Acai – the fantastic superfruit
Acai is a stone fruit that is considered to be a “superfruit” due to the high nutrient and antioxidant content. The acai berry looks like a big blueberry, but tastes like a mixture of blackberries and cocoa.
The acai berry grows on palms with the same name. The acai palm grows in the wild in South America and in the Amazons and is 15-25 meters tall. When one harvests acai the berries are frozen as quick as possible before they are shipped off to other parts of the world, so that as much nutrients as possible are preserved.
As food, the acai berry may be used raw in juice, but the juice is mostly used commercially in jelly, syrup, ice cream, alcohol, energy drinks and many other foods. It can also be used as a natural food colorant.
In addition to vitamins and minerals the acai is berry filled with beneficial fatty acids. Acai is also one of the berries that contain most antioxidants.
The berry has been consumed by the indigenous people of the Amazons for centuries. They discovered how nutritious and well tasting they are. The healthy acai berry has also been used for treatment of several aches and pains amongst the population in the Amazons. In the 1990 the berries were exported from Rio de Janeiro after they had been harvested and frozen.
The people who first consumed acai in other areas were surfers on the American west coast who drank cocktails with acai fruit purée to stay in shape. Later, the berry spread to other areas in the United States and Brazil, then to Europe where acai has been knowledge as a so called “superfood”.
Acai is a special berry because it is so nutritious. The acai berry contains the vitamins B1, B2, B3 and E, in addition to relatively large amounts iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphor. In addition to the vitamins and minerals the acai berry is filled with beneficial fatty acids, for instance omega-9.
Acai is also one of the berries that contain most antioxidants. Antioxidants are produced naturally in the body as well as derived from the food we eat. Antioxidants are very important for our health as they reduce the abundance of free radicals.
It is claimed that the acai berry may strengthen the immune system, reduce the cholesterol level in the blood and contribute to delaying the aging process.
Nutrition facts (pr. 100grams freeze-dried acai)
Energy 525 cal
Carbohydrates 10 grams
Proteins 9 grams
Fat 50 grams
Fibre 26 grams
Superfood is a collective term for foods that are especially beneficial for the health. Superfoods have an extraordinary high content of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and/or other nutrients. Examples of so called superfoods are: Acai, goji, pomegranate, blueberries, cocoa etc.
Antioxidants are substances that protect the cells against damages caused by unstable molecules that are called free radicals. Antioxidants are for example C- and E-vitamin, lycopene, lutein, beta-carotene and selenium.