Often touted as the hot new superfood, acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a delicious fruit harvested from palm trees in the Amazon. The boldly flavored berry tastes sort of like chocolate-covered cherries, and its health benefits are just as enticing. The pulp is packed with antioxidants — more than you get from blueberries, pomegranates, or red grapes — plus lots of fiber, amino acids, and heart-healthy fatty acids.
According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, who calls acai one of the top 10 superfoods, the antioxidants in this "energy fruit" help combat premature aging, while the "almost perfect essential amino acid complex" aids in muscle regeneration, and the healthy fats help digestion.
You can't just walk into a grocery store or even a farmers market and buy acai berries, but there are plenty of yummy methods for consuming this fruit. Most common are juices, such as those from Bossa Nova and Sambazon, which combine acai with other fruits. The berries are also mixed into smoothies: Jamba Juice now offers an acai blend, and Sambazon sells smoothie packs, so you can make your own. At the Newsroom Cafe in LA not long ago, I devoured a delicious bowl of granola mixed with some sort of acai-yogurt smoothie that was absolutely delicious. How about you? Have you tried acai? If so, tell me about your experience with this supertasty superfood below.