Acai – the fruit defined as the 2016 superfood. The Acai Bowl is a breakfast bowl of acai berry and other goodies. A delicacy associated with BJJ through the famous Gracie family who recommended eating Acai before and after workouts.
BJJ and Acai
But first what exactly is Acai?
Acai is a small, grape-like dark purple fruit that belongs to the group of the healthiest foods in the world. They grow on the tops of large palm trees in the marsh areas of the Amazon Wilderness, where they draw from the fertile soil of the rainforests a wealth of vitamins and minerals. The taste of Acai berries can be surprising; connoisseurs describe it as a mixture of chocolate and berries with a light, metallic aftertaste.
Initially, only the native inhabitants of the lowlands of the Brazilian Amazon knew the benefits of Acai berries. Recently, however, as a result of research in the field of healthy nutrition, interest in the unique nutritional features of Acai has gradually increased. Observations regarding the properties of these berries have shown that they contain a wealth of amino acids and microelements. Acai fruits also contain fatty acids (including extremely valuable Omega 6 and 9), vitamin B1, B2 and B3, fiber and are a rich natural source of antioxidants. The combination of these fruits with a healthy lifestyle made fairly well known athletes and show business people their hot fans.
Benefits of eating Acai berries
The most frequently mentioned benefits resulting from the consumption of acai are delaying the aging process and minimizing the risk of developing many civilization diseases, especially the cardiovascular system, e.g. atherosclerosis. Acai can also be beneficial for physically active people due to the possible faster regeneration of muscle microfibers damaged during training, thanks to which they help the regeneration of the body after increased physical effort. Acai is often considered the healthiest fruit in the world!
The popularity of Acai berries and what does BJJ have to do with it?
Acai berries have been popular among people living in the Amazon River delta for millennia, but it wasn’t until the early 1970s when it began to gain popularity outside of their original growing area. Acai pulp began to travel from the Amazon to northern Brazilian cities.
In the ’80s, legendary Carlos Gracie popularized the acai bowl (frozen acai pulp blended with banana) in southern cities like Rio de Janeiro. Gracie established his own brand of diet called the Gracie Diet that sought to maximize the performance of his fighters. A centerpiece of it was the acai bowl.
As time went on Brazilian surfers and fitness enthusiasts began to partake in the acai bowl trend through the ’90s. In the 2000’s organic acai pulp first boarded a flight to the USA and surfers throughout the whole country popularized it.
Currently, products containing Acai fruit can be found far beyond the borders of Brazil and all of North and South America. The trend began to go further into the world and gained notoriety in other markets. Now, this fruit can be found in teas, energy drinks, juices or dietary supplements. With it, you can also create delicious and highly nutritious cocktails, desserts and breakfast dishes.
Recipes with acai berries
BJJ Acai bowl (for 2 people)
- 4 acai packs (400g)
- 1 packet of acerola (100g)
- 1 banana
- coconut water
- Fruits: raspberries, kiwi, passion fruit, banana, red currant, orange
- other: chia seeds, popping from amaranth
Frozen acai blend with banana pieces. If necessary, add a little coconut water (it can also be plain water, freshly squeezed fruit juice or a vegetable drink without added sugar). Transfer to a bowl or bowls. Wash, cut and lay fruit on top of the acai. Sprinkle with amaranth and chia seeds.
Acai juice cocktail
- 3 tablespoons of acai berry juice
- 2 kiwi fruits
- 1 mango
- a teaspoon of linseed
- 1 cup of squeezed orange juice
Blend all ingredients, cool it down and it’s ready!
Pancakes with acai berries
- 3 eggs
- 4 tablespoons of homogenized cheese
- 1 small apple
- 1.5 cups of spelled flour
- 3 tablespoons of dried acai berries
- a tablespoon of honey
- grated orange peel
Grate the peeled apple on a coarse grater. Proteins beat to foam. Mix flour, homogenized cheese and egg yolks in a bowl. Add honey and mix gently with whipped egg whites. Finally, add grated apple, dried acai berries, and orange zest. Fry on each side for about 3 minutes.