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The history of the berry from the Brazilian Amazon that is changing the concept of healthy food. Acai (açaí - a-sigh-ee) is a palm tree that grows in the North of Brazil. It is known by the native people (indigenas) as "içá-çai", which means “fruit that cries”. The Acai tree can be found all over the Amazonia region. To make Acai Roots, juice is extracted from the pulp of the skin of the seed. No trees are harmed in the process. For hundreds of years, acai (açaí) has been a traditional food of the native people of the Amazon – and part of its folklore, finding its way into legend as well as onto the table. 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 (“Acai” is “Iaca” spelled backwards). With abundant food for all, the tribe grew and flourished. Acai has been enjoyed for decades by the people of Brazil. A bowl of Acai is usually eaten in the morning with breakfast. In the 1950’s, doctors began to realize the health benefits of Acai. In the 1960’s, the famous Gracie jiu-jitsu family recommended eating Acai before and after workouts. Recently, several new medical studies in the United States and Europe have found even more exciting health benefits of Acai.
acai berries (plural)