A Healthy Taste Straight From the Amazon Rainforest
By now, most of us have heard about the high-octane health benefits of acai berries, cultivated exclusively and naturally (without pesticides or chemicals) from the Amazon rainforest. Called by some* to be the “most nutritionally dense” berries, these little jewels apparently have more antioxidants than blueberries and more heart-healthy anthocyanins than red wine. They’re also rich with protein, dietary fiber, with high levels of Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids. Plus, they’ll reduce the prices at the gas pump. (Okay, I’m not certain about that last part….)
But the trick is getting the acai berry pulp as close to the source as possible, and without being over-processed (which depletes the nutritional value considerably). Raw acai is the only sure way to get all the benefits of the berry, and unless you’re planning a trip to Brazil anytime soon, that can be tricky. Even though I’m very mindful of “food miles” and eat locally grown foods almost exclusively, I was eager and curious to try raw acai pulp that is processed as little as is safely possible. Enter Amazonfrutas….
Amazonfrutas is a company which works closely with carefully selected Brazilian co-ops — local growers who harvest and sell acai in strict accordance with the governmental regulations. Workers pick, clean, de-seed, freeze and ship the berries within 24 hours. The frozen pulp can be thawed to make smoothies, mixed with granola and yogurt, and blended into the healthiest cocktails you’ve ever tasted.
They sell both AcaiRaw and AcaiTwist, which has added evaporated cane juice as a natural sweetener. For one week, I tried AcaiTwist in a daily smoothie (with an organic banana, freshly squeezed organic orange juice, a few organic strawberries, and ice from purified water) and honestly felt a higher level of energy all morning, and a clearer focus throughout the day. Power of suggestion? Perhaps. But I know for sure it tasted delicious. (And of course, that made me feel better about splashing some AcaiTwist in a glass of prosecco at happy hour.)
It sure isn’t “eating locally,” but the fair-trade acai industry has reportedly helped the honest Amazon economy, and whether or not the berries are the cure-all or not, they are certainly rich in taste. Take a closer look at this high-octane superfood, and you might find yourself adding it to your diet for the flavor, not just the proposed health benefits.
*Read articles about the nutritionally beneficial claims of the acai berry from Dr. Nicholas Perricone on Oprah (he calls it his “#1 Superfood”), The University of Florida, and The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.