Acai has been the “cool” thing to eat for about eight years in the US and about fi fteen years in mainstream Brazil. Needless to say, Brazilians from Northern Brazil have been enjoying the taste and benefi ts from the fruit of this sixty feet palm tree for centuries. Since the fi rst generation of the Gracie brothers were from that area, they discovered that mixing the Acai pulp with other healthy ingredients could create a powerful smoothie that would replace a meal. After they moved to Rio de Janeiro, they located a supplier of the rare frozen pulp. They kept the consumption of this fruit within the family as a tradition.
I fi rst saw Acai in their kitchens before anyone knew about this fruit and I’ve been eating it ever since.
Because of their constant pursuit of optimal levels of health, the Gracies used the scientifi c method to determine how foods affected their health. The energetic effect of specifi c foods as well as the effect resulting from the manner in which they were combined served as their hypothesis, their own bodies served as the laboratory. The “Gracie Diet” was the result of years of ongoing, diligent research.
Being a longtime researcher of diet and nutrition myself, I was especially intrigued to learn the extent to which the Gracie diet is based on the juicing of fresh produce. My intimate relationship & direct experience with the Gracie family gave me great insight into the great wisdom and tangible benefi ts of their diet’s emphasis on natural fruits and juices.
Due to these health benefi ts, Gracie Jiu- Jitsu students were soon captivated, followed by the surf community and popularized acai enough so that it became a part of the “Carioca” (from Rio de Janeiro) tradition.
From it’s discovery in the rainforests, to the fi fty years of the Gracie style acai, it is impressive how widespread its use has become from its humble beginnings through today’s world of mixed martial arts.