In the last few years, acai berries starting becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Almost overnight, acai bowls and smoothies were popping up everywhere. This delicious fruit is tasty when eaten as is or when blended up into a smoothie or acai bowl with various toppings.
When you're living with acid reflux disease and all the adverse symptoms, finding low acid, neutral, or alkaline foods is the best way to avoid all these symptoms.
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Are Acai Berries Acidic?
I have some great news for those of you who love acai berries or an acai bowl. Acai is not acidic! The pH of acai berries is neutral, meaning it's around 7. When foods have a neutral pH rating, they're great for balancing out the acidity of all the other foods and drinks you've consumed.
Acai berries are great for everyone since they're neutral unless you're allergic to acai berries, of course.
Are Acai Berries Good For You?
Besides have a neutral pH, acai berries are great for you in other ways! Acai berries have a combination of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit the human body in many ways.
Acai berries are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D, and vitamin E. As for minerals, acai berries have plenty of potassium and manganese. They're also a great source of plant protein and fiber, which is great for muscles and keeping your digestive system working correctly.
Finally, acai berries have plenty of amino acids, fatty acids, and antioxidants. The combination of these nutrients helps to keep your heart, digestive system, eyes, skin, and more healthy.
Where Do Acai Berries Come From?
Acai berries are native to Central and South America. They grow from an Acai Palm. While they thrive in the tropical environments throughout Central and South America, a large portion of the acai berries is grown on the Amazon River estuary and in the state of Para in Brazil.
Acai berries have been important fruits for indigenous groups along the Amazon River for centuries. While it's a fairly new trend in the United States and other parts of the world, many indigenous groups such as the Oiapoque in Northern Brazil rely heavily on acai berries.
Why Can't I Buy Acai Berries in the United States?
You'll notice that when shopping for acai in the United States, you can't find the physical berries like you would in South and Central America. Generally, you'll find frozen blended packets of acai berries or even acai berry powder, but not the original berries.
Since acai berries are only grown in Central and South America, they don't hold up as well as berries when shipping elsewhere. That's why you'll only see acai berries in smoothie packets or in powder in the United States.
Even though you will find whole acai berries in South and Central America, they're not always eaten as whole berries there either. Since acai berries aren't as sweet as other berries, people prefer to mash them into a paste or puree before eating.
What Country Produces the Most Acai Berries?
Like any other fruits and veggies, where the product originates from is no longer where it's produced the most. Acai berries are one of the few foods that have still produced the most in its country of origin. Brazil leads the world in acai berry production.
While the demand for acai berries is growing around the world, Brazil is still the main country that's producing this fruit for export.
While acai berries can grow in other countries in South and Central America, they're not known for exporting acai berries like Brazil is. Therefore, Brazil may not be the leading producer if it had competition from other countries.
Things You Can Top Your Acai Bowl With
If you want to drink acai smoothies without adding anything to them, there's no one to stop you. Since acai bowls are incredibly popular, you've probably been curious about buying one at a restaurant or making your own at home. Luckily for you, you can buy frozen packets of blended acai berries, which are the base for an acai bowl.
The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can add as a topping to your acai bowl. Many people prefer to add more fruit like blueberries, strawberries, and bananas. Since acai berries aren't as sweet as other fruits, adding other berries can add some natural sugar to your bowl.
Other great toppings include coconut shavings, peanut butter, Nutella, or a drizzle of chocolate. The best thing about acai bowls is that you can customize them to be whatever you want them to be.
Growing Acai Berries
Acai berries come from an Acai Palm. These trees need a tropical environment to thrive and produce fruit. As we know, most acai berries are grown in Brazil. Since the area of Brazil, they grow in is very warm most of the year, the harvest time for acai berries is longer than a lot of other fruits.
Once an acai palm begins producing fruit, farmers can harvest the berries for six to eight months. In the six to eight-month period, the acai palms tend to produce approximately two lots of acai berries.
Something interesting about acai palms is that once they're planted and mature, it can take them anywhere from three to five years to produce acai berries. The way to know that your acai palm is ready to begin bearing fruit is when you start to see purple flowers blooming.
Fun Facts About Acai Berries
If you're interested in impressing your friends with your knowledge of acai berries, here are some fun facts about these South and Central American berries:
- Oprah Winfrey is who made acai berries and bowls popular in the United States
- They have more antioxidants than blueberries and strawberries
- Acai berries are used in beauty products around the world because they have anti-aging properties
- Unless you live in Brazil or another country near the Amazon River, you may have a difficult time finding acai berries that aren't pureed or in powder form
- Acai berries can help neutralize the acidity in your body, reducing your acid reflux symptoms