January 10, 2018 6:39 am Leave your thoughts
Fancy boosting your vitamin A intake? Need to add to your energy levels? Desperate for a blast of antioxidants? Perhaps you should give acai powder a go! It’s part of our ‘superfood’ and ‘supernutrient’ range, which includes all kinds of food that’s especially rich in certain nutrients.
You won’t find acai fruit growing in the UK. They’re the dark-purple, grape-like berries of the Acai Palm, which flourishes on the banks of the Amazon river in Brazil. The berries grow at the top of the palms and are unusual in that most of their mass is taken up by a large seed. They’ve been eaten in their raw form by native Amazonian people for generations – but they don’t store or travel well, so outside of Brazil, are mostly found in freeze-dried or powdered form.
What makes acai special?
Acai fruit is bursting with goodness. It’s especially rich in vitamin A, providing over 20% of the recommended daily dose of this vitamin. It provides a good level of fibre (thanks to the pulp and skin of the berries, which is included in the powder), as well as calcium, iron, vitamins B1, B2, B3 and E, magnesium, zinc and copper. It has high levels of essential amino acids and omega fatty acids (3, 6 and 9, including oleic acid), and it’s famous for its antioxidant levels: these berries have more antioxidants, in the form of anthocyanins, than almost any other fruit.
Vitamin A is vital for eye-health; it also supports our immune systems and boosts reproductive and organ health. Fibre, meanwhile, improves digestion, while calcium builds strong bones. The superb level of antioxidants found in acai defends our bodies against the actions of ‘free radicals’, associated with disease and aging. Cardiovascular health is supported by the omega fatty acids, as are our nervous and metabolic systems, with the oleic acid, in particular, working to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. As for acai’s reputation as a muscle-builder and endurance-booster, it’s the amino acids we have to thank for that.
Sounds great – but not very tasty?
Fortunately, it is! These berries have a lovely rich, fruity taste – slightly tart and a little tropical. Some find them reminiscent of red wine; others mention ‘chocolate’.
How do I take this powder?
Some people like to add the powder to smoothies or milkshakes. Others sprinkle it onto yoghurt, porridge or ice-cream. It works really well as a natural sweetener in all kinds of baking, too.
One final point
Sshh…are you sure you’re pronouncing it properly? It’s not ‘ack-eye’ or ‘ack-ay’ – but ‘a – sigh- ee’!
Tags: acai, powder, superfood, supernutrient, vitamin A
This post was written by Yzanne