Why YOU Need Acai: Acai Bowl Basics and More

Why YOU Need Acai: Acai Bowl Basics and More

My Instagram feed is filled with pictures of museum-worthy acai bowls (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) whenever I log in, but if food blogging isn’t exactly your thing or you’re just mastering cacao and goji berries, I’ve got an exciting new food for you to try: acai bowls!

The acai berry is a small, round, blackish-purple drupe resembling a small grape, sustainably harvested from the Amazon rainforests of Central and South America. You won’t find fresh acai berries in your local grocery store - outside the areas surrounding the forest, it’s sold either as frozen pulp, juice, or an ingredient in various products from beverages, smoothies and foods to cosmetics and supplements.

Acai became a global overnight superfood sensation in the early 2000’s and was touted as nature’s miracle berry sure to cure just about everything. To date, no studies have confirmed its bold health claims, although a few have reported improved blood sugar management, reduced levels of select markers of metabolic disease in overweight adults, anti-inflammatory benefits and anti-proliferative effects on certain cancer cells. Acai contains anthocyanins, a group of polyphenols responsible for its deep purple color and contributes to its antioxidant activity, which is similar to that found in black cherries and cranberries.

Two brothers from Southern California discovered acai while on a surfing adventure in Brazil and became the world’s leading supplier of acai under the brand name Sambazon. You can find their products in several traditional grocery stores and health food stores, as well as online.

You might have thought about trying one of the new acai bowl eateries popping up in various cities, but had no idea what you were getting yourself into. I highly recommend you give it a try; acai bowls are soon to give frozen yogurt shops a run for their money, and with good reason!

I can’t verify any of acai’s bold health claims, but I definitely encourage you to give it a try. It’s an interesting ingredient that will put a new twist on your old Blast routine and might even inspire a breakfast bowl masterpiece.

For your Blast, choose the consistency that best suits your needs. I prefer the frozen pulp packet for acai bowls (try our favorite acai bowl recipe below), or add a boost of the powder or juice for a simple on-the-go Blast.

Also, check out our Superfood Super Reds – acai is one of the many antioxidant-rich berries you’ll find in this beautifying blend.

Acai Blast Bowl


1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, or non-dairy milk of your choice
1 packet acai, unsweetened
1 Tbsp NutriBullet Organic Pea Protein Blend
1 Tbsp coconut or almond butter
¼ cup frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana


Add all ingredients to your NutriBullet 24oz cup and extract until smooth, but thick.
Pour the acai mixture into a bowl and top with your favorite ingredients. I like granola, berries, banana coins, dried coconut flakes, goji berries, cacao nibs and hemp seeds.


Registered Dietitian

Comment by Yonaserota
September 17, 2015
Can you recommend a good smoothie for breakfast - better even if it can be prepared the night before and just remix in the morning?
Comment by rondom
September 17, 2015
Are these just another super food not like any other or might blueberries and strawberries provide the same benefits? There appears to be a lot of duplication in the benefits.
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