Açai is a South American super fruit that has similar or higher (depending on the resource) ORAC values (the amount of antioxidants) as blueberries, pomegranates and red grapes. Some sources claim that it has the highest ORAC value of any fruit or vegetable, whereas others rate it in the high to mid-range. By doing a search online, you can read volumes about this tiny little berry, but here are the key points. Açai contains:
– good amounts of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc
– high levels of vitamins like A, B, C and K
– more resveratrol than red wine
– many phytochemicals including antioxidants, flavonoids and plant sterols
– high amounts of fiber
– beneficial fatty acids
– amino acids (proteins)
– relatively low levels of sugar and calories
– amazing flavor
Due to its excellent nutritional profile, açai is believed to be beneficial for heart health, cancer prevention, arthritis, inflammation, metabolic disorders, the immune system and digestive issues. It has been used in traditional herbal medicine for diarrhea, parasites, stomach issues, and bleeding. It’s a great food for detox as well.
The berry is quite perishable, so for those of us in the US, we must buy it as a frozen purée or as a freeze-dried powder. We like to use the unsweetened frozen purée from Sambazon. They also make açai purées with berries, greens, etc., and most of those blends contain added sugar. If using a sweetened purée, eliminate the honey from the recipe.
Want a change of pace? Make a Pitaya Energy Bowl: