A berry-like fruit that grows on palm trees in the Brazilian Amazon, acaí (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) may reign supreme among fruits for its disease-fighting antioxidant value based on recent research. “With a score of 6,576 on the oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) test, acaí pulp has more antioxidant activity than blueberries, strawberries, and red wine combined,” says David Grotto, RD, LDN, author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life. Acaí is particularly high in anthocyanins, potent pigments that give it its deep purple color and battle cancer, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, obesity, and other age-related illnesses.
Choose It & Use It
Rarely imported whole because it’s so fragile, acaí is available in pulp, juice, powder, and concentrate. The pulp packs the most powerful antioxidant punch. Find flash-frozen acaí berry pulp in the freezer section of natural food stores. Add it to smoothies and yogurt or use it to make ice cream or sorbet. The pure pulp is sour and slightly bitter, but when sweetened, it tastes like concentrated blueberries with a hint of chocolate.
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In its pure state, açaí pulp is sour and slightly bitter, but once a little sweetener is added, the flavor resembles concentrated blueberries with a hint of chocolate. “Agave nectar is a good option here because its lower-glycemic-load sugar is a better complement to açaí’s phytonutrients,” explains Los Angeles-based nutritionistmore