All About Açai
- In the 1960’s, the famous Gracie Jiu-Jitsu family recommended eating Açai before and after workouts.
- In the Amazon, Açai is called “Viagra da Amazonia” due to the amount nutrients and fibers ascribed to it.
After a hard training in Rio’s stifling summer heat, it’s great to recharge with a frozen Açai. You’ll see plenty of gi pants and gym bags in the corner juice bars around lunchtime or in the evening after training. If you go right after class, it can be standing room only. So what’s the draw of this high-calorie, tiny Amazonian berry?
What is Açai?
Açai is a berry from the Amazon. It has been considered the healthiest berry in the world due to its high concentration of antioxidants, healthy omega fats and fibers.
Why Açai is so good for us?
Açai is loaded with antioxidants, about 30 times more than red wine. Antioxidants are molecules that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals.
Free radical damage may lead to cancer. Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals and may prevent some of the damage free radicals might otherwise cause. Açai also carries lots of fibers, healthy monounsaturated fats, iron and amino acids.
The Açai Berry Boosts Immunity
More and more people seem to be getting sicker, longer than ever before.
[bjjad][/bjjad][social][/social]This is because our food is grown in environments which are poorer in natural minerals, and we don’t eat as well as we should. The Açai berry is grown in the Brazilian Amazon rain forest, in some of the richest soil on the planet. As a result, each berry is packed with the most complete naturally occurring assortment of exactly what the body needs to build immunity and increase energy. When the human body has what it needs to fight off disease, it becomes amazingly resilient to infections both from bacterial as well as viral agents.
Why are Antioxidants so Important?
To understand the role that antioxidants play, you have to understand what free radicals are. Free radicals are molecules that reportedly damage our cellular membranes and even our DNA. They can come from various pesticides and preservatives in our foods, and even pollutants in the very air that we breathe. If our bodies lack the fuel to fight off these free radicals, then we run the risk of cell mutation and cancerous growths. Antioxidants are created by the body from various substances, and they are what the body uses to fight off free radicals and strengthen cells. Antioxidants allow the body to neutralize many of these free radicals, reducing the risk of many diseases, including heart disease. The body converts many vitamins and minerals into antioxidants; of these, most are contained in the Açai berry.
The Açai Berry Boosts Resistance to Diseases
Nothing is more essential to living a healthy life than having a strong immune system. It is extremely important that we give our body the nutrients it needs to fight sickness. Diseases can cause us to age more rapidly, and they can lead to many more life threatening issues.
Research has shown that antioxidants are vital to strengthening the body’s ability to resist disease. These antioxidants play a vital role in strengthening our cell walls and decreasing cholesterol related disease.
The Açai Berry Increases Energy
While the boost to your immune system is perhaps the most important benefit of the Açai, many people also use Açai to boost their energy levels. As people grow older failure to eat a diet high in antioxidants can lead to drastically decreased energy levels. Many older people whose diet includes a high level of antioxidants have reported having increased energy, stamina and vitality, comparable to when they were in their twenties.
The Açai Berry and Cholesterol
The Açai berry can help maintain good (HDL) cholesterol while reducing bad (LDL) cholesterol. This is necessary to reduce the risk of fatty buildups in the arteries, which can lead to heart disease. Even the FDA is starting to realize the potential that the essential fatty acids can play in decreasing the risk of heart disease. They recently began allowing manufacturers to put the following statement on products containing Omega-3: “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.” In addition to the essential fatty acids, the antioxidants contained in the Açai berry can help to reduce the risk of heart disease reportedly caused by free radicals in the body.
Once upon a time, there was an Amazon Indian girl named Iaca, whose father was the tribal chief. His tribe had grown so large that there wasn’t enough food to go around. So, the chief decreed that all newborn babies must be killed. When Iaca, his own daughter, bore a child, the chief had his decree carried out. Iaca mourned her baby’s death alone in her hut for days. Then she thought she heard a baby crying. When she went outside in search of the baby, she saw a palm tree shooting up from the earth, covered in fruit. Full of despair, she lay down under the tree and died. The next day, the tribe found Iaca’s body under the new tree. The tree’s fruit satisfied their hunger and renewed their energy, and the chief lifted his harsh decree, declaring that the fruit would be named after his daughter (“Açai” is “Iaca” spelled backwards). With abundant food for all, the tribe grew and flourished. Açai has been enjoyed for generations since by the people of Brazil.
Açai Smoothie Blend
[bjjad][/bjjad]7 oz. (200g) of Açai with one cup of juice or soy milk, 1 banana, 1/4 cup of strawberries or other fruit and 1/2 cup of ice or yogurt.
Açai Breakfast – Botafogo Style
Pour 3.5 Oz of Açai into a blender, then add 1 banana and a splash of Orange Juice. Blend until smooth and serve. This is a vitamin and antioxidant-rich healthy breakfast that will get your day going.