Originally created by the Brazilian Jujitsu fighter Carlos Gracie, the açaí bowl was designed to maximize the performance of martial arts fighters. As time went on, Brazilian surfers and fitness enthusiasts began to partake in the açaí trend—bringing the açaí craze to Southern California and Hawaii. It has now begun to spread across the world to bring purple smiles all around, including the Berkeley açaí scene. 

With its cool and refreshing effects, açaí bowls have become a staple for anyone looking for a post-workout snack, afternoon pick-me-up, or meal.  I am here to not only celebrate its taste, but to also give you a run down on the health benefits of this aesthetic superfood. As a SoCal native, I have pretty high expectations for Berkeley açaí bowls, so let me take you on a journey to Vitality Bowls, one of Berkeley's better places to satisfy your açaí cravings. 

Vitality Bowls

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Vitality Bowls, a cafe franchise with locations across the nation, recently opened a location in Berkeley to spread some Berkeley açaí cheer. Created by husband and wife duo, Roy and Tara Gilad, Vitality Bowls is committed to bringing health and wellness across the country through fresh, high quality superfoods. From its energizing atmosphere to its aesthetically pleasing bowls, Vitality Bowls delivers organic and nutrient rich açaí bowls. The bowls are made with a thick base consisting of the Amazon's antioxidant-rich organic açaí berry. 

The Base

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A colorful and tart berry found in the rain forests of South America, açaí has been around for thousands of years. However, it was only introduced to the Western world in the 1990s. This fruit is nutrient-dense—it contains even more antioxidants than your average blueberry, and is high in fat and low in sugar. Açaí can improve cholesterol levels and even protect your body from cancer. 

#SpoonTip: If you still want that Vitality Bowl but aren't feeling the açaí base, try the pitaya base with strawberries, kiwi, and goji berries for a mix of refreshing flavors and a chewy texture.   

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The pitaya, also known as dragon fruit, is a beautiful and exotic fruit that grows on a variety of cacti indigenous to the Americas. Enclosed in a pink, spiny skin, this fruit has a subtle tangy flavor, and is juicy and refreshing. Pitaya is packed with nutritional benefits. It aids in digestion, contains high levels of Vitamin C, antioxidants, maintains normal blood sugar, and protects against cancer. It is also a heart healthy fruit—decreasing bad cholesterol levels and increasing the good cholesterol in our bodies. With its high water content and Vitamin C, pitaya also helps treat facial acne and rids the body of toxins. 

The Toppings

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A classic açaí bowl is always topped off with fresh fruit, organic granola, nuts, seeds, and goji berries. Vitality Bowls in particular uses three hallmark ingredients: flax seeds, goji berries, and chia seeds.

Flax seeds, one of the world's first cultivated superfoods, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, improve digestion, lower cholesterol, and promote hormonal balance.

For a chewy texture, Vitality Bowls includes goji berries to top off its bowls. Known for their high antioxidant content, goji berries are dried for consumption and have a slightly tart and herbal taste. Goji berries are also considered a superfood because of their anti-aging properties that benefit the skin, immune system, liver, and kidney.

For an extra crunch, Vitality Bowls offers chia seeds—high fiber superfoods. Like flax seeds, chia seeds promote good digestive health, are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and slow blood sugar absorption.

If you're not feeling up for an açaí bowl, Vitality Bowls has got you covered! Try their eclectic array of smoothies, fresh raw juices, mouthwatering paninis, or refreshing salads.

Dipa Halder

Now that you've got all of your essential superfoods in one bowl, you're ready to devour it. While there are several varieties of açaí bowls across the nation, Vitality Bowls in Berkeley is a worthy place to try some Berkeley açaí if you are craving something fun, nourishing, and exotic.