Acai bowls have become the newest trend to try with stores popping up all over within the past few years in response to the demand for those fruity vibrant bowls.
This new superfood was quickly adopted into the millennial must-haves with its proclaimed health benefits, ice cream-like taste and highly Instagrammable quality.
The superfood also came with claims that it could help with weight loss, skin problems and many other unfounded theories.
The bowls have even made their way onto Auburn’s campus with a location on the bottom floor of the Student Center and with surrounding stores including Frutta Bowls below Evolve Apartments and Juice Bar off of Moores Mill Rd.
However, before students ditch their old breakfast habits for the seemingly superior bowls, it is important to know the health benefits that are actually there and what acai even is.
According to the Mayo Clinic, acai berries are small fruits similar to grapes that are harvested from palm trees found in the Amazon rainforests of South America.
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The fruits themselves are full of antioxidants, but pure acai berries are not the only thing going into your bowl.
“You ruin getting nutritional value if you use regular yogurt instead of Greek yogurt in the bowls,” said Kinley Beshers, freshman in journalism at Auburn University. “If they taste really sweet, then they likely aren’t Greek and aren’t as good for you.”
According to Health Magazine’s nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, there can be anywhere from 21 to 62 grams of sugar in one bowl, and it all depends on where you get the bowl and how much of it you get.
Health Magazine also said most acai in these bowls are not the fresh fruit but rather frozen pulp or freeze dried acai powder with sugar added for sweetness.
The fresh berries can be very expensive and hard to find since they are so rare in the United States.
Overall, the benefits of the bowls greatly depend on the choices the customers make, like the types of toppings they choose and the type of acai product the store uses.
Acai bowls can be healthy alternatives to certain sugary breakfast foods, but the number-one way to know for sure what consumers are getting is to make it at home and ask a local bowl shop about the nutrition facts.
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