Is acai worth the hype?

Dubai - Açaí was introduced to the US in the early 2000s, and its popularity has exploded ever since

By Valter Vale

Published: Thu 7 Apr 2022, 5:27 PM

Last updated: Thu 7 Apr 2022, 5:41 PM

Açaí berries are known for their taste and potential health benefits, but what's the real deal? You’ve probably heard about the delicious powers of açaí by now —açaí bowls are hugely popular in cafes and the South American superfood is a staple ingredient in smoothies and juices. In fact, there might be no other fruit that has received the same level of hype in the last few years as açaí berries.

Many nutritionists claim the berry is a superfruit, so high in antioxidants and nutrients it is considered one of the healthiest fruits in the world. If you are looking for a low carb, low sugar and nutrient-packed fruit to incorporate into your diet, look no further than açaí.

What is açaí?

Açaí is an Amazonian berry and a well-known staple of indigenous diets. Fresh açaí berries have a short shelf life, so fresh berries are not found in grocery stores. Instead, they are sold as a frozen fruit puree, powder or pressed juice.

Açaí’s exotic flavour is said to taste like mixed berries, dark chocolate and red wine. It has become a popular base for smoothies and bowls because of its unique savoury flavour. Açaí was introduced to the US in the early 2000s, and its popularity has exploded ever since. Known as one of the fastest growing foods in history, this Amazonian berry has become widely accepted and loved among the health-conscious community for its wide variety of health benefits.

Aside from its nutritional benefits, açaí has received so much hype because of the endless ways to customise it in bowls and smoothies. Craving chocolate, a healthy immune booster, or something tropical? There are always options when it comes to açaí, no matter your palate or cravings.

Is Açaí really a superfood?

Many nutritionists claim açaí is a superfood — but what even is a “superfood”? Superfoods have very high nutritional density and a low amount of calories. The healthy antioxidants and nutrients in açaī support this claim, but there is no official way to determine whether any food is a superfood.

Açaí is widely respected for its nutritional value, particularly antioxidants, fibre, and Omega 3, 6, and 9 levels. The fatty acids found in these Omegas are a champion of heart and brain health.

Açaí is rich in antioxidants, similar to other antioxidant-rich fruits like blueberries, cranberries and grapes. Why are antioxidants important? They attack free radicals to help keep your defences — immunity — high.

Most people eat açaí is in a bowl or smoothie using frozen açaí puree packets. Eating açaí this way provides endless opportunities for customisation and flavour variation.

Vale is senior manager, global marketing, Sambazon

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