Acai Bowls: Are They Healthy? What a Dietitian Says

These purple bowls are superfoods, but their contents may surprise you.

Beautiful purple acai bowls are full of mango, granola, and shredded coconut. People dig in with a spoon and call them nutritious, but are they?

This smoothie-in-a-bowl fad continues with acai bowls (and dragon fruit bowls, but that's another topic). 

"In simple terms, an acai bowl is a very thick smoothie with toppings that you eat with a spoon," says chef and Healing Soup Cookbook author Julie Harrington, RD. 

"The trend started when the acai berry was a superfood," she explains.Acai is usually used for bowl bases.

Harrington says anthocyanins are abundant in these rich purple tropical Central and South American berries.

"Acai berries are soaked to soften the tough outer skin and mashed to form a dark purple paste" to make them edible.

The flavor isn't sweet-tart like most berries. Some say it tastes earthy, like tea. Harrington calls it blackberry-unsweetened chocolate.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, acai is a superfruit but has not been shown to enhance health. 

Acai is a decent source of fiber and includes small amounts of calcium, potassium, and vitamin A, but it won't cure health issues or help you lose weight.


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