Acai: The Original Superfruit
The acai berry is a superfruit native to South America that is packed with nutrition and flavor. It has gone from a relatively unknown regional staple in and around Brazil to an increasingly popular international sensation that is served in bowls, smoothies, and delicious recipes around the world.
For centuries, acai berries have been a part of the daily diet of communities living in the drainage basin of the Amazon Rainforest. In fact, acai consumption is even higher than the most ubiquitous Western staples, such as milk and bread, among the native peoples of the Amazon Region. For many, acai makes up to 30 - 40% of their daily caloric intake.
Originally, the acai harvest couldn’t travel very far from its source, as processing and preservation needed to occur within 24 hours, which simply was unavailable to those communities at the time. However, once those regions became more developed, the secret of this superfruit slowly started to make itself known.
It first found popularity in the 1970s and 1980s in Rio de Janeiro. Acai became a natural fit for the growing “beach culture” of Brazil’s second most populous city. Once people started adding guaraná, a naturally energizing sweetener, as well as fruit and granola to craft acai “bowls” and “smoothies,” the craze really started to take off.
By the 1990s, acai was dominating the beaches of Rio and spreading beyond Brazil to the rest of the world.
Originally discovered in the Amazon drainage basin, acai berries are found in clusters at the top of the acai palm tree, which can grow as high as 80 feet tall. To preserve the pulp, the berries are first wild-harvested by hand, then soaked in water to soften their outer skin. From there, the acai is flash pasteurized and frozen within 24 hours of harvest to be shipped across Brazil and around the world.
All Amafruits acai berries are handpicked and harvested in the wild, which means they are naturally organic and are a completely sustainable commodity to support the natural environment of the Amazon rainforest.
Perhaps the two most notable parts of the nutrient profile of acai are its high levels of antioxidants and essential fatty acids and the fact that each serving has nearly zero natural sugar.
Antioxidants are a vital part of the body’s efforts to fight off harmful “free radicals,” which can be generated by stress, illness, smoking, poor diet, and pollution. What’s more, these free radicals can cause cell damage that may predispose one to cancer and early aging. Fortunately, acai is overflowing with naturally-occurring antioxidants, surpassing the levels found in blueberries, oranges, blackberries, and almost any other fruit!
Acai is also rich in essential fatty acids, containing about as much omega-6 and omega-9 as olive oil. These “good fats” can not only help lower and maintain your levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol), but also help raise your levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol). Essential fatty acids also offer a better source of energy than usual fruit sugars, which are fast-releasing and can lead to spikes and crashes. With low levels of sugar, the energy provided by acai is released more slowly throughout the body, meaning more consistent vitalization.
Get your energy levels up or replenish your body after a hard day of work with this nutrient-rich bowl!
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Fuel your day with our Acai-Kiwi Smoothie—a sweet and creamy morning treat!
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Enjoy your celebration with an exotic twist on the traditional margarita!
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