Acai Berry (Euterpe oleracea) is a species of the palm tree (Arecaceae). Mainly cultivation is for its fruit (açaí berries, or simply açaí), hearts of palm (a vegetable), leaves, and trunk wood. The species is native to Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, mainly in swamps and floodplains. Acai berries are a Brazilian “superfruit.” The fruits are about 1 to 2 centimeters (cm) in diameter and deep purple in color. The seed constitutes about 80 percent of the fruit. They are soaked to soften the tough outer skin to make it edible.
Acai Berry Benefits:
- Acai berries have a unique nutritional profile for a fruit, as they’re somewhat high in fat and low in sugar.
- It also contains some trace minerals, including chromium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus
- Acai berries have an incredibly high amount of antioxidants, edging out other antioxidant-rich fruits like blueberries and cranberries
- Acai could help improve cholesterol levels by decreasing total and LDL cholesterol