Various fruits are considered to be an important source of antioxidants. Acai berries are exotics fruits that are known to contain powerful antioxidants. However, they are rare to find so they aren’t always the most ideal option as an antioxidant source. By the time you obtain the fruit, many of the nutrients that were present in the Acai berry when it was fresh will have broken down. This is one reason that the tart cherry may be a better choice as a source of powerful antioxidants. Aside from the convenience factor, it may surprise you to find out that in some categories, the tart cherry actually outranks the Acai berry.
Antioxidants in Tart cherries are much easier to come across than the Acai berry. For example, while Acai berries are mostly found in the Amazon forests of Brazil, tart cherries can be produced domestically. As a matter of fact, Traverse City, Michigan (U.S.) is known for their abundant supply of cherries, and they can grow tons of them year after year. The ability to grow them domestically and in huge quantities makes them highly accessible, and for that reason alone they provide incentive to use them as a source of nutrients.
At the same time, tart cherries contain a combination of 32 different bio-active compounds (anthocyanins, flavANols, flavONols, hormones, phenolic acids, vitamins/minerals, and terpenes) that all benefit your health in one way or another. In these same 7 categories, the Acai berry only contains 11 bio-active compounds. So, not only are tart cherries easy to locate and faster to deliver to your doorstep, but studies suggest that they quite possibly might be a source of even more nutrients than the Acai berry in many categories.
With the purpose of this website in mind, a comparison of the antioxidant properties of the antioxidants in Acai berries and the antioxidants in tart cherries is beneficial. Phenolic acids are powerful antioxidants. Tart cherries contain 6 different types of them. They are Ellagic Acid, Caffeic Acid, Chlorogenic Acid, Coumaroylquinic Acid, Neochlorogenic Acid and p-Coumaric Acid. Acai berries only contain 2 of those same 6 powerful antioxidants. In summary, not only do Acai berries only contain around 33% of the overall types of bio-active compounds that the tart cherry contains, but they only contain 33% of the same antioxidants in tart cherries have; a nutrient that Acai are best known for.
The antioxidants in tart cherries contain 7 variations of anthocyanins. Acai contain 4 of those same 7 variations. They both contain the same variations of flavANols, but tart cherries contain 10 variations of flavONols that Acai berries contain none of. Although tart cherries and Acai both contain Iron and Calcium, tart cherries also contain Vitamin A and Potassium.
As mentioned above, benefiting from these nutrients is most efficiently done by eating the fruits in their whole fresh form. As a result, tart cherries gain an edge on Acai because tart cherries can be grown in a greater number of areas. This proves very beneficial when time constraints determine nutritional value. Since tart cherries are grown in more locations, they can be distributed to a greater number of local areas without having to be packed with preservatives.
If you don’t prefer the taste of fresh tart cherries, there are nutritional tart cherry juice drink options that you might like better. The healthiest tart cherry juice drinks use a juice extraction technique that will retain the greatest number of nutrients from whole form to liquid form. They will also be made from all natural tart cherry juice, that isn’t from concentrate and is not reduced to powdered form. A couple of tart cherry juice drinks have been known to have an antioxidant ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) that is nearly twice as high as most other fruit juice drinks, including the Acai berry. This is because of the number of tart cherries that are used in each bottle as well as the nutritional properties of natural tart cherries. Since tart cherry juice is available in bottled form, good nutritional value can be conveniently taken on the go with you. This is a huge bonus since consuming fruits as a prepared meal or in desserts is not as convenient and may not be as healthy for you either.
Ultimately, tart cherries provide a large amount of powerful antioxidants and a plethora of other bio-active compounds. The health benefits they provide are better than many of the assumed leaders in the fruit and vegetable food group. Locating them is getting to be much more convenient. Access to them in the form of cherry juice is making it easier to add them to your daily diet. Look for fresh, whole tart cherries at your local farmers market, or for tart cherry juice that is made from all natural whole tart cherries, (not from concentrate). You want one that hasn’t been packed with preservatives and one that hasn’t been sitting on a shelf somewhere in storage while the bio-active compounds continue to break down. Regardless of what fruit juice you opt for, shopping online for an all natural juice drink with factory direct shipping may prove to be the healthiest since these types of juice drinks generally retain the most amount of nutritional value. Cheers.
The history of acai is deep rooted in the traditions of the Amazon people and the modern countries that occupy that territory.
The acai (ah-sigh-ee) berry has been around for thousands of years.
It was not introduced to the western world until the 1990s.
The tribes of the Amazon Rain Forest first used the berry to help various aliments due to its tremendous health properties. In fact, it is estimated that the indigenous tribes regularly use two thousand of the three thousand known rainforest fruits for medicinal purposes.
The Amazonian tribes found out that it helped build the immune system, fight infection, protect the heart, and control prostate enlargement (nature’s viagra), and acai berry and better sex.
The acai berry was also discovered to fight schistosomosis, a disease transmitted by snails. Schistosomosis affected more than 10 million Brazilians–how about that for the earth giving us what we need. The acaí berry is also used to produce an antibiotic that helps to fight against ‘Staphylococcus aureus,’ a common infection contracted mainly in hospitals.
The acaí berry grows on a palm that has a long thin trunk up to 25m high with a group of branches at the top from which hangs ribbon-like leaves. Acaí berries hang from these branches in clusters. Traditionally the acai berries would be picked by hand and the tribe’s men would shimmy up the tree and cut the branches from the top of the palm tree rich in acai berries.
Now that the acai berry has been discovered as a highly sought after crop by the population of Brazil it is mass produced, as it only has a 24-hour life span in which the properties of the juice are still active. The acai berries must be loaded into baskets and onto boats soon after picking. Each acai palm tree produces round about 20 kg of fruit per year.
The most recent history of acai is that it has been endorsed by such talk show hosts as Oprah Winfrey and has been seen as a feature on her show, a berry with star success.
The video below looks at the Kayapo Indigenous group of Pará, Brazil who eat wild açaí that grows in their protected rain forest.
When thinking about acai recipes or when preparing them it is important to remember that the anthocyanins of acai berry are fragile and can change in nutritional value easily. Acai juice must not be cooked, but instead, served as an extra like on top of ice cream, or the integral part of something traditionally cold like smoothies.
Since the nutritional degradation occurs because of heat, you might wish to consider using pulp and not the juice, for the acai pulp is frozen. If you choose this option, keep the pulp in the freezer at 18ºC. Around one hour prior to use, take the frozen pulp out and then leave the pulp at room temperature for mild thawing. When the pulp does melt that juice is now visible, place it into either a cloth or plastic bag. Next, using a hammer, hit it to smash the bar. When having reduced the bar to bran, consider putting the acai bran into a blender. If you have a fabulous acai recipe, please feel free to submit your recipe in the comments section below this post or contact us with your recipe.
acai recipe – gluten free, vegan and contains no refined sugar Recipe from Radish Boy
14 ounces Acai puree, thawed
2 medium bananas, sliced
10 medium strawberries, sliced
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup agave syrup (or to taste)
Add the Acai puree, sliced bananas, sliced strawberries, lime juice, and agave syrup to your blender. Blend until smooth. Taste, and add more agave or lime juice as necessary.
If you have a sorbet or ice cream maker, follow the instructions on your machine.
Otherwise, pour the puree fruit into a baking pan and place in the freezer. Stir every 20 minutes until set.
Serve immediately, or transfer to a lidded container and store in the freezer.
Directions: In a blender, puree açaí, strawberries, yogurt, soy milk, and vanilla for 1 minute, until smooth. Pour into a bowl and top with granola and fruit. Serve chilled.
Variants: Crumbled cookies may be exchanged for granola. Other fruit (such as bananas or mangoes) may be substituted in like amount for strawberries.
The Rio Bowl (Traditional Acai Recipe)
Directions: Slice two-thirds of a large banana into a blender, and then add 2 packs of Original Acai Blend and 3-4 oz of apple juice or plain soy milk. Blend thick and pour into a bowl. Top with organic granola and the remaining banana, sliced.
Açai Berry and Orange Smoothie
Add 100g Açai Berry Pulp, 150ml orange juice, 2 teaspoons of honey, and a half a banana.
Açai Berry and Tigela
Add 100g Açai Berry Pulp, 100ml orange juice, 2 teaspoons of honey, and half a banana.
Açai Berry and Apple Smoothie
Add 100g Açai Berry pulp, 100ml apple Juice, 2 teaspoons of honey, and half a banana.
Acai Berry and Blueberry
Add a handful of blueberries, 100g Acai Berry pulp, 100ml orange juice, and 2 tablespoons of yogurt.
Acai Berry and Mango
Add 50g Acai Berry pulp, 50g mango, 150g apple juice, and 2 strawberries.
Acai Berry and Mango Bowl
Add 100g Acai Berry Pulp, 100g mango, 150ml apple juice, 1/2 banana, and dollop of honey.
Acai Mixed Berry Smoothie
Add 100g Acai Berry pulp, 150ml apple juice, 2 strawberries, 5 raspberries, and 5 blueberries.
Acai Berry and Yogurt Smoothie
Add 100g Acai Berry pulp, 100ml natural yogurt, 1 small Banana, 50ml water, and dollop of honey.
Acai Berry Bowl w/ Orange
Add 200g Acai Fruit Pulp, 100 ml orange juice, 2 spoons of honey, and 2 slices of banana.
Acai Berry and Tigela w/ Berries and Apples
Add 200g Acai Fruit Pulp, 200ml apple juice, 2 Strawberries, and a handful of raspberries.
Acai Berry, Pomegranate and Blueberry
Add 100g Acai Fruit Pulp, 150ml pomegranate juice, and a handful of blueberries.
Acai Berry Bread
2 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/8 cup shortening
3/4 cup orange juice
1 cup Sugar
1 cup of açaí berry juice
1 cup chopped nuts – almonds or pecans will work!
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In blender, combine egg, shortening, orange juice, and sugar. Add açaí berry juice & nuts and chop briefly. Empty into flour mixture. Mix by hand until moistened. Bake in a greased 9×5 pan at 350F for 50 to 60 minutes.
The following Moist Banana Bread Recipe was sent to us by one of our readers. This is a perfect basic banana bread recipe that she claims is the best banana bread. Her mom has made it for years. She also mentioned that this a great recipe for those bananas that turn brown. Not ready to make this banana bread recipe? No problem. Just freeze your brown bananas (don’t worry about a bag, they usually don’t have a freezer burn problem) in the freezer and then thaw out the night before you want to make the bread. Of course, using older bananas like this (the mushy kind) will make the moist banana bread.
BANANA NUT BREAD
1/3 cup shortening 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. soda 1/2 tsp. salt 1 cup mashed ripe banana (to make it more moist–add another mashed banana or use two “brown” bananas) 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Oven 350 degrees
Cream together shortening and sugar; add eggs and beat well. Sift together the dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternating with banana, blending well after each addition. Stir in nuts.
Pour into well-greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake in moderate oven (350) 45 to 50 minutes or till done. Remove from pan; cool on rack. Wrap and store overnight.
Do you have a banana bread recipe that you’d like to share? Please contact antioxidant-fruits.com with the recipe and we will post it on the site! Or post it below in the comments!
The cranberry is an evergreen dwarf shrub or a trailing vine in the genus Vaccinium subgenus Oxycoccos. They are grow in acidic bogs through the cooler parts of the Northern Hemisphere. They grow to be about 2m long and 5-20cm in height.
The berry is very tart and is commonly recommended by doctors for urinary tract infections. A study showed that it reduced E. coli bacteria in urine at twice the levels of the placebo. The berries are high in vitamin C and proanthocyanins, both of which are powerful antioxidants….which makes it another one of our antioxidant fruits.
In the medical world, the berry is best known for its protective effects on the urinary tract. A 2006 study confirmed this information, showing that the berry can inhibit the formation and activity of the Streptococcus mutans bacteria. The berry’s capability to fight bacteria is one way it prevents and effectively treats urinary tract infections.
Nearly 95% of all the berries harvested are processed into products such as juice drinks, sauce and dried berries. See some of these great products below.
Bilberry – also known as: European blueberry, Huckleberry, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium corymbosum
A close relative to the blueberry (as you can tell in the photo), the fruit has impressive antioxidant properties and is historically linked to eye health. Studies indicate that the berry, with its abundance of antioxidants, may also be effetive in protecting the body against carcinogens and free radicals.
A study done in Canada in 2006, found that the berry can help and may be able to prevent and slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases (like Parkinson’s), mainly due to its antioxidant powers.
Do you know some fun facts about the Bilberry? If so, leave a comment and share them with us!