Berry Good Berry

updated 01/30/2006 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/30/2006 01:00AM

It's what Denise Richards swears by, what Kelly Slater downs before surfing competitions and what Dr. Nicholas Perricone uses in his antiaging potions. It's açaí, a multipurpose megabooster berry that Hollywood has been hooked on ever since brothers Ryan and Jeremy Black brought it stateside from the Brazilian Amazon in 2000 and built the Sambazon line of smoothies and supplements around it. “No matter how tired I am in the morning,” says Ryan Sutter (of The Bachelorette fame), “by the time my mug of açaí is gone, I'm ready to go.”

Packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients, the berries are said to boost the immune system, repair damaged skin cells and aid in weight loss. Ryan, 31, first learned about the benefits of açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) during a 2000 surfing trip to Brazil. “All the athletes were training on it,” says Ryan, who shares a home in San Clemente, Calif., with Jeremy, 32. “ It was filling, light and gave me energy.” Within months the Black brothers, using ecofriendly techniques to preserve the açaí trees, launched Sambazon, which now processes 1,000 tons of açaí a year into drinks and powders sold in stores like Whole Foods Market, Wild Oats and Jamba Juice.

Now if only the brothers could find time for a social life. “Both of us are looking for a really cool chick,” Ryan says. “But we're never home!”

WHAT'S IN ACAI?

2 times the antioxidants of blueberries

20 vitamins and minerals, including iron and vitamin E

3 essential fatty acids, Omega 3, 6 and 9

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