With the increased popularity of fruit and vegetable smoothies in recent years, numerous products have appeared on the market to entice consumers with their convenience. One company that has an entire lineup of convenience ready smoothies is Arthur’s and the smoothie I will tell you about through this article is their Acai Plus variety.

Arthur’s Fresh Company has been farming and making juices naturally, sine 1893! The company started as a small family run business out of Goderich, Ontario. The company prides itself on processing only the freshest, highest quality ingredients, with their ultra gentle processing system that maximizes both the nutrients and fresh tastes in their products. The company has an excellent reputation where true “health food” and consistent high-quality is concerned. However, as much as I would love for all of our international readers to try this or any of their other products, it is only available in Canada.

Although all of Arthur’s Natural Smoothies are outstanding in both taste and adhering to the “all natural” foundation, this one was of particular interest to me due to the recent slew of research on the acai berry.

The Acai berry is a rich source of anthocyanins, which give red wine its health benefits where heart health is concerned. However, by ingesting the acai berry, you get all the benefits without the risks from the alcohol component. The acai berry is also a rich source of protein and fiber, in addition to high levels of both omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. Finally, the acai berry had been tested to be one of the most powerful anti-aging super foods and aids in the prevention of cancer, due to its high anti-oxidant properties.

Characteristics of the Acai Plus

When I tried this product, the taste of the smoothie was as expected delicious and refreshing, however although it has an all natural composition and potential health benefits it is still not the optimal choice for our health.

Ingredients wise, it consists of the following:

  • Fresh apple juice
  • Açai purée
  • Blueberry purée
  • Blackberry purée
  • Boysenberry purée
  • Banana purée
  • Pear juice
  • Lemon and lime juice

They are great ingredients, but with the first ingredient being apple juice we have to remember that this product’s main foundation is that of sugar. Secondly, although the drink is a much, much healthier choice than 99% of the convenience drinks out there (soda, energy drinks, juices, etc.) it is still not optimal like a homemade smoothie or homemade juice.

Yes, it is preservative free (unlike the Acai based MonaVie supplement drink), and has no added sugars, colors, natural or artificial flavors.

Each 325mL serving provides one with about 2 ½ servings of fruits and vegetables, with the following characteristics

  • 230 Calories
  • 4.5 g Fat (1g Saturated Fat)
  • 2 g Protein
  • 45 g Carbohydrate (25 g Sugar)
  • 5 g Fiber
  • 680 mg Potassium
  • 0 mg Sodium
  • 0 mg Cholesterol

It also claims to provide the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 8 % Vitamin A
  • 2 % Vitamin B1
  • 15 % Vitamin B2
  • 6 % Vitamin B3
  • 25 % Vitamin B6
  • 40% Vitamin C
  • 40 % Vitamin E
  • 45 % Folate
  • 8 % Pantothenate
  • 4 % Phosphorus
  • 20 % Magnesium
  • 120 % Manganese
  • 6 % Calcium
  • 4 % Iron

In terms of packaging, the smoothies do come in plastic bottles, and this will normally be enough of a turn-off to those who are interested in optimal health. The smoothies come in 325mL or 900mL recyclable plastic bottles, with a screw on cap.

One can expect to pay around $2-$3 for a 325ml bottle and around $5-$6 for a 900ml bottle. To some this may sound cheap or expensive depending on what one’s personal reference point is. In general however, no convenience packaged food ever works out better than a home prepared one over the long term.

The drinks are now widely available throughout North America.

The Pros

  • Delicious and refreshing taste
  • Easy, convenient and safe way to incorporate the Acai berry into one’s diet
  • All natural
  • No artificial colors
  • No artificial flavors
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Ingredients and nutritional information easily found on product label
  • Source of 12 essential vitamin and mineral nutrients
  • Contains 2 ½ servings of fruits/vegetables per serving
  • Fair Price

The Cons

  • Apple juice based
  • Plastic packaged
  • Pasteurized (some nutrition degraded, including enzymes)
  • Not fresh, homemade product

Questions and Answers

How much of this smoothie can I drink per day?

There is no one set, right amount of how much of this smoothie one should drink. In essence, it should not even be used daily. We have to be mindful of what our health priorities are and not consume products like this on top of an already calorie rich diet.

A serving or two of this drink can be enjoyed occasionally when one is not able to make a homemade version, or needs a “healthy” snack while on the go.

It is inconvenient or not possible for me to incorporate the Acai berry into my diet easily. Can this product serve as my Acai food source so that I get the health benefits of the Acai berry?

Yes and no. First off, as wonderful as the Acai berry is, we have to understand that we do not need to consume it. It is in no way a must. Treat it like a bonus. The abundant and wonderful fruits found in the area you live all have outstanding health benefits. Berries like blueberries and raspberries alone, which are common worldwide provide outstanding health benefits. A diet rich in whole, natural plant foods provides the best benefits.

So consume this product on occasion if desired and enjoy the bonus of the Acai berry, but do not feel like you must drink it or have the Acai berry in some form in your diet.