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How can something so little be so powerful? The açaí berry (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a dark purple or blue grape-like fruit rich in antioxidants. It’s linked to strengthening immune systems, improving cardiovascular production, boosting energy, increasing alertness and clarity and even fighting cancer.

acai berry bowl

This trendy little berry is the center of several recipes, especially smoothies and toppings, for the most efficient absorption. It can be found in some health food stores as a berry, but more it’s more popular in purees and juices or freeze dried. But it’s also available as an extract in capsules. Usually people with high cholesterol, cardiovascular issues and allergies will take it this way. It’s an easy find online or in a vitamin shop, but appropriate dosage has yet to be determined. There are no side effects to açaí berry in its original form other than a rare allergy.

Other uses of açaí include skin treatments both topically and via digestion, and weight loss. In capsule form, it’s often marketed as an appetite suppressant. It’s a quick-fix solution that is not approved by the FDA due to unreasonable risks. So, stick with the raw berries on top of a yogurt or a puree blended into a juice.

>> Read more: Best Foods for Great Skin