Just a quick pantry plug:
Acai is the Brazilian wonderberry of the world:
In his #1 New York Times best selling book, "The Perricone Promise," Dr. Perricone names Acai the #1 Superfood on the planet. He also calls Acai one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world! Here's why:
ANTIOXIDANTS - Acai has more Antioxidants than blueberries, green tea, and red wine. Everyone needs antioxidants to seek and destroy free radicals in the body. Free radicals are harmful molecules that can cause premature aging, cancer, heart disease, and even Alzheimer's.
OMEGA FATTY ACIDS - Acai contains Omega Essential Fatty Acids EFA's. EFA's are the same healthy fats found in olive oil, flax seed, and fish and are believed to protect the heart, lower cholesterol & blood pressure, improve depression and fight cancer.
ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS - Acai contains a similar protein profile as an egg ... 8 of 9 essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins for strength and endurance.
Acai berry/Acai fruit (Euterpe oleracea)
Also called: Assai palm, euterpe palm, palmito acai, asai, cabbage palm, assaizeiro, pina palm, palmier pinot, jucara.
Parts used: fruit, heart
The acai palm is a tall slender South American (concentrated in Brazil, Guyana, Suriname) palm grown for its fruit as well as for the "cabbage" (the cluster of new leaves more commonly called the "heart of palm"). It prefers swampy areas, and grows quickly. The fronds were (and still are) used for thatching and weaving.
Each acai palm tree produces small deep purple, almost black, fruit (berries) in groups of 3-8 per bunch. The fruit is edible, and its pulp is used in wines, liqueurs, as flavouring, as colourant, and on its own as a juice.
Acai fruit contains essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) plus oleic acid (Omega-9) which are good for lowering Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Acai berries also contain high levels of calcium, vitamin e and phosporous, high concentrations of polyphenols making it a good antioxidant.
Current (Western) Use Acai fruit is also high in anthocyanin, a phytochemical that is is found in red wine, blueberries, raspberries, and other foods and drinks that come highly recommended for their health benefits. In fact, acai has up to 25 times the anthocyanin found in red wine, and none of the controversy over its effects.