What is Açaí?

Açaí is the fruit of a palm tree that occurs naturally along the lower reaches of the Amazon basin. It is a very perishable purple-black berry about the size of a cherry at maturity. However, as about 90% of the berry is a very hard pit or seed, the fruit is usually only available outside of the Amazon as a frozen fruit puree.

The Açaí berry is a very special berry. In the jungles of the Amazon, there is no ready source of infant formula or the likes, so mothers wean their babies straight on to Açaí. This is a testament to the nutritional value of Açaí as a 'superfood'!

Besides being packed full of antioxidantsAntioxidants are vital in our diet to protect our bodies against the damaging effects of an excess of substances called “free radicals”. These surplus free radicals may cause cell damage and this may predispose to cancer and other illnesses, and it is thought to be how the ageing process takes place. The antioxidants present in our diet helps to neutralise the free radicals in our body and stop them producing their damaging effect. (6 times as much as blueberries), and other nutrients such as Omega 6Polyunsaturated fats act by lowering LDL blood cholesterol. There are several types of polyunsaturated fats, including some essential fatty acids (EFA) so termed because they are needed for normal health, and since these fats cannot be manufactured by our bodies, they have to be obtained from our foods. Two such EFA are Linoleic acid (Omega-6) and Linolenic acid (Omega-3). and 9Monounsaturated fats are found in high levels in olive oil, nuts and avocados. Studies have shown that that these fats have the best overall health benefits, since they not only lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol, but they also have been found to maintain, or even slightly raise, the levels of the “good” HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. An EFA also belongs to this group of fats, and this is Oleic acid (Omega-9)., fatty acidsFats are essential in our diet, not only to provide our bodies with the energy needed to function, but also to help with the transport and absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. The consumption of too much fat in our modern diets is strongly linked with problems such as heart-disease, cancers, obesity and other illnesses. However, not all fats are the same! The problem with most peoples diet is that they are consuming too much of the wrong kinds of fats and probably too little of the healthy types., calciumAdequate calcium intake is vital throughout life, for the healthy maintenance of our bones, for smooth muscle function (including the heart), for blood clotting and for nerve function., ironIron’s main function is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body though its role in creating haemoglobin. Iron can also increase resistance to infection and help the healing process., magnesiumMagnesium in the diet helps us to release energy and absorb nutrients in our foods. It also works with calcium to maintain healthy bones. In addition, it helps in regulating nerve and muscle function. , dietary fibreFibre promotes a healthy digestive system. Low fibre in the western diet is thought to be a contributing factor to the high incidence of cancer and heart disease. Soluble fibres may help lower blood cholesterol; insoluble fibres are thought to help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers., etc., the berry is also very unique in having NO sugar at all in its natural state. However, owing to its nutritional composition, it still delivers plenty of energyThe main source of energy from our food comes in the form of fats, which provide more than twice the calories per gram as either carbohydrates or protein. Whilst carbohydrates (especially in its simple form, sugar) delivered energy to our bodies as fast-releasing energy (causing the peak and crash, or high and low, associated with sweet foods), fats provide in a slow energy release after consumption, meaning that it it provides more sustaining and longer lasting energy., just in a sustained manner that doesn't cause spikes in your blood sugar level.

NU is proud of bringing this Amazonian superstar to the rest of the world!

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"Açaí berries are now globally recognised as an antioxidant-rich superfruit" (New Nutrition Business, April 2007 edition)
"The best fruit you've never heard of" (Sports Illustrated)
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