Is Freeze-dried Açai Powder Healthy?
The Popularity and Benefits of the Amazonian Super Fruit—Açai
Açai has garnered a lot of attention as a superfood over the last couple of decades thanks to social media, but its popularity surged in Brazil long before that. In the 1970s, a Jiu-Jitsu master developed a concoction made from a blend of açai fruit and bananas. He believed that the blend gave his fighters more stamina and made them better at the sport.
Long before that, açai was enjoyed in many savory dishes by people residing in the Amazonian region to which the açai palm is native. It was revered as both a source of nutrients and a powerful medicine in many tribal cultures.
Is freeze-dried açai powder as healthy as fresh açai?
Obviously, if you can get your hands on fresh açai fruit, you should grab them up. That opportunity isn’t likely to arise outside of South America, however. Unlike many exported fruits, açai “berries” deteriorate far more quickly than the time it takes to get them to their destination. This being the case, sourcing fresh açai is nearly impossible, so the question of whether or not freeze-dried açai powder is as healthy as its fresh counterpart is not particularly relevant for usage. Still, we will entertain the question.
Freeze-drying any fruit does have the drawback of a slight loss of nutrients but most research has found the loss to be minimal, unlike with heat and/or air drying. Meanwhile, because all of the water has been removed, you are left with loads of fiber and much higher concentrations of other antioxidants and other nutrients. So, pound-for-pound, the nutrient levels will be higher in the freeze-dried version.
What are the nutritional components of freeze-dried açai?
Açai in any form is thought to be a rich source of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, healthy fats, and other nutrients, all while being incredibly low in sugar content. Several studies suggest that this superfood can be used to balance cholesterol, reduce inflammation, support the immune system, improve heart health, improve brain function and reduce symptoms of cognitive decline, regulate digestion, and more.
How to use freeze-dried açai?
It’s important to note that while açai can be an incredibly beneficial food to incorporate into your diet, most bowls and smoothies that namedrop the ingredient are actually made by blending together many other ingredients that may be incredibly high in sugars and/or not-so-healthy fats. That’s why we use freeze-dried açai and make our own concoctions. Açai can be added to protein shakes, fruit and nut bowls, power bars, and more.
We recommend starting with 1 or 2 tablespoons of freeze-dried açai a per 8 ounce or 1 cup serving and adjusting from there to satisfy your own taste preferences. If you find the taste to bitter and you are blending a smoothie or fruit bowl, try mixing in a banana or other berries for a natural sweetness. Maple syrup or coconut sugar are also great options!