Acai Berry Frequently Asked Questions

What are acai berries and why should I eat them?


Acai berries (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) are the fruit of a palm tree (Euterpe oleracea) that grows in flood plains of the Amazon basin. These tiny purple berries are highly nutritious, and have been a staple part of the Brazilian diet for centuries.

Amongst other nutritional highlights, they are exceptionally rich in a group of antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins, and also contain omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids, fibre, minerals and vitamins.

No wonder acai berries are considered an energising superfood!

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Do they have medicinal properties?

Acai berries are such nutritional powerhouses that it would be surprising if they didn’t have therapeutic properties. A number of scientific studies are underway to assess whether the berries have the potential to be used medicinally – but until that research is completed, don’t think of acai berries as a medicine.

Instead, consider acai an exceptionally healthy part of your daily diet. A food you treat yourself to not just because it tastes fantastic, but also because of how great your body feels when you eat it!

We know how fabulous eating RioLife 100% organic freeze-dried acai powder makes us feel, and many of our loyal customers have written testimonials telling us they also feel the benefits. We’d love to hear about your experiences too, so please drop us a line or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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I’ve heard acai berries will make me lose weight. Is that true?

Acai berries won’t make you lose weight. But as a component of a healthy diet and exercise program, they might help.

Acai berries are an extremely nutritious food, and are low-GI, meaning that they help keep your blood sugar on an even keel. As part of a healthy diet, they’ll help fill you up, and that just might help you resist the urge to indulge in sugary, high calorie treats later in the day. Try adding one of our delicious acai recipes to your morning routine and see what a difference it makes to your sense of energy and vitality later in the day – we’re willing to bet that you’ll find yourself less likely to put your hand in the cookie jar too.

With it’s content of carbohydrates, protein, fats and minerals, acai can also help fuel your exercise regime and give you the energy you need to meet your weight loss targets. At the same time, its amazing antioxidant profile will help offset the increased production of free radicals that occurs when you train hard.

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What’s a superfood?

There’s no scientific definition of a superfood, but superfoods are generally regarded as those nutritionally rich foods that contribute more to your health than simply topping up your levels of vitamins and minerals.

The term itself is somewhat controversial, with some nutritionists and dietitians arguing that labelling some foods as ‘super’ will make other foods appear less appealing or worthwhile. Since variety is the key to a nutritious, balanced diet, they’re concerned that some people might favour superfoods and exclude other foods from their diets altogether, leading to an excess of some nutrients and a shortfall of others. The term has even been banned on food packaging in some countries.

We couldn’t disagree more. We’ve experienced for ourselves the energy and vitality that comes from making RioLife acai one of the central components of our diets and there’s no question in our minds at all: RioLife 100% organic freeze-dried acai powder is a superfood.

Try it for yourself and we’re sure you’ll agree.

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What’s ORAC?

When measuring a food’s antioxidant potential, scientists use a scale called ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). Using the ORAC scale, acai berries are one of the most potent sources of antioxidants you’ll ever find. In fact, while fresh fruit or veggies provide you with 890 to 2500 ORAC units per serving, just one 5 gram serving of RioLife 100% Certified Organic Acai powder packs in a whopping 4,695 ORAC units!

The ORAC system may be helpful to scientists, but it’s a bit abstract and complex for the rest of us to get our heads around, so think of the antioxidant capacity of acai berries like this: one 5 gram tablespoon of RioLife 100% Certified Organic Acai powder contains about the same amount of antioxidants as 120 blueberries.

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How do I know acai berries are safe for me?

Since they’re a food, not a medicine, you can safely consume acai berries as a component of your daily diet, even if you’re pregnant, breast-feeding, suffering from ill health or taking prescribed drugs. However, you should always consult your doctor for medical advice.

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How do I serve acai berries, and how often should I eat them?

Our preferred way to serve acai berries is as a component of a Rio Bowl – and that’s also the favourite of the Capriocas (residents of Rio). We also love them added to juices or smoothies.

For your convenience, our product range includes RioLife 100% certified organic and wild harvested freeze-dried acai powder, acai; capsules, frozen acai berry and guarana purée, snack bars and fruit flakes.

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I’ve heard that some companies selling acai berries on the internet are scammers. How do I know I can trust RioLife?

We love acai, and we think it thoroughly deserves its reputation as a nutritious superfood.

So it drives us crazy that ever since acai berries were mentioned on Oprah, ludicrous claims about acai berries have popped up all over the place – many of them pertaining to weight loss.

We’re even more frustrated that some consumers have been duped into handing over their credit card details to unscrupulous operators who’ve fleeced them for hundreds of dollars. Don’t fall for the scam. Only pass your details over to reputable, Australian operators whose shopping carts are guaranteed secure by a trusted institution, like the Verisign SSL secure merchant facility we use here at RioLife. If it makes you feel safer, buy your RioLife Acai from your local health food store or pharmacy instead of online.

If you believe your credit card has been incorrectly or fraudulently charged, contact your financial institution.

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Where do RioLife source their acai berries, and how are they processed?

RioLife Acai berries grow wild and organic in Brazil on an island in Belem do Para, renowned for producing acai of very high quality. We use a non-polluting and pesticide-free harvesting and packing procedure in which the berries are hand-picked by native Amazonians, and then sent down the forest road to the packing area where they’re pulped.

The pulp is then lightly pasteurized and instantly frozen so that none of the goodies can get out. When the fruit is freeze-dried it retains nearly all the nutritional value of the fresh fruit.

From there, RioLife Acai is shipped directly to Sydney.

Every step of our supply chain is closely monitored to ensure sustainable and Fairtrade practices are followed, and to make sure the fruit is not at risk of being affected by heat damage.

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How do I know you’re treating the Amazon and its people respectfully?

The harvesting of acai is one of only a handful of sustainable commercial initiatives identified by Greenpeace as having the capacity to make a meaningful difference to the deforestation of the region.

It’s a win-win-win situation. The jungle is protected from land clearing and pollution, the locals earn an income under Fairtrade principles and benefit from our Amazon Friendly charitable giving program, and here in Australia we get to enjoy antioxidant-rich acai berries safe in the knowledge that we’re contributing to the health and sustainability of the Amazon.

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Why do I need to keep the freeze-dried powder in the fridge?

Due to all the antioxidants and essential fatty acids it contains, acai is very sensitive to high temperatures, which can easily interfere with its nutritional benefits. For optimal shelf-life, we recommend you store your RioLife 100% certified organic and wild harvested freeze-dried acai powder in the fridge.

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Do acai berries contain caffeine?

Acai berries are caffeine-free. However, many Capriocas (residents of Rio) consume them with guarana, which does contain caffeine. Our Acai and Guarana frozen purée contains less than 1 milligram of caffeine per 30 gram serve.

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