Listen up kids, there’s a new breakfast in town.
That bowl (sometimes masquerading as a smoothie or juice), with the hard-to-pronounce name that seems to top every list of “Best Breakfasts in [insert your city’s name here]” and is flooding your Instagram and Pinterest feeds from here to kingdom come (#nutrition #wellness #antioxidants #realfood #hashtagoverload #blahblahblah).
The latest so-called superfood to hit the big time: the acai berry. Originating from deep in the Brazilian Amazon, the acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) starts out life as a purplish grape-like berry on a palm tree. The berry is harvested and sold as frozen pulp and juice (it also makes its way into cosmetics and supplements).
There’s been a fair bit of a song and dance about this little purple drupe. Touted by many as ‘the most antioxidant-rich fruit in the world’, it’s also alleged to slow the aging process and aid in weight loss. However, research has been limited and many health claims actually remain unfounded. It’s certainly energy boosting and has a high nutritional value, however recent studies claim that blueberries, strawberries and cranberries are actually higher in antioxidants.
That’s not to say that the fuss about acai berries is for naught. The frozen pulp is whizzed to a soft-serve-like consistency, and topped with banana, granola, seeds, peanut butter, edible flowers, pretty much anything you fancy. This gal (*points thumbs at self*) has been known to hit up a café near the office every once in a while for an acai bowl fix – not because of its alleged health benefits, but because it’s pretty delicious and is a relatively sustaining way to start the day. Just not every day. For a real antioxidant, energy, everything-boosting breakfast, I’m much more inclined to mix up my breakfasts, with smoothies, oats, and a wider array of fruits than just one little Amazonian.