Acai bowls can be loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, making them an ideal way to meet your body’s needs for these components. However, restaurant and store-sold versions are heavy with calories and sugars, possibly making the bowls unhealthy indulgences.

Acai bowls have become popularized as a health food because they supply the body with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other dietary components. The bowls are typically prepared using pureed acai berries (or powder) and other fruits, and toppings are done using nuts, fruits, seeds, and granola. Home-made acai bowls can be healthy, especially if you add the fruits and other toppings in moderation to keep sugar and calorie levels in count. However, most restaurant and store-sold acai bowls come in large portions, possibly containing more than one serving, and such add extra sugar, fats, and calories to the body. What are acai bowls? Keep reading this article to get the answer to this question and learn other things about acai bowls.

Understanding acai bowls

Acai bowls refer to health foods prepared from pureed acai berries served in bowls or glasses as smoothies. The hype around acai bowls has popularized primarily because the former may help the body meet its daily needs for antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. However, this largely depends on how you prepare the acai bowls and what you use for topping. Fruits, granola, seeds, and nuts are typically used to form the top, while the base is usually made up of blended acai berries (preferably unsweetened) or blended leafy green veggies, including kale or spinach. Preparing your acai bowls at home gives you control over what goes into your stomach, meaning that you can limit calorie and sugar intake as much as possible. Contrastingly, food store and restaurant versions of the acai bowls often overdo the toppings, making a healthy food turn into an unhealthy sugar and calorie overindulgence. Acai berries are healthy, and so are other fruits and berries, including raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc., added to it as a topping. In fact, in the South American regions where acai berries are grown, they are deemed health foods, and for every reason.

The twist with acai bowls

Although acai bowls are touted healthy, they may or may not be healthy to you, which largely depends on what you feature in them. Keeping it simple by using unsweetened acai berries and whole fruits in small but consistent portions helps you sample the dietary benefits from each ingredient used in the recipe. As such, the best way to go is to limit your consumption to home-made acai bowls. Admittedly, store and restaurant acai bowls can be sweet, but they do not come without heavy calorie and sugar packings.

Many people like acai bowls because of their unique taste and flavor. Using pureed acai berries as the base of the bowls delivers a creamy mouthfeel, which no one would never appreciate. However, kale or spinach bases may not be as creamy as pureed acai berries, but they are definitely healthy. Moreover, acai bowls are loved because of their versatility; you can go around these supposedly superfoods in many ways, each time enjoying them. The creamy nature of the bowls makes them ideal to be used as topping or sauces, and they also blend well with pudding and salads. These are only a few ways of enjoying the bowls; there are many other ways to explore them.

They pack nutrients

Acai bowls are nutrient-dense, which is why they have been touted superfoods, but this is affected by the ingredient used in preparing them. However, they all have antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, and fats. A typical 170 g bowl contains 211 calories, 35 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 7 g fiber, 3 g protein, and 6 g fat. However, eating acai bowls from stores and restaurants may pack as much as 75 g sugar and 500 calories in a single serving, showing that home-made versions are ideally better.

Manganese and vitamin C are the main antioxidants in acai bowls. They help fight free radicals, which, when left unattended, can damage cells through oxidative stress. Consequently, free radicals from metabolism, environmental pollution, radiation, etc., are deemed dangerous. Higher vitamin C, manganese, and other antioxidant concentrations lower the risks of chronic conditions linked to free radicals and oxidative damage. Besides, a typical acai bowl is also loaded with potassium, a mineral that keeps blood vessels healthy, promoting heart health. Moreover, the potassium ions are electrolytic in nature, creating fluid balance in the blood plasma.

They are a good way to add antioxidants to the body

The primary reason why acai bowls are hyped is how rich they are in antioxidants, at least if you don’t interfere with them. Acai berries used as the base of the bowls have anthocyanin antioxidants, primarily cyanidin- 3 rutinoside and glucoside. In fact, they are so heavily loaded with these compounds that they are deemed ideal for lowering weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. Consequently, they are healthy and good for keeping diabetes and heart disease risks low.

They can pack excess sugar and calories

As you are enjoying acai bowls, remember that you can unintentionally supply your body with excess sugars and calories through these bowls. A typical 170 g bowl contains 19 g of sugar and 211 calories, but this can double or triple depending on what ingredients are used in the bowls. Consequently, stick to home-made acai bowls whose sugar count and calories you can limit by wisely choosing ingredients. Contrastingly, buying your acai bowls from the stores and restaurants may leave you consuming more sugar and calories than you intended since most bowls sold have two, three, or more servings, and eating this in a single session adds more harm than good to your body.


Acai bowls are touted healthy and hyped as among the best superfoods and health foods around. While this may be true, it largely depends on the ingredients used to prepare the bowls. Making your acai bowls at home and using less processed acai berries and healthy vegetables like kales and spinach helps you get the fiber, vitamin, and antioxidant content of the bowls. Contrastingly, buying acai bowls from stores and restaurants may make you consume more sugar and calories than intended since the typical store, and restaurant bowls contain two or more servings. Yes, acai bowls can be healthy or unhealthy depending on the ingredients used to prepare them.

Kristina Shafarenko

Kristina Shafarenko is a relationship and health and wellness psychologist and a part-time freelance lifestyle writer covering health and fitness, sex, sexual wellness, and relationships. When she's not writing, you can find her planning her next getaway, taste-testing every coffee spot in sight, and lounging at home with her cat, Buddy.

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