The History of Acai

While you may have just heard of the Acai Berry within the last year or so, the truth is that it has been around for thousands of years in various rain forests and jungles. Traditionally used by Amazonian tribes as a cure/treatment for a variety of illnesses and ailments, the Berry is still being researched today for the extent of its beneficial properties.

One of the earliest-known tribes to have used the berry are the Shuar, known for their ability to use plants for various cures as well as foods.

The Acai Berry wasn't introduced to the western world until the 1990's where it was discovered not only to fight infection, protect the heart and immune system, but to also contain strong antioxidant properties and later, anti-cancer effects.

The berry itself comes from an indigenous palm. These palms can reach up to 80 feet (25 meters) in height and have clusters of branches at the top with long, thin leaves from which the acai berries hang. Each of these palm trees produces around 44 lbs (20 kg) of fruit pear year.

When it was introduced here in the western part of the world, it was used mainly as an energy booster but once researchers discovered its potential, in came the marketers. Not only does acai taste like delicious berries but it also has a hint of chocolate to it. Researchers discovered that it also contains several vitamins, vital Omega fats, low sugar, fiber, proteins and more. Once it was discovered that acai could be used to prevent certain types of cancer, it wasn't long until it became known as the 'miracle fruit.'

The fruit itself has been discovered to have 30 times more antioxidants than red wine, and to be five times more potent than gingko biloba.

More recently, it has received endorsements by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Nicholas Perricone MD, and Rachel Ray. It has been featured on numerous media venues, including: ABC News, NBC Today Show, CBS, The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.