I’m not talking about those “lose weight with wonderfood acai” ads you’ve seen, I’m talking about regular acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) juice. I started drinking acai juice about 2 years ago and I really find it healthy and beneficial for my body. There are mixed reports about its benefits, but it seems generally accepted that it is a great antioxidant, it has healthy omega fatty acids (monounsaturated healthy fats), and has protein and fiber.
If you haven’t tried acai and want to, start by purchasing it from a store. Don’t buy anything off the web because there are way to many scams out there that send you a “free” trial, but really sign you up for a recurring shipment and then end up charging your credit card if you don’t cancel.
Also watch out for powders and pills. You really can’t tell what is in them and there are reports that some powders are mainly filler and have very little acai in them. Since the whole berry doesn’t transport well, the best form to get is juice or pulp.
Responsibly Grown and Organic
Look for organic and sustainably grown acai. Since it is grown in the rainforests, it is extra important that it is grown sustainably and is not grown at the expense of the rain forests. Again, organic is important so the rainforests are not being polluted with chemicals. Also if a product has been certified organic it has a much better chance of being a decent quality juice without fillers added so you get more of the acai itself.
My favorite brand I have found is Sambazon. Their juices are organic certified and they consider it their mission to protect the rainforest and to help the people who live there. My two favorite flavors are pictured at the top – original blend on the right with the purple cap, and rio energy on the left with the orange cap. The rio energy has a bit of guarana which gives it a noticeable kick of energy. I love drinking these before a bike ride.
The acai berry has a slightly bitter taste and it is definitely not for everyone. Give it time and it will be an aquired taste. Also, the blends like Sambazon offers help to cut the bitter edge of acai with additional flavors and make it much more tasty. My kids tried some of the acai juices and hated it – around my house “daddy’s juice” is referred to with disgust (i.e. what would you rather eat, a bowl of mud or daddy’s juice? – and usually the mud wins!). If you want to get kids or other people to try it, I recommend the Sambazon smoothie flavors. Even my kids like the strawberry smoothy flavor.
So remember to watch out for scams, buy organic sustainably grown products, but definitely give acai a try and let me know what you think about it.