by Monica Lang Engebretsen

Not every superfood tastes as good as it feels, but the açai berry is an exception. This small, deep purple berry, grown in Central and South America has gained popularity over the years thanks to its jam-packed nutritional content and great flavor. Açai ranks as the seventh-highest antioxidant superfood on the oxygen radical absorbance capacity chart, just below turmeric. In addition, açai offers loads of anti-inflammatory nutrients, vitamins A and C, dietary fiber, electrolytes, trace minerals and amino acids.

When it comes to exercise, studies show açai is absorbed very quickly by the body and aids athletes with increased energy and metabolic function. During the 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro, where the açai berry is a dietary staple, athletes from all over the world enjoyed the Brazilian delicacy and showed their enthusiasm through social media posts. U.S. womens’ soccer forward Alex Morgan, diver David Boudia and Australian BMX cyclist Caroline Buchanan all posted photos of açai bowls topped with local tropical fruit, honey, granola and nuts.

Monica Lang Engebretsen owns and operates the Wellness Bar, in Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Hayden, ID, specializing in fresh pressed juice, super food smoothies and açai bowls. For more information, visit niWellnessBar.com.