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Acai Berry vs Blueberry – Superfood Showdown


Acai berries are the fruits of acai palm trees, which are mostly grown in Brazil's Amazon rainforest. Blueberries, by contrast, grow in many places around the world. Both acai berries and blueberries are known for their high antioxidant content, and both have been dubbed as superfoods. Here, we compare these two powerhouse berries in terms of antioxidant capacity (ORAC), apperance, taste, availability and uses.


Blueberry

Antioxidant Capacity

Both acai berries and blueberries are rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins. The antioxidant capacity (ORAC) of acai berry powder has been reported to be around 400 μMTE/g, which is over 100 μMTE higher than the antioxidant capacity of blueberry powder on a per gram basis (1).

But before you conclude that acai berries are better than blueberries, know this: there are many different ways to measure the antioxidant capacity of foods in a laboratory setting, and different methods may yield different results.

What's more, studies using the ORAC assay and other chemical assays to study the antioxidant capacity of foods cannot give precise information about antioxidants function in actual living beings.


Appearance and Taste

Not only do anthocyanins contribute to the antioxidant properties of acai berries and blueberries, these flavonoid pigments also give acai berries and blueberries their deep purple color. In terms of flavor, both acai berries and blueberries have a pleasant taste, and most health food enthusiasts would probably agree that both of these berries taste better than foods like camu camu or acerola which also rank high on superfood lists.

The flavor of acai can be described as a mix between raspberry and blackberry, with a hint of tartness. Also blueberries have a sweet taste, with wild blueberries having a more intense and tangy taste than their cultivated counterparts.


Availability and Uses

Unlike fresh blueberries which are readily available in supermarkets all year round, fresh acai berries are not easy to find in North America and Europe because these little powerhouse berries are grown primarily in Latin America and are highly perishable.

If you want to reap the health benefits of acai berries, look for pulped and flash-frozen acai berries or acai berry powder in well-stocked health food stores, or online. If you like to buy superfood powders on Amazon, check out Navitas Organics' acai powder which is made from freeze-dried acai berries and which is certified organic. You can also buy blueberry powder on Amazon, should you ever get bored of fresh and frozen blueberries.

Both acai berry powder and blueberry powder can be incorporated into smoothies and smoothie bowls, a wide variety of desserts, and breakfast dishes like yoghurt and oatmeal.


Summary

To sum up, acai berry powder has been shown to have stronger antioxidant properties than blueberry powder in a laboratory setting, but that does not necessarily mean that it provides better antioxidant protection in actual living beings. And, even if it did, it would still be important to keep your diet balanced and to include a variety of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet.

So, the bottom line is, both acai berries and blueberries can serve as a wonderful way to get health-protecting antioxidants as well as a variety of nutrients into you diet!


References
1. S. Crozier et al (2011). Cacao seeds are a "Super Fruit": A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products. Chemistry Central Journal, 5: 5.


Superfood Snacks BookBOOK YOU MAY LIKE

Who says snacks and desserts have to be unhealthy? In Superfood Snacks, Los Angeles-based natural food chef Julie Morris shares 100 recipes that transform "guilty" pleasures into healthy, mouthwatering snacks that are supercharged with nutrients. Julie's creative recipes feature health food staples like quinoa and oats but also superfoods like acai and maqui. Packed with beautiful photographs to whet your appetite, this inspiring collection of recipes is available through Amazon.