Acai Berry Nutrition Facts

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Acai Berry Nutrition Facts


Does acai berry has the highest anti-oxidant levels than some of commonly known superfruits like pomegranate,blueberries, etc?

A recent revelation establishes that acai indeed has no extra beneficial nutrients than some of commonly used fruits like mango, blueberry, pomegranate, etc. The berry has been in use as a traditional staple food of Amazon river basin tribes for centuries, but somehow recently gained recognition as so-called the "super food” status in the western world. Nonetheless, this wonderful berry offers very good levels of anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that would benefit overall health and fitness.


acaiberries acai-juice extract
Acai berries (Euterpe oleracea).
Note dark purple, round berries.
Photo courtesy: gurucrusher
Acai pulp extract. Note dark brown, creamy texture dense liquid. 
Photo courtesy: foxmuld3r

Acai berry is a small, round, deep purple fruit obtained from the acai palm tree. Botanically, acai belongs to palm or Arecaceae family of tall trees in the genus Euterpe, and known as Euterpe oleracea.

Acai palm is a tall, slender tree, which grows 15 to 25 m in height. The average mature plant can have 3-10 well-developed stems (10-18 cm in diameter) from a single seed and root system. It grows better under waterlogged low-lying plains, receiving good annual rainfall. Each stem behaves like individual tree and bears 3-5 bunches with each bunch carrying hundreds of berries, much similar to areca palm or date palm.

Each acai berry measures about the size of small sized grape, 2-3 cm in diameter. immature fruits appear dark-green initially, which turn deep-purple later upon attaining maturity. Technically, the fruit is a drupe which consists of outer-edible pulp surrounding a central large seed. Only the pulp part, comprising about just 10-15% of berry weight, is edible.


Health benefits of acai berry

  • Acai berry has very good levels of anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have health benefiting and disease preventing properties.

  • Unlike other berries and fruits, acai has high caloric values and fats. 100 g of berries provide about 80-250 calories depending up on the preparation and serving methods. In fact, fresh acai berry has been the staple nutritious diet of native Amazonian for centuries.
  • Acai berry contains many polyphenolic anthocyanin compounds like resveratrol, cyanidin-3-galactoside, ferulic acid, delphinidin, petunidin as well as astringent pro-anthocyanidin tannins like epicatechin, protocatechuic acid and ellagic acid. Scientific studies suggest that these compounds have been claimed to act as anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer functions by virtue of their anti-free radical fighting actions. In addition, tannins are known to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic properties.

  • Primary research studies suggest that ellagic acid in acai has anti-proliferative properties by virtue of its ability to directly inhibit DNA binding of certain carcinogens (nitrosamine toxins in the food).

  • Acai berry is also rich in medium chain fatty acids like oleic acid (omega-9) and linoleic acid (omega-6). These compounds help reduce LDL-cholesterol level and raise good HDL-cholesterol levels in the body and thus help cut down heart disease risk. Additionally, the essential fats in acai help prevent skin dryness by maintaining adequate moisture in the skin.

  • Acai pulp has good levels of dietary fiber. Adequate fiber in the diet helps clear cholesterol through the stools.

  • ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of acai berry is thought to be at mid-level range for fruits, higher than that of oranges but less than pomegranate. USDA so far not validated exact ORAC value for acai.

  • Acai berries contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

  • Further, they are rich in B-complex vitamins and vitamin-K. Contain very good amounts of niacin, vitamin B-6 and riboflavin. These vitamins are function as co-factors and help body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.


Acai uses in traditional medicine

  • Acai extracts have been used by Amazon basin tribes as the treatment remedy for diarrhea, parasitic infections, hemorrhages, and ulcer treatment.

  • A kind of decoction obtained from crushed seeds has been in use for the treatment of fever.

  • Decoction obtained from the roots has been used in the treatment of menstrual pain, liver diseases, malaria in Peruvian culture.


Selection and storage

acai-plam harvesting-amezon forest
Acai harvesting in Amazon rain forest
Photo courtesy: nsub1


Fresh acai are only available near their plantation. In general, acai fruits harvested twice a year. People, who are expert in climbing up trees, gather these completely mature bunches near the crown end of the acai palm.

Acai is highly perishable. Once harvested, they should either be eaten or transported to processing units.

Several commercial products from the acai extraction are available in the stores. Freeze-dried whole acai also sold in the stores; however, they are nutritionally much inferior to fresh berries.

Preparation and serving methods

Harvested acai berries put for sale.
Photo courtesy: borderlys

 The outer peel or pulp has been the main edible content in acai. Seeds are either discarded or used as animal fodder.

Here are some serving tips:

  • Acai juice is a refreshing drink commonly obtained from macerating ripe fruits. To prepare juice, ripe-berries are soaked in lukewarm water to soften their thin outer flesh. They are then squeezed, and the large seeds strained out to produce a dense purple creamy liquid with a distinctive nutty flavor.

  • Acai drinks, either freeze-dried or powdered juice preparations, are quite popular in the Americas, particularly in Brazil.

  • Traditionally, in the tribal Amazon belt, acai extracts commonly mixed with starchy root vegetable, maniocand is eaten in porridge.

  • Its extract is mixed with sugar or sugarcane juice to sweeten, and drunk as a beverage.

  • Its extract can been used to flavor ice creams, smoothies, shakes, liquor, and other desserts.

  • Further, the berries are being used as energy boosting nutritional supplements or snacks in the forms of capsules, tablets, and energy bars.


Acai palm hearts

The acai palm hearts can be eaten as a vegetable, similar to oil-pal hearts. They are obtained by cutting down the stem and removing outer layers of bark leaving center core or palm heart. Palm's hearts are the tender, whitish immature growing buds of the palm frond just above the growing point on each stem. Although they have no or little nutritious value, palm hearts have been a delicacy and priced very high.


Safety profile

Acai berry has no notified contraindications. It has been used by pregnant women safely in the Amazon basin. So far, no cases of allergic or toxicity cases notified. (Medical disclaimer).


True facts about Acai

  • Acai berry is the fruit from a palm tree. As the fruits from any other similar palm family like coconut, date palm, oil palm, acai is no different in caloric and nutritional profile. It is high in calorie and fats. There are no established studies suggesting that the use of acai products would help lose weight.

  • Acai has been staple food of Amazonian for centuries. So it is treated more like a food item than as a "novel fitness fruit" unlike blueberry, pomegranates, etc., which are, indeed, very low in calories.

  • Anti-oxidants levels present moderately in acai in contrast to claims made by certain companies, websites, articles, etc. USDA has so far not even bothered to find out its nutritional profile, and ORAC value. However, there are countless herbs, fruits, berries and vegetables in nature that have antioxidants levels much higher than that in acai (for example, cinnamon has highest USDA documented ORAC value of 267536 trolox equivalents (TE), which is many hundred times more than in acai, chokeberry, apples etc).

  • Acai berry is high in calories, and hence, gives immediate strength and stamina. There are no known food items in the nature which are rich in calories and fats, yet known to reduce weight.

  • Acai berry has so far had no documented evidence to suggest its use as an aphrodisiac. (Medical disclaimer).

About the author


Born In pakistan April 1978

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