Acai (Powder, Extract)-is a fruit that comes from a species of palm found throughout Central and South America. The acai palm is of the genus Euterpe, and is of the species Euterpe oleracea. This palm traditionally was grown as a primary source of heart of palm, because it grows quickly. In recent years, however, the acai berry has become a hugely profitable nutritional supplement, and massive amounts are now grown exclusively for this purpose.
The fruit of the acai, generally referred to as an acai berry, is about the size of a standard grape, and looks quite similar. It grows in large clusters, with up to nearly a thousand berries per cluster. The berry has a single seed, which takes up the bulk of the fruit, with the remainder being pulp.
Traditionally, acai is eaten as a food by the indigenous Caboclo people of the Amazon region. Nearly half of their total food intake by weight is made up of acai, as it is prevalent, delicious, and very healthy. In Brazil it is used widely in food preparation, and may be added to smoothies, turned into soda or juice, or served as a dessert with tapioca. It is also used in acai liqueur, acai ice cream, and acai juice.
The acai berry has been widely promoted for its health food properties. Virtually every beneficial property imaginable has been attributed to the berry, and advertisements for it can be seen all around the internet, with claims ranging from the modest to the truly outlandish. Acai has been claimed to aid in sexual performance, weight loss, better sleep, lowering cholesterol, clearer skin, clearer digestion, and added energy. Even more extremely, acai has been stated by some to enlarge penis size and fully cure diabetes.