What is Acai? Answer to better health or recent trend?

Though smaller than a grape, acai is among the most beneficial fruits to human health. Perricone MD was one of the first to recognize the potential of this dark purple berry from the Amazon rainforest. He harnessed its benefits with products like the Super Berry Powder with Acai, and his discoveries received recognition by media outlets like Oprah and the New York Times.

As acai’s popularity has skyrocketed, many products of questionable quality have flooded the market. Super Berry Powder with Acai is made only with high-quality ingredients and is the only acai supplement endorsed by Dr. Perricone.

This article will discuss acai and its benefits, including:

What Can Acai Do for Me?


Acai’s deep purple color is not only distinctive, it indicates high concentrations of antioxidant pigments called flavonoids, a crucial part of the anti-inflammatory diet. Purple and reds colors in fruits result from a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin. Flavonoids provide potent protection from free radicals formed when the fruit is subjected to high levels of UV light. Oxygen free radicals form in all kinds of organisms. Free radicals are unstable molecules searching for an extra electron. They steal the electrons from neighboring molecules, damaging cellular structures and causing diseases and health issues in plants and humans.

In order to combat these free radicals, fruits such as acai, blueberries, and those with vitamin c ester develop large amounts of anthocyanins to stabilize, limit, or even reverse the damaging effects. The USDA measures antioxidant capacity through a method called Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). ORAC quantifies a food’s ability to neutralize free radicals. They recommend your daily diet have an ORAC level of 3,000 to 5,000 units. However most diets, even ones that include five fruits and vegetable servings, fall short with only 1,000 ORAC units consumed daily.

Acai has an ORAC of 5,500 for every 100 grams, double the amount provided by blueberries and ten times more than red grapes. Anthocyanins produced to protect the fruit and transfer their benefits to your body when you eat acai.

Healthy Fats

On top of anthocyanins, acai provides healthy fats and beneficial fatty acids that work simultaneously on human cells. In fact, acai pulp contains 37.5% healthy unsaturated fats. The healthy fats, such as omega-3, 6 and 9, are key in developing cell structures in the body, especially the brain, and even fight cardiovascular disease.

Fatty acids, such as monounsaturated oleic acid (similar in structure to olive oil), assist in the absorption of healthy fats by cell receptors by making the cell membrane more supple and malleable, so other cell processes occur more efficiently.

Cholesterol Resistance

In addition to combating cardiovascular disease with high levels of fatty acids, acai’s photosterols help the body resist cholesterol. Sterols are a group of important organic molecules produced by plants and animals. Sterols from plants are generally called photosterols, while cholesterols come from  animals. Sterols are involved in multiple body processes, including being materials for cell membrane production.

In animal cells, cholesterol has two forms, high-density lipid (HDL) and low-density lipid (LDL) These are commonly referred to as good and bad cholesterol, respectively. Atherosclerosis happens when too much bad cholesterol (LDL) circulates in the bloodstream. Eventually, the cholesterol mixes with other substances and forms a thick, hard deposit that narrows arteries and makes them less flexible. Heart attacks or stokes are more likely if a clot forms in a narrowed artery.

Since the human body does not naturally produce photosterols, it doesn’t recognize them and can’t absorb them. In fact, human cells actually reject plant-based photosterols. Since photosterols and cholesterol are similar in structure, the same cells that reject the unabsorbable photosterols also start to reject the cholesterol. This lessens the amount of LDL cholesterol absorbed by the human body. Acai has high levels of these photosterols and is a great addition to a diet intended to reduce the possibility of cardiovascular disease.

Why Isn’t Acai at the Grocery Store?

Since it is so rich in nutrients and healthy fats, acai perishes quickly, approximately twenty-four hours after picking. Fresh acai pulp, which has a taste that resembles blended berries and chocolate, can only be enjoyed in the Amazon. Fortunately, both frozen pulp and freeze-dried acai powder contain all of the anthocyanins, healthy fats, and fatty acids of the berry and are available to a wider consumer audience.

Perricone‘s Super Berry Powder with Acai is a particularly high quality form of the fruit because it utilizes only the acai pulp. Other companies often use the acai pit, which has no nutritional value, as a filler. Although research into acai is still in the early stages, current evidence points to it being a superpower of a fruit. Its combination of antioxidants and healthy fats makes it an powerful aid in the maintenance of good health. You can buy Dr. Perricone’s Super Berry Powder with a Perricone coupon to get your product at a discounted price.

For more on Perricone’s Super Berry Powder, check out this video:


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15 Comments • Please comment below


  1. [...] Follow Perricone MD on Twitter For Your Chance to Win Daily! Posted on September 22, 2009 by shopwithmemama Just wanted to mention to all my viewers that Perricone MD Skin Care is offering a giveaway on Twitter! It is a Twitter giveaway for the first 50 people (everyday!) who tweet @Perriconemd to receive a free sample of Super Acai Berry Powder. To learn more about what acai is, check out their article, What is acai? [...]

  2. [...] acai has been recently touted by celebrities such as Oprah and Brad Pitt, many scam artists are now [...]

  3. [...] What is acai and what exactly is so special about it? Initially, acai is a fruit which comes from the acai palm tree. It is round, dark purple, and similar in size to a grape. Acai juice and pulp are used in juice blends, sodas, and even alcohol. [...]

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  5. this is a great article. it answered a lot of questions for me.

  6. I am very interested in experiencing the benefits touted by the use of this berry. If the supplement does not contain any animal ingrediants, i would be very interested in trying it.

  7. I’m really glad that this article did answer my question “What is Acai”, but I wish there were more perricone products that included the benefits of Acai, although I know many other products include the same holistic ingredients that can be found in the Acai.

  8. I read this article to my husband who has very high cholesterol. He is going to print out the article to give to his cardiologist to see if this would help and not interfere with his meds

  9. There are so many different Acai products out there now that it is difficult to decide which one to try! The article was very interesting.

  10. I have a strong interest in health and nutrition and found this article about the benefits of acai extremely informative. I tried Dr. Perricone’s Super Berry Powder and noticed increased engergy and more glowing skin. I would recommend this product to anyone.

  11. Very, very interesting! I always follow Dr. Perricone’s articles & eat blueberries. Now I’ll add Acai to my list!

    Thank you for the awesome articles & keep them coming.

  12. Thank you , I have heard about the berry , but finally , some one explains why it is so special. WOW!!!!!

  13. I found this article very informative. I also thought that it was extremely well written.

  14. I thoroughly enjoyed this article. I did a presentation on acai berries for a class last semester and found out what a wonderful berry this is! I also read a study by the University of Florida that hinted that acai could possibly help in curing cancer! It’s an amazing fruit and I agree whole heartedly that there should be more research done on it! As for buying the products, one suggestion I would make is to buy Sambazon Acai products. They are stationed right in Brazil where they use a process that maintains the berry’s fresh and healthy characteristics. It gives you that boost of energy that we crave and is a delicious treat! Great article!

  15. Wow! I’ve heard a lot about the Acai Berry, but was sort of skeptical. I didn’t know about all the great benefits this single berry has to offer. Thank you so much! I’m going to tell my whole family about this.