The acai berry is a rich purple palm fruit indigenous to the Amazon rainforest. For hundreds of years, these small dark berries have been integral to the diet of native Amazon people.

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Acai berry

Native to the rainforests of Brazil, the acai berry is small, purple and packed with delicious goodness. Pronounced ass-eye-ee, many believe it tastes like a cross between chocolate and blueberries yum!

Acai what makes it so special?

In its natural form the acai berry contains a whole host of nutritional components that make it appealing. These include:

The essential fatty acids Omega 3, 6 and 9. According the NHS, our body needs these good fats to help us stay healthy.

  • Amino acids. These are often referred to as the 'building blocks of life' as they play a vital role in the makeup of protein, needed for the growth, repair and maintenance of all cells.
  • Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and E are all naturally present in acai.

The minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc are also present in the little purple berry.

The legend of the acai berry

As well as being an important part of the Amazonian diet, acai is also a part of their folklore. According to legend, there was a time when food was very scarce and over-population was rife. To combat this, the tribal chief decreed that all newborn babies should be killed. When his own daughter, Iaca, bore a baby, the heartbroken chief decided his decree must be followed as had been the case with all the other newborns.

After mourning her baby's death for days, Iaca heard a baby's cry in the forest and set off in search of the source. When she got to it she found a palm tree sprouting branches heavily laden with purple fruit, instead of the little baby she had been expecting to see. Overcome with despair and grief she lay down and died.

The tribe discovered Iaca's body underneath the tree abundant with purple fruit. The fruit satisfied their hunger and renewed their energy, bringing them back from the brink of starvation and allowing the tribe to flourish once more. In his daughter's honour, the tribal chief named the fruit 'acai' Iaca spelt backwards.

Getting acai berry into your diet

The benefits of acai berry have been enjoyed by the people of the Amazon for centuries and it's now available in the UK too. The fruit perishes quickly after being picked, so to help preserve its goodness it is often made into acai berry juice, acai supplements or acai powder. You can buy all three types from Holland & Barrett.

Buy acai from Holland & Barrett the name you can trust

As the UK's leading vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements supplier, Holland & Barrett is the name you can trust to provide you with the finest quality acai berry products. Find acai in our slimming and weight loss section.

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