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Acai, pronounced AH-sigh-EE, is a palm tree that is widely distributed in the northern area of South America. Its berries are used to make medicine.
People use acai for osteoarthritis, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction (ED), weight loss and obesity, detoxification, and for improving general health. Acai gained popularity in North America after being promoted by Dr. Nicholas Perricone as a "Superfood for Age-Defying Beauty" on the Oprah Winfrey show.
As a food, the acai berry is eaten raw and as a juice. The juice is also used commercially as a beverage and in ice cream, jelly, and liqueurs.
In manufacturing, acai berry is used as a natural purple food colorant.
Acai contains chemicals that are antioxidants. Antioxidants are thought to protect body cells from the damaging effects of chemical reactions with oxygen (oxidation). According to some research, acai has more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, or blueberry.