I hereby admit I am an addict… An acai addict. And because of my recent acknowledgment I decided to learn about my drug.
Fact, numero uno: The amazingly healthy acai berry has been used among tribes of the Amazon people for thousands of years, as a cure for various illnesses. But it was firstly “discovered” and introduced to the rest of Brazil in the early 90’s. Now it’s trending among upscale fitness-fanatasts in Hollywood and alike.
Fact 2: The Amazon is a multiple world-record holder. Being the world’s largest rainforrest with the world’s largest river basin with one fifth of the world’s freshwater. It contains the world’s highest diversity of birds and freshwater fish and one third of the world’s living animal and plant species. Among them, the acai palm. Which is appreciated by medicin-men of the Amazon who uses more than 3000 plants for different purposes. Acai they say has healing powers. It builds the immune system, fights infections and protects the heart.
There is also a hearsay that acai is nature’s very own Viagra.
Fact 3: In Belem (the main city of the Amazon, with 1,3 million inhabitans), there is consumed more than 200 000 of this everyday, more than milk… Because the berry has to be harvested and consumed within 24 hours the berry is preserved and distributed to the rest of the world in frozen packages. And this employs more than 30 000 in Belem alone. Fact 4: The man who brought acai to the western world was originally from Belém but moved to Rio to open Brazil’s first jujitsu academy there. With frozen acai from his hometown he encouraged his jujitsu students to incorporate this into their diets. The boys bodies got amazingly healthy and fit and everyone talked about the miracle potion. Soon Rio’s surfers became fans and it spread across the beach culture and across the nation from there.
Fact 5: Now, it’s on everyones lips. Including mine. Allmost everyday during the months I’ve been in Brazil I need my daily acai. Namnamnam…