Acai powder may be less popular than frozen acai, but its extended shelf life, ease of use, and adaptability makes it a practical choice for anyone who enjoys making acai bowls.
Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, acai powder offers a convenient way to infuse your diet with the remarkable health benefits of acai berries.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about acai powder, including its nutritional content, health benefits, and ways to incorporate it into your diet.
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What is acai powder?
Acai powder is a concentrated, dried form of acai berries — small, dark purple fruits from Brazil that have gained immense popularity in the United States.
To make acai powder, acai berries are freeze-dried and ground into a fine powder. This process removes the moisture while preserving the fruit’s nutrients and most of its flavor.
Compared to frozen acai pulp, acai powder has a milder flavor. It tastes sweet and tart, with an earthy or bitter undertone similar to blackberries and dark chocolate.
Acai powder has several advantages over frozen acai. It’s shelf stable, easier to transport, doesn’t need to be thawed, and can be used in smaller quantities.
Incorporating acai powder into your diet is a convenient way to harness the nutritional power of acai berries and infuse your meals with their distinctive flavor.
Acai powder nutrition
Acai powder is high in fat, low in carbohydrates and protein, and provides a small amount of fiber. It is also a rich source of antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals like manganese, vitamin A, potassium, and copper.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of acai powder nutrition:
Calories and macronutrients
Here’s the calorie and macronutrient content for a 1-tablespoon (10-gram) serving of acai powder (1):
- Calories: 59
- Carbohydrates: 4 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 5 grams
Vitamins and minerals
- Manganese: 4.5 mg (196% DV)
- Vitamin A: 1170 IU (23% DV)
- Potassium: 1100 mg (23% DV)
- Copper: 0.2 mg (22% DV)
- Iron: 2 mg (11% DV)
- Magnesium: 32 mg (8% DV)
- Vitamin C: 6 mg (7% DV)
- Calcium: 46 mg (4% DV)
- Zinc: 0.4 mg (4% DV)
Provides >100% of your daily manganese requirements: A single tablespoon of acai powder delivers 196% of the Daily Value (DV) for manganese, a mineral that acts as an antioxidant and plays an important role in metabolism (5).
Excellent source of vitamin A, potassium, and copper: Acai powder also provides nearly one-fourth of your daily needs for vitamin A, potassium, and copper in a single serving.
Acai is well-known for its high concentration of antioxidants — compounds that help protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases (8).
Additionally, acai powder tends to contain more antioxidants than frozen acai pulp due to the freeze-drying process, which helps stabilize and preserve its nutrients (13).
Benefits of acai powder
Few studies have evaluated the potential effects of acai powder, specifically, on health. However, research on frozen acai pulp or acai juice suggests the following benefits.
1. May lower cholesterol
Acai may promote heart health because it contains compounds, like anthocyanins and sterols, that lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels (14).
Research in humans, on the other hand, is less impressive. Some have shown slight improvements in cholesterol levels with acai consumption, but others have failed to find any benefit (18, 19, 20, 21, 22).
2. May protect against cancer
So far, only one human study has been published. In a clinical trial of people with prostate cancer, participants who were given acai juice had slower increases in prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker that increases when prostate cancer is present (26).
Based on these results, it’s possible that acai could play a role in treating prostate cancer, but many more studies are needed.
3. May regulate blood sugar
Due to its low carbohydrate content, acai is an excellent choice for people with diabetes or anyone who needs to manage their blood sugar levels.
In one study, people with a higher weight BMI (between 25 and 29.9) who consumed acai pulp daily had lower blood sugar following a meal after 1 month (18). However, other research hasn’t produced the same results (19, 27, 28).
On its own, acai may not be powerful enough to bring down high blood sugar levels. Instead, combining acai with a balanced diet high in protein and fiber is likely to give you the best results (29, 30).
4. May promote brain health
Several animal studies have shown that acai may improve memory and cognition (33, 34, 35). Anthocyanins, like those found in acai, have also been linked with faster processing speed (a measure of how quickly we can take in and respond to information) (36, 37).
However, there hasn’t been any human research looking at acai’s effect on memory, cognitive function, or diseases like Alzheimer’s.
5. May protect against liver disease
Acai may reduce the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition in which excess fat builds up in the liver and can eventually lead to permanent liver damage.
6. May enhance exercise performance
If you’re looking to up your exercise game, consider adding acai to your routine. It may provide the energy needed to power through your workouts while helping you recover more quickly afterward.
More research is needed, but the antioxidants in acai are likely responsible for these performance-enhancing effects (42).
Where to buy acai powder
Acai powder is not available at most supermarkets. However, you can easily find it at health food markets, supplement stores, or through online retailers.
Here are some of the acai powder products available on Amazon:
- Feel Good Organics Organic Acai Powder
- KOS Organic Acai Berry Powder
- Navitas Organic Acai Powder
- Pitaya Foods Organic Acai Berry Powder
- Terrasoul Acai Berry Powder
How to store acai powder
Keep acai powder in an airtight container and store it in a cabinet or pantry away from direct sunlight. If properly stored, acai powder can stay fresh for up to 2 years.
How to use acai powder
Acai powder is a convenient and versatile ingredient that can be effortlessly incorporated into a wide range of recipes.
1. Acai bowls and smoothies
Although frozen acai pulp is more commonly used in acai bowls and smoothies, acai powder is an excellent substitute if you don’t have any on hand.
Whip up an acai smoothie by blending acai powder with frozen fruits like bananas and mixed berries, along with milk or yogurt. You’ll want to use 1-2 tablespoons of acai powder per serving.
To make an acai bowl, simply pour your acai smoothie into a bowl and top with fresh fruit such as sliced strawberries and blueberries, as well as granola, coconut flakes, and a drizzle of honey.
2. Dressings, sauces, and marinades
Acai powder can be a delightful secret ingredient in dressings, sauces, and marinades to add a burst of fruity flavor and a nutritious boost to your dishes.
To create a zesty acai dressing, whisk together a teaspoon of acai powder with ¾ cup olive oil, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, a drizzle of honey, and a pinch of salt & pepper.
For a fruity twist on barbecue sauce or glaze, stir acai powder into your homemade sauce mixture, combining it with ingredients like tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and spices.
Or, you can make an acai-based meat marinade by mixing acai powder with olive oil, minced garlic, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Marinate your protein of choice for at least an hour.
3. Baked goods and desserts
Try adding acai powder to your favorite baked goods and desserts, such as muffins, brownies, cookies, and energy balls, for a subtle berry twist.
To infuse your treats with its unique flavor, start by adding one to two teaspoons of acai powder to your dry ingredients, like flour or cocoa powder, before incorporating them into your batter.
Additionally, acai powder can be stirred into creamy desserts such as yogurt, ice cream, or pudding, providing an antioxidant-rich boost and a gorgeous purple color.
Acai powder is a dried form of acai berries that’s low in carbs, high in fat, rich in antioxidants, and packed with vitamins and minerals like manganese and vitamin A.
While research is limited, acai powder has many potential health benefits, including protecting against cancer, lowering cholesterol, and protecting brain health.
Use acai powder to replace frozen acai in acai bowls and smoothies, or add a teaspoon to your favorite salad dressings, meat marinades, baked goods, and desserts.
Amy Richter is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Missouri. She is an experienced nutrition writer and medical advisor for Healthline and Medical News Today. Amy is passionate about all things food-related and enjoys translating complex science into easy-to-understand articles.