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What is Acai Berry Fruit? Print E-mail
Written by Robert Smith   
Monday, 09 November 2009
Acai fruit is the fruit of the acai palm, a plant native to Central and South America. It is a green or dark purple seeded fruit about the size of a grape. Acai fruit is a staple of many South American diets and has recently become popular in other countries, in large part because of its many supposed health benefits.

Acai fruit grows in clusters of between 700 and 900 fruits, and there are two crops each year. Though acai fruit is similar in appearance to grapes, it has much less pulp, as about 80% of each fruit is inedible seed. Its flavor is similar to a mixture of wild raspberry and grape.

In Brazil, acai fruit is traditionally eaten in a gourd with tapioca, with sweet or salty flavoring.

It is also often served cold in a bowl with granola, and it serves as flavoring for a wide variety of products, from ice cream to juice and soda. Acai fruit is also used in smoothies and even in a liqueur distilled in Idaho, VeeV.

A plethora of health benefits have been attributed to acai fruit, some rather dubious. In addition to food products made with acai fruit, acai supplements in tablet and powder form are also available. Aid in weight loss is one of the most common claims made of the acai fruit. It is also said to be high in fiber and antioxidants and to promote digestion, healthy skin, improved sleep, cardiovascular function, increased energy, and lower cholesterol. Improved sexual performance and reversal of such chronic conditions as diabetes have also been claimed as benefits of the acai fruit.

Acai fruit is full of unsaturated fats, carbohydrates, antioxidents, protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins. It is touted as one of the most nutritious foods in the world. However, none of the health benefits of acai have been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration, and the claims are so various and sensational that it is probably best to take them with a grain of salt.

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