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A plate filled with a green salad and a glass dish with a vinaigrette made with Navitas Organics Acai Powder
April 16, 2024

The Top Health Benefits of Acai Powder and How to Use the Tropical Delight

Your complete guide to the “purple gold” that has taken the health food world by storm, including how to pronounce it.

By: Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Your complete guide to the “purple gold” that has taken the health food world by storm, including how to pronounce it.

Introduction to Acai's Rising Popularity

A few years ago if you told someone you were making a smoothie with acai they would likely be at a loss to what you were talking about, especially if you failed to pronounce it correctly. But now acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) from the rainforest has become more popular and a recognizable ingredient in healthy diets. The now not-so-secret ingredient in those picture-perfect açai bowls.

What is Acai?

Acai berries, ​known scientifically as Euterpe oleracea, come from a palm tree of the same name. Indigenous to South America, the berries have historically been a food source for native populations in the Amazon region. The berry is known for its signature deep purple color and tantalizing flavor profile that is similar to mixed berries with notes of dark chocolate. Because they contain pits like olives and apricots, to be botanically correct, acai are not technically a berry, but rather a drupe. Nevertheless, they’re commonly referred to as berries, which I think we can all agree sounds more appetizing than drupe.

These berries are known to be high in nutrition, which has earned them their ‘superfood’ epithet. Here’s what current research says about the health benefits and longevity benefits of acai berries, plus how you can incorporate this nutrient-packed fruit into your everyday diet.

More Acai, More Antioxidants

Acai berries contain a group of plant compounds called anthocyanins, which give the fruit their deep purple hue and act as important antioxidants in the body. Some research suggests these plant chemicals may help reduce cellular damage in the body that could eventually lead to chronic illnesses like cancer and heart disease. By helping fend off oxidative cell damage, the anthocyanins in acai can aid in lowering inflammation, which is important for better health. Importantly, the anthocyanins in acai have been shown to be well absorbed by the gut.

The high antioxidant content in acai may protect against cognitive decline and improve brain function. This underlines the brain health benefits of acai, emphasizing the importance of including it in your diet for mental well-being.

So, to increase your healthy years, it’s a very good idea to eat a good variety of antioxidant-dense foods, which includes acai. And, yes, blueberries and goji berries as well.

More Acai, More Fiber

Acai should be considered a fairly good source of fiber, something that many North Americans fail to eat enough of. That means acai berries not only help make your trips to the bathroom more regular and to be frank, more enjoyable, but also help keep you feeling satiated and your blood sugar steady. A systematic review study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition that included a total sample size of more than 350,000 subjects found that higher consumption of total dietary fiber slashed the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular-related mortality, and cancer-related mortality by more than 20%.

Some studies have suggested that acai can help improve cholesterol levels by reducing total and LDL (bad) cholesterol . These effects are attributed to their high fiber and heart-healthy fats content.

That makes it a very good idea to include more high-fiber foods like fresh acai berries or acai powder in your diet to age better.

More Acai, More Nutrients

Beyond a payload of antioxidants, acai also supplies a range of essential micronutrients including vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and beta-carotene. In our bodies, we can convert beta-carotene into vitamin A which helps keep our immune system humming. In the end, the acai fruit is a useful way to increase the overall nutrient quality of our diets at a very low calorie cost.

More Acai, Less Sugar

It’s worth noting that adding acai to foods like yogurt is a great way to add natural sweetness and help us cut back on the need for added sugars. And scaling back on the amount of added sugar we eat is one of the most important steps that can be taken to improve health outcomes. When you eat the naturally occurring sugars in acai you are also getting the antioxidants, micronutrients, and fiber with it. White sugar and high-fructose corn syrup? Not so much.

Acai Varieties: Power Powder and More

Acai berries typically spoil quickly, usually within a day after they're picked. For this reason and because fresh ones are costly to bring to market, you won’t find whole fresh acai berries at the supermarket. Instead, acai berries are typically sold as a frozen puree, as acai juice, or processed into acai berry powder. Using sustainably harvested berries from Brazil, Navitas Organics Acai Powder is made from freeze-dried acai which ensures that the maximum nutrition of the berries is maintained and you can get a concentrated dose of the nutrition-packed fruit.

How to Eat More Acai

You’ll be amazed at how versatile acai powder is. Yes, it’s good for more than just smoothie bowls. It can effortlessly be stirred into yogurt and oatmeal. Mix into homemade energy bars and balls. Also, use acai when making jams and even vinaigrettes. It’s a great addition to baked goods like muffins for an antioxidant boost. Frozen acai puree is a delicious and stunning addition to frosty smoothies and homemade ice-cream. Yes, acai bowls are as gorgeous as they are nutritious.

Orange Acai Vinaigrette

Juice of 1 orange
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. Navitas Organics Acai Powder
1 Tbsp. grainy mustard
1 tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. red chili flakes
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil


In a bowl, whisk together orange juice, red wine vinegar, acai powder, mustard, dried thyme, red chili flakes, salt and black pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil.

Acai Granola

2¼ cups rolled oats
¾ cup sliced almonds
⅓ cup shelled sunflower seeds
½ cup dried coconut flakes
¼ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup melted coconut oil or mild-flavored oil like canola
¼ cup maple syrup or date syrup
3 Tbsp. Navitas Organics Acai Powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup dried cherries


Preheat oven to 250°F. Toss together oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, maple syrup, acai powder and vanilla. Pour over oat mixture and mix well. Spread granola on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer.

Bake for 40 minutes, stirring granola every 10 minutes. Remove from oven, stir in dried cherries and let cool.

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