15 hottest products of 2008: The Acai berry

Americans have always loved their miracle cures. Even better when they come from exotic locations, cure cancer, improves your sex life and put the hair back on your head.

Little wonder the Acai berry (pronounced Ah-Sigh-EE), from Brazil's tropical rainforests, has become the "it" food of 2008. If the snake-oil salesmen are to be believed, that $7 Acai drink you're about to quaff will restore your youth and do your laundry.

Dubbed by its boosters to be a "super food," the Acai berry also has more anthocyanins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, fibers and protein than you can shake a medicine man stick at.

But let's back away from the hype for a bit. Apparently there is some scientific truth to the claim that the Acai berry packs a real anti-oxidant wallop. Those are the compounds in food that help keep nasty bits like free radicals in check. The all-American blueberry is known to be full of them. And the berry has been a staple in the diets of Brazilians for many years.