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Acai vs pitaya – Which one to choose?


But when it comes to Acai vs pitaya, is there a difference? You can’t go to any place, particularly in South America, that serves fruit bowls without coming across Acai berry or pitaya.

Both of these exotic fruits are extremely popular among wellness individuals. It is because they have luscious tastes and high nutritional profiles. But, when you have to decide between pitaya bowl vs acai bowl, how do you even choose?

serving bowl with pitaya fruit and serving bowl with acai fruit

What is Pitaya?

Pitaya is simply another name for dragon fruit. This tropical fruit natively grows in Central and South America, specifically Mexico. However, because it adapts well, it grows around the world now. Once it reached Asia, it took on the name dragon fruit.

Pitaya Nutritional Content

Pitaya can be white inside with tiny black seeds or red to pink with small black seeds. It is incredibly nutritious with loads of antioxidants, healthy fats, fiber, and essential vitamins such as vitamin C, and minerals that provide loads of health benefits.

The name doesn’t matter, but it is inside that counts. It provides plenty of good things to keep you healthy. Aside from being nutritious, all that fiber helps keep your gut healthy too. 

Adding pitaya to your daily intake may be just what you need with iron and magnesium. 

Pitaya Sensory Qualities 

If you like kiwi and pears, then chances are, you’re going to enjoy pitaya. It has a sweet yet crunchy texture. Pairing it with sweeter fruits, though, makes it even more indulgent. The taste of these tropical fruits is a match for berries, mangoes, and pineapple. So if you love fruits with a sweet taste, pitaya surely satisfies your taste buds. 

What is Acai?

Acai, pronounced “ah-sigh-EE,” is a type of berry that looks much like a grape. It grows in the Brazilian rainforests and revers as a superfood. The taste is light and refreshing, making it a wonderful treat for a hot day!

Acai Nutritional Content

These berries may be small in size but not in nutrition. You get antioxidants, fiber, healthy fats, and calcium that support heart health.

As such, acai berries can bring more nutrition to the table at your meals when added alongside other fresh fruits and veggies. They’re great for everyone except those with pollen allergies or allergies to similar fruits. 

Storing Acai

Another thing you should know about acai berries is they rot pretty quickly. Yes, even more rapidly than other types of berries! It’s good to get them in a frozen puree or, if you find them fresh, to puree and freeze them so you’ll get to enjoy your Acai berry before it spoils.

Types of Acai in the Market

If you have the chance to taste Acai berry fresh, you’ll likely find it to be like a mash-up between fresh blackberries and unsweetened chocolate morsels. It’s harder to find them fresh because of the short shelf life. Instead, you’ll likely find it in frozen puree, pressed juices, or dried powder.

When buying Acai, read the labels as some are sweetened while others are unsweetened. The unsweetened variety is healthier since you can sweeten it up using honey or pair it with naturally-sweet fruits.

tabletop with frozen acai and frozen pitaya packs

Pitaya vs Acai Differences 

When you compare Acai vs. pitaya, you have to look at their nutritional profiles. With acai berries, they are interesting because they are a bit high in fat yet low in sugar. 

 General Appearance

Getting a ripe one makes all the difference in the taste. On the outside, unripe dragon fruit will have green skin. If you’d like to enjoy it right away, grab one that appears bright red. You’ll also want to avoid choosing one with lots of bruises or splotches, a sign that it is overly ripe.

You do the same way if you regularly eat kiwi fruit or avocados. When you pick a dragon fruit up, it should be soft though if it’s mushy, it is past its prime. 

Acai berries look like grapes, as mentioned before. But you will rarely find them fresh since they’re so hard to keep fresh. It is why you’ll usually see them for sale as puree, juice, or powder.

Tastes and Texture

Pitaya tastes a little sweeter and will be more similar to kiwi and pear in texture. Acai will taste more like blackberries. And putting them both together is one of the biggest trends in healthy eating, for these nutritious superfruits are a match made in heaven. 

They are similar by having loads of antioxidants that help tame inflammation, prevent cell damage, and lower your risk for heart disease. So perhaps you don’t need to choose between them but rather start making room for both acai berries and pitaya on your plate. 

Nutritional Profiles

Though they have different nutritional profiles, both pitaya and Acai are exceptionally healthy fruits to eat. So, you can give yourself the best jumpstart to a healthier life by incorporating both of them into your diet.

Acai berry

In a serving of 100 grams, acai berries have 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of carbs, plus calcium, vitamin A, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorous.

In addition, the plant compounds in Acai are some of the healthiest, including anthocyanins. That’s what gives acai berries that gorgeous color and also provides antioxidants that halt free radical damage. 

Pitaya

Pitaya features low calories in a one-cup serving with a bounty of fiber beyond acai berries. It has 7 grams of fiber, no fat, 3 grams of protein, and plenty of iron, magnesium, and vitamins C and E. Plus, you get polyphenols, betacyanins, and carotenoids, important plant compounds your body needs. 

Health Benefits

When you look at pitaya and Acai, it does seem that pitaya may be healthier by hair. It is because it has high amounts of vitamin C. It also gives you more iron and magnesium. These things are ideal for cellular repair, keeping oxygen flowing through the body, and ensuring the heart and bones stay strong.

Acai gives you vitamin A which benefits immunity. And it helps with your respiratory and cardiovascular systems too. In addition, Acai has a naturally lower sugar content, one of the most significant differences in nutrition for this fruit. 

Powder or Puree

Be careful if you choose acai juice. While it tends to have higher concentrations of antioxidants, it will also have higher levels of sugar and lower levels of fiber.

The powder form works well because it retains most of the Acai’s potent nutrients. In addition, it keeps the fiber, fat, and nourishing plant compounds that make these berries so coveted.

But the puree is the best way to get that lovely flavor from these super-berries. It works wonderfully in acai bowls or smoothies. You can add it with water or milk to adjust the consistency and then top it with your favorite fruits. Coconut flakes, chia seeds, and cocoa nibs also go well with acai puree. 

three serving bowls filled with acai and pitaya smoothie and topped with fresh fruits

Ways To Enjoy Both

How to get the most of these two superfoods with their amazing health benefits? Here are some ways:

Acai and Pitaya Bowl

A great way is to puree banana, add the frozen Acai, and then top with fresh fruit or berries. Blueberries, strawberries, and even raspberries go well in an acai bowl. Then you may need some texture which is where granola comes in, feel free to add some seeds on top like pumpkin seeds. Or you can choose nuts and seeds to throw on top. So grab a spoon and dig into this delicious treat that is tasty and doesn’t have any added sugar!

Smoothie

Or you can take your Acai and blend it with yogurt and freeze for an indulgent treat that will still help you stay in line with your wellness goals. Enjoy it as a smoothie for breakfast too. It will be wonderful to add pitaya to your acai bowl or smoothie.

Fresh Salad

You can buy pitaya fresh without worrying about going it rancid as quickly as acai berries. Once you choose a ripe one, take a sharp knife and cut the dragon fruit in half to spoon out the meat skin easily. Then, you can cut it into cubes for a beautiful presentation of your pitaya bowls. Experience and enjoy a refreshing fruit salad with this nutritious dragon fruit.

Summary

Acai berries and pitaya are considered superfoods with excellent nutritional contents. While there are a few notable differences in nutrients, eating either one is a good choice.

Ideally, though, you should incorporate both. They pair well together, making them a dynamic duo for superfood powers to keep you looking and feeling your best every day. 

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!

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