Nutrition info for the berries themselves is limited, but in general, acai bowls contain antioxidants, fiber, healthy fats, and other key nutrients.
Foodies across the globe tout acai bowls as a delicious and nutritious favorite. But are these beautiful bowls of joy actually good for you?
Whether you’re a lifelong acai bowl lover or just excited to try out that new juice bar that opened up in your neighborhood — psst your rent is about to go up — we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about acai bowl nutrition.
The simple answer is… kinda? Acai berries have lots of health benefits thanks to their high antioxidant content. Think of antioxidants as raccoons scavenging free radicals from your body’s cells to reduce your risk of conditions like heart disease and cancer.
Nutrition info for the berries themselves is limited. The USDA only lists details for products containing acai. With that in mind, acai bowls are typically good sources of:
- healthy fats
They’re also good sources of fiber, so they can keep you feeling full for longer and might make your poops more regular. Oh, and a 2021 animal study showed that acai berries can have a positive effect on your blood pressure. But we need more research to know for sure.
So, all in all, they def deserve their superfood status. The downside? Acai bowls are sugar bombs. Eating one every day might increase your blood sugar levels or result in weight gain. They’re also not great if you’re on a low carb diet like keto.
A 6-ounce serving has:
- Calories: 211 kcal
- Protein: 2.99 grams (g)
- Fat: 6 g
- Carbs: 35 g
- Sugar: 19 g
- Fiber: 6.97 g
Keep in mind that this nutritional info is for a single serving. Lots of store-bought bowls come in much larger portions that can contain 600 calories or more. They can also reach super high sugar levels, depending on the toppings.
The star ingredient in acai bowls is (surprise!) acai berries. These grape-like berries grow on the acai palm tree, which is native to the rainforests of Brazil. You can blend the berries into a sorbet-like consistency for the base of an acai bowl.
Once you build the base, you can add a bountiful array of your favorite toppings. Some popular options include fresh fruit, peanut butter, chocolate chips, sweetened coconut flakes, honey, and other things that you’d find at a 4-year-old’s birthday party.
The final product is refreshingly cold, creamy, and (usually) sweet AF.
It’s a good idea to avoid acai berries — or any other plant in the Arecaceae family — if you think you may be allergic. They can trigger irritation in the colon and intestinal tract, causing gnarly diarrhea and other digestive issues. So, prob not the best food for a bike ride on a first date if you’ve never tried them before. (Trust us.)
P.S. Right now, there isn’t enough research to show that eating acai bowls on the reg is healthy if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or a child, so definitely consult your healthcare professional before you add these to your diet.
Acai bowls can get pretty pricey. Plus, managing portions might be tough when you order in a rush or from a restaurant. Also, licking the inside of the bowl hits differently when you don’t have a bunch of judgy strangers staring at you.
Here’s how to make an epic acai bowl at home.
- 2 packs of frozen unsweetened acai
- 2 small frozen bananas
- A splash of water or juice
- Break up the frozen acai.
- Add the acai, frozen bananas, and water to a blender.
- Blend until it has a thick, creamy consistency.
- Serve in a bowl.
- Top with your favorite fix-ins
- Boom. That’s it!
There are lots of good reasons to go to town on acai bowls. They’re loaded with antioxidants and are decent sources of fiber. You might want to go easy on the toppings and portion sizes, though. The average store-bought acai bowl contains 600 calories or more, plus a ton of sugar and carbs.