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 Acai Berry Attributes

Similar to a cross between a grape and a blueberry, the acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berry is a small, reddish-purple drupe consisting of a cluster of seeds, with only around 15 percent or so being edible, harvested from tall, slender palm trees found around the Amazon River basin of South America. These berries are also quite perishable, but have significant nutritional attributes when eaten fresh.

Traditional uses for acai fruit has included treatment for diarrhea, parasitic infections, hemorrhages and ulcers. As a food, acai pulp in the tribal Amazon belt is often blended with the starchy root vegetable manioc and eaten as porridge.

The taste is often described as reminiscent of wild berries and chocolate. It’s found in large supermarkets and health food stores throughout the world, usually as a juice or tea rather than fresh, simply because getting them out of the Amazon with the nutrients still intact is a complicated process.

Other uses for the acai berry include natural food coloring, cosmetics, anti-aging skin creams, shampoos and conditioners, and also in food supplements. Expensive acai-based products have been widely hyped as having significant weight loss potential, but on that score, scientifically speaking, the jury’s still out. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission announced in early 2012 that it had asked federal courts to temporarily suspend the activity of websites marketing acai berry weight loss products.

http://foodfacts.mercola.com/acai.html

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