‘Superfruit’ juice wards off winter ills, proponents say | SierraSun.com
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‘Superfruit’ juice wards off winter ills, proponents say

Joanna Hartman
Sierra Sun
Alex Close/Sierra SunAçai, sold at local sport shops and health food stores, is touted as the high-energy juice made from the antioxidant berry from an Amazonian palm tree.
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Cranberry juice, green tea and spirulina have been touted as the health products of choice in recent years. But these days, juices such as pomegranate and, particularly açai, seem to be all the craze.

As the seasons change and the incidence of flu and colds increases, it is particularly important to stay on top of good health, whether that includes consistent hand-washing, taking daily multivitamins, or even downing a dose of the Brazilian berry, açai, that boasts germ-fighting and energy-enhancing powers, say those who swear by the juice.

“It’s known for its antioxidants … it’s definitely an immune booster because it has healthy Omega EFAs,” said Alyssa Brandfass, grocery buyer at New Moon Natural Foods. “It’s [definitely] an energy booster, too. I drink it for my workday.”

Açai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is the high-energy berry of an Amazon palm tree. Harvested in the rainforests of Brazil, açai tastes like a fiery blend of berries and chocolate. It is packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids.

Following a feature on açai on TV, the product has been popular at the health food store, Brandfass said.

“The açai smoothie packs sell pretty well,” she said.

Mountain Nectar in Squaw Valley also carries both the juice box and a pulp mix for fresh smoothies.

Even Oprah has promoted the Amazon “superfruit,” when Dr. Nicholas Perricone included the açai berry in a list of top 10 superfoods. Studies have shown that this little berry is one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world, Perricone said.

Açai has been associated with health benefits such as prevention or reduced risk of: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, high cholesterol, urinary tract infections, visual deterioration and premature aging, according to Perricone.

The fruit is small, round and a black-purple color similar in appearance and size to a grape, but with less pulp. It is said to have twice as many antioxidants as blueberries.

SIDEBAR

Here’s the breakdown of the Brazilian “power berry”:

Açai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is the high-energy berry of an Amazon palm tree. Harvested in the rainforests of Brazil, açai tastes like a fiery blend of berries and chocolate. Hidden within its royal purple pigment is the magic that makes it nature’s perfect energy fruit. Açai is packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids.

Nutrition Facts per 100 grams

Calories: 247 kcal

Carbohydrate: 36 g

Protein: 13 g

Fat: 4.8 g per

Fiber: 34 g per

SIDEBAR

You can try one of the açai juices or smoothies at the following local spots:

Java Juice in Tahoe City

Tahoe Dave’s Ski and Board in Tahoe City

New Moon Natural Foods in Truckee and Tahoe City

Mountain Nectar in Squaw Valley


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