Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Acai has a unique taste. It has been described many ways including chocolate-berry flavor to mixed berry flavor to avocado like. The real flavor profile of Acai is not sweet nor berry like. In fact the reason for consuming Acai is not for the flavor or because it a delicious fruit but because of its antioxidants and health benefits.

Acai has a lot to offer in the way of health benefits. It contains anthocyanins which are high in antioxidants, monounsaturated fats which are good for you, fiber, iron, protein and B vitamins. It is used as a food staple among the “riberinhos” or river dwellers of the Amazon Basin because of its life sustaining properties. Beyond the Amazon Basin in Brazil the Acai is eaten in many forms including sorbet, jam and as a frozen slush mixed with granola and honey. Over 90% of the Acai is consumed in Brazil.

Acai is sold in the world predominately as a juice or in juice form. This is so because of its delicate nature and inability to be preserved in any other form other than a puree or juice. Acai is available in a variety of blends and mixtures and even as a 100% puree or juice. One quickly learns that 100% Acai is very bitter and distasteful. And most that chose to consume it this way mix it with other things in order to tolerate its natural flavor profile.

One of the more remarkable characteristics of Acai is its ability to turn into an amazingly delicious and flavorful fruit once combined with just the right ratio of special juices. In fact along the Amazon River the riberinhos who eat Acai primarily as an unsweetened porridge and dip for fish and shrimp will occasionally add a bit of honey to the Acai and transform it into the most unique and pleasantly flavorful dessert.

Acai juice as it is available here in the U.S. can come in a variety of mixtures and blends. From high quality delicious supplements such as Dr. Tim’s Brazilian Acai to very low quality versions that can be found in super markets such as Wal-Mart. The Dr. Tim’s brand does the best job in delivering the most authentic Acai flavor without the bitterness. The Wal-Mart brands offer a juice that is Acai in name only, is mostly water and sugar and taste just like any other fruit punch on the shelf.

The science behind the health benefits of Acai is growing. With over 100 research articles published we are learning more and more about Acai and why it is good for us. Recent research has revealed that Acai lowers bad cholesterol, is a strong antioxidant that gets into the blood stream and is effective in fighting diseases related to inflammation such as heart disease, arthritis and autoimmune disorders. It has been demonstrated in the laboratory to fight certain types of cancer cells such as Leukemia.

To find Acai that tastes like Acai and is delicious without compromising quality and quantity of Acai you must read the labels. To take advantage of the health benefits of Acai you need to find the brands of juice that deliver on quantity. The Acai juices sold mostly as dietary supplements contain more Acai than others. Look for brands that deliver 80% or more real Acai in their products and have a short ingredient list. Also look for fruit content that exceeds 22,000mg of fruit per serving and stay away from the bitter and distasteful 100% Acai products. Beware of the other end of the spectrum and avoid the confusion of cheap Wal-Mart brands. And above all, remember that the real reason to buy an Acai product is to enjoy the health benefits that come from the Acai berry fruit.

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