Acai Berry Basics
Also called: The Assai palm, euterpe palm, palmito acai, acai berry, cabbage palm, assaizeiro, pina palm, palmier pinot, and jucara.
The acai fruit comes from the acai palm, which is a tall, slender South American (concentrated in Brazil, Guyana, and Suriname) palm grown for its fruit as well as for the "cabbage" (the cluster of new leaves more commonly called the "heart of palm"). It prefers swampy areas, and grows quickly. The fronds were (and still are) used for thatching and weaving.
Each acai berry palm tree produces small deep purple, almost black, fruit (berries) in groups of 3-8 per bunch. The fruit is edible, and its pulp is used in wines and liqueurs, as a flavoring, as a colorant, and on its own as a juice and, now Amazon Thunder acai.
Acai fruit contains essential fatty enzymes (omega-3 and omega-6) plus oleic acid (omega-9) which are beneficial in lowering Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Acai berries also contain high levels of calcium, vitamin E and phosphorous and high concentrations of polyphenols, making it a powerful antioxidant.
Acai berry is currently being tested not only for its health properties, but as a dyeing, or contrasting, agent in the human body in preparation for MRI scans of the gastrointestinal tract. Research has shown that a supplement such as the acai berry may be able to provide you with a number of benefits.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.