Top Acai Berry Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 10/03/22 •  11 min read

What are acai berry benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are acai berry pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

acai berry benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on acai berry benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about acai berry benefits and side effects. This will include acai berry benefits for your health and potential risks, acai berry water footprint and acai berry carbon footprint, acai berry sustainability, if acai berries are vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if acai berries are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about acai berry benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Acai Berry Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Acai berry health benefits may include:

Acai berries are…

Environment

Water footprint: likely low, it takes 967 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of fruits / 116 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of fruits

Carbon footprint: unknown, far away transit can be a major factor when calculating carbon footprints, the origin of production for acai berries is typically Central and South America, in warm tropical or subtropical climates where acai palm trees grow best

Destruction: low, acai berry production is relatively sustainable, there is no known damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc., be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Acai berries are…

Animals

Kills: none, acai berry production does not require any animals to die

Harms: none, acai berry production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from acai berry production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Acai berries are…

Laborers

Health and safety: acai berries have a high rate of child labor associated with harvest, particularly climbing without harnesses to collect the fruits that hang on trees that can be 65 feet tall, consequences to acai harvesting may include bone fractures, accidental knife wounds, venomous snake, spider bites, paralyzation and death

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: acai berry farmers typically earn only a few cents per kilo after selling to middlemen

Acai berries commonly…

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Where do acai berries come from?

Brazil. Most acai berries originally come from South America, specifically Brazil, the world’s principal producer of açaí. The world’s top acai berry exporting country is Canada, followed by USA, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Poland, Costa Rica, Lithuania, Germany and Greece.

Who consumes the most acai berries?

Brazilians and Americans. The United States is the largest açaí consumer outside of Brazil.
You can eat acai berries raw or use them for desserts, smoothies, sorbets, tarts, and more.

When are acai berries in season?

In the Southern Hemisphere, acai berries are in season from December to August.

Are acai berries good for you?

Yes! Acai berries are high in antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins and fiber. Other names for acai berries are acai and black gold.

acai berries are likely alkaline when fresh and acidic when dried.

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

Are acai berries alkaline or acidic?

Acai berries are likely alkaline when fresh and acidic when dried, once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

acai berries are gluten free. acai berry benefits include fitting into a gluten free diet.

acai berry benefits include being gluten free

Are acai berries gluten free?

Yes, acai berries are naturally gluten free. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

acai berries are not a common food allergen. acai berry benefits include being safe for most.

acai berry benefits include being safe for most

Are acai berries a common food allergen?

No, acai berries are not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to acai berries but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

acai berries likely have a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Do acai berries have a high or low water footprint?

Acai berries likely have a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

acai berries likely have a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Do acai berries have a high or low carbon footprint?

Acai berries likely have a relatively low carbon footprint.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

acai berries are environmentally sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, are acai berries eco friendly? Are acai berries sustainable?

Acai berries production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

acai berries are vegan. acai berry benefits include not killing, harming or using animals.

acai berry benefits include being vegan

Are acai berries vegan?

Yes, acai berries are vegan. Acai berries are a fruit from the açaí palm and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

acai berries tend to have laborer issues.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Are acai berries a product with labor concerns?

Yes, at this time there are major concerns with acai berries production. Child labor is common with acai production from Brazil and other South American countries where production and harvest occurs.

Acai berries have a high rate of child labor associated with harvest, particularly tree climbing to retrieve the fruits that hang from the tops of trees that can be 70 feet tall. Consequences to acai harvesting may include bone fractures, accidental knife wounds, venomous snake, spider bites, paralyzation and death. Children who harvest acai to help support their families are often 5 -14 years old, since acai palms are thin and can only support climbers who are lighter in weight.

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Conclusion

Acai berry pros include:

Acai berry cons include:

This post was all about acai berry benefits and side effects.

Sources:

nativo acai, pure acai berry puree

Mayo Clinic: Acai berries: Do they have health benefits?

Penn State: Are Acai Berries Any Different From Other Berries?

Forbes: The Human Costs Of Acai Production

The Washington Post, Small children are climbing 60-foot trees to harvest your açaí

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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