In recent years, we’ve all heard about the wonders of this mysterious superfood: açai (pronounced ah-sigh-EE). While açai does taste great, especially to all of you açai-bowl lovers out there, it’s been labeled as a seemingly mythical food that can solve all of your nutritional needs.
We’re here to discuss what exactly açai is and why the term “superfood” is more of a gimmick than fact.
What is açai?
Açai is a grape-like berry found on açai palm trees in South America. Its unique deep-purple color gives the fruit an exotic look. Because it is only grown in South America, it can be very expensive to obtain in many places, hence why a typical açai bowl in the US can run you up to $15! It has an interesting flavor, a mix between a blackberry and chocolate (it might sound strange, but we promise you it’s delicious). Its subtle but refreshing flavor pairs perfectly with sweet fruits, like strawberries and blueberries along with crunchy toppings, like granola and shredded coconut.
What health benefits does it have?
There is no concrete evidence that açai has any outstanding health benefits. Açai has the same benefits that most fruits have, which is still a great thing! While there are very few studies done on açai, the studies that have been published do not show any real results proving that açai is deserving of the name “superfood.” Here are the benefits of açai:
- Skin detoxing and improved appearance
- Packed with antioxidants
- Help with chronic pain
- Boosts brain function
- Helps lower cholesterol levels
- Anti-cancer properties
- Improves heart function
Where can I find açai?
If you can’t find açai, don’t panic! Most people eat açai as a bowl from juice shops, but you can purchase the frozen puree, powder or in supplement form. Typically found in the frozen section of your local grocery store, frozen açai packets are perfect for homemade smoothies and bowls! Before buying the puree, check the ingredients list on the back to watch out for added sugar.
Recipes for Açai
Looking to give açai a try? It can be easily blended up with your favorite fruits and protein powders to make a refreshing and filling breakfast smoothie. Sprinkle some nuts, seeds, or shredded coconut for some healthy added fats! Add a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter for a boost of protein! Here are a few recipes you can try at home:
Açai won’t magically cure you or give you super strength, but it is delicious. So don’t feel guilty about enjoying it every once in a while!