Acai Who or What?????

Some of you have asked what in the world is ACAI???? It was noted on my Food 4 Life smoothie recipe on the side-bar. Which by the way, I used a 100 gram packet of frozen Acai.

For starters, it's typically pronounced ah-sigh-EE, but probably should be ah-sah-EE . Click on the pronunciation, and it will take you to a site where you can hear how it sounds.

A Berry is A Berry, Right?
While the Acai is often compared to the blueberry, there is not much comparison. Their coloring is similar and that's about it. Even then the Acai skin is darker, which is a factor in why it's loaded with antioxidants, etc.

Where does the Acai come from? You won't be able to go on an "Acai pick" unless you can take a trip to the Amazon. As a side note, there are over 1.2 billion acres of rain forest in the great Amazon. Most of which has been uncharted and undiscovered.

Acai berries have grown in the Amazon rain forest of Brazil for thousands of years. While they are just now making the news, they made their way to the West in the early 1900s. Acai berries have been used for medicinal purposes by the natives for probably just as many years in Brazil.

What's In A Berry?
Acai berries are more seed than not. The meat of the fruit is minimal (10%). However, little is much. The berries are rich in antioxidants. ORAC for Acai reflects the highest antioxidant of all berries.

They are touted as having omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, rich vitamins A,B and C, dietary fiber and proteins, omega-9s are especially rich (found in virgin oil), as well as the mega anti-oxidants. It's been noted by some that Acai has three times the antioxidant of blueberries and eight times that of strawberries. Get this, 30 x the antiox of red wine.

Here's The Catch
While they are potent with what our bodies need, their properties begin to quickly diminish within a short time (24 hours)after they are harvested. And unless we live in the Amazon, what's a person to do?! We can only hope to get as close to the real deal as we can by finding companies that truly represent the best quality. Of which, I'm currently doing my own research. More on that later.

It seems, thus far, the only way to preserve the potency at some level is to freeze, or freeze-dry them once they are picked by the locals. Freeze facilities are set up in close proximity where the fruit is being harvested. The fruit is sent by boat to processing centers. From there, we may find the results on our store shelf or Internet.

How To Pick The Product
Be careful what you believe when someone tries to sell you a great Acai product. Check out the resource.

I first heard of Acai on my visits to Jamba Juice, my fav smoothie shop. I have them omit the soy milk and replace it with xtra Asia juice. I'm still checking on Jamba's quality of Acai. Still it's a great smoothie. Not everyone likes it, at least not the way they make it for me! It's a little too tart for the sweet at heart.

Since then, my journey lead me to Whole Foods and other such markets. Most of them carry frozen Acai. The company I've chosen to use at this point is SAMBAZON. You might want to check out there website. I enjoyed the footage on the Amazon.

Interestingly enough, I received an email about Acai from a lovely lady and friend yesterday while doing my research. How weird is that? Well, it depends on how you define those kinds of moments. She is a person I trust, so I was open to hearing what she had to say.

Betty was an owner of a very successful Bed & Breakfast for years, to which I frequented whenever I could. Currently, she and her hubby, Bill, are busy enjoying life in semi-retirement, at an early age, I might add.

OK, the product Betty distributes is called MonaVie. Check out her website. I did and enjoyed it as well. Vie comes from the word Life. The Brazilians call the Acia palm tree the Tree of Life! MonaVie comes in liquid form. Not to worry. It is 100% Pure Acai (freeze dried and frozen puree-pulp). The added feature to MonaVie is that they have added 18 other types of fruits to the formula with Acai being their crown jewel. Check out this article on the product. Their patent is pending.

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