 calories which are very low in comparison to calorie-dense fruits such as dates, prunes, raisins, and avocados, etc.
(6) Possible Interaction With Medications
Acai berries are loaded with essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and dietary fibers, etc. that provide numerous benefits such as regulating blood sugar, improves cardiovascular health, regulates high blood pressure, strengthens immunity, promotes neurological health, and so on.
Despite all these benefits, it is suggested to consume acai berries in moderation.
Some of the compounds present in the acai berries can interact with pain killers and nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and naproxen. If you are taking any of these medicines, then it is suggested to avoid consuming acai berries without your doctor’s knowledge.
Acai berries are loaded with antioxidants, but if you are already taking antioxidants supplements then it is advisable to consult your doctor before the inclusion of acai berries in your diet.
Antioxidants in acai berries protect our cells and tissues from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals and reduce the risk of various cancers. However, at the same time, there are certain compounds in acai berries that block the effectiveness of the cancer medications. This means, consuming acai berries while being on the cancer medications is a big NO.
Acai berries can also affect the results of the MRI scan, and their consumption should be stopped a few weeks before going for the scan.
(7) May Cause Chagas Disease
Consuming acai berries is also known to increase the risk of Chagas disease. It is a tropical parasitic disease caused by the parasite called “Trypanosoma cruzi”. It mainly spread through blood-sucking insects such as triatomines that are native to South America. These insects could contaminate the berries with disease-causing parasites and may increase the risk of Chagas disease.
Initially, Chagas disease can cause mild fever and swelling, but if left untreated it can also lead to congestive heart failure and damage to the central nervous system.
(8) May Cause Respiratory Problems
Overconsumption of acai berries can cause problems such as swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat.
Some individuals might experience these allergic symptoms even while consuming acai berries for the first time. So, they should completely avoid consuming acai berries.
In some individuals, acai berries may also cause wheezing and other respiratory symptoms.
(9) May Aggravate Pollen Allergy
Acai berries are not suitable for people with pollen allergies as they may aggravate the symptoms of pollen allergy. These individuals should completely avoid acai berries consumption, and accidental consumption should be reported to the doctor to make sure that the situation can be controlled before it gets worsen.
(10) Consuming Acai Berries During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Pregnancy is an important stage in the life of a woman, and at this stage, she needs to ensure that she is enjoying nutritious food as what she consumes not only determines her health, but also the health and wellness of the fetus growing in her womb.
The safety of the food item is as important as the health benefits provided by that food item.
In this regard, acai berry is a delicious fruit berry that is loaded with essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc., and provides numerous benefits for our health. However, consuming acai berries during the pregnancy and breastfeeding stage is a crucial decision that should only be taken with the doctor’s advice. Pregnancy is a sensitive stage and only a doctor can tell how your body will react to any food item.
In addition to this, if your doctor has prescribed you any medicine or any kind of supplement for maintaining a healthy pregnancy, then consumption of acai berries could worsen interfere with the medicines and may cause complications in the pregnancy.
Also, it should be noted that acai berries supplements should be completely avoided by pregnant and nursing mothers as they may contain harsh chemicals that could affect the health of the mother and the baby negatively.
(11) Acai Berries And Allergy
Acai berries belong to the Arecaceae family, and if you are allergic to any plant of this family, then you are highly likely to be allergic to acai berries, and you should refrain from consuming Acai berries.
Some common examples of plants that belong to this family are coconut, date palm, Queen palm, majestic palm, acai palm, peach palm, etc.
As we can see the majority of these plants are various kinds of palm trees.
If you are allergic to any of them, keep acai berries out of your food plate.
Some common symptoms of acai berries allergic reaction are as follows:- breathing difficulty, chest pain, chest pain, difficulty in swallowing, swelling of lips, swelling of the tongue, headache, and swelling of the throat, etc.
(12) May Cause Irritation In Digestive Tract
Consuming acai berries on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for our stomach and overall digestive health due to the presence of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fibers, etc. in them.
The antioxidants in the acai berries protect our digestive system from the ill effects of the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals, and the dietary fibers in the acai berries act as a natural laxative, improves bowel movement, and thus ensures smooth elimination of stool from our system.
By doing so, it provides relief from constipation and as well as other gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, gas, bloating and flatulence, etc.
However, when acai berries are consumed in excess then the overdose of dietary fibers could negatively affect our health-giving rise to problems such as malabsorption, intestinal gas, intestinal blockage, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, etc.
Overconsumption of acai berries can also irritate the colon and intestinal tract, causing diarrhea.
(13) May Cause Hypoglycemia
The Glycemic index of a food item is a scale from 0 to 100 that determines the rate at which a particular food item releases sugar into the bloodstream.
Acai berries have a low glycemic index which means they release sugar into the bloodstream at a slower pace, prevent a sudden spike in the blood sugar level, and thus aids in managing diabetes.
The dietary fibers in the acai berries also play a significant role in regulating blood sugar level as it slows down the rate at which sugar gets absorbed by the bloodstream.
However, if you are already on diabetes medication for dropping your blood sugar level, then it is advised to consult your doctor before adding acai berries to your diet as they may interfere with the medication.
Excessive consumption of acai berries or consuming them along with the diabetes medication may drop our blood sugar to an extremely low level, thereby increasing the risk of hypoglycemia which is characterized by the symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, pale skin, shakiness, fatigue, anxiety, sweating, and hunger, etc.
The information contained in the post is for general purposes only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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