Posted on March 22 2017
Part of the challenge of adopting or sticking to a healthy diet is keeping the foods you eat new and exciting — it doesn't just all have to be green smoothies. We promise it can be more interesting!
If you want a break from traditional "superfoods" like quinoa, kale, and pomegranate, we suggest adding the Latin American powerhouses right ahead to your grocery cart. Have a look at all their benefits, and feel free to credit us at your next doctor's appointment.
Camu Camu Powder
Camu camu, a tree grown in the Amazon rainforests of Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela, produces berries that are basically nutrient powerhouses. In addition to being an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc, adding just a teaspoon of camu camu berry powder to your smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt can bring you close to your vitamin C needs for a single day.
Maca root, commonly known as Peruvian ginseng, has long been used as a remedy for a wide variety of conditions related to women's health. In addition to boosting fertility and increasing bone density, it can also help decrease menopause symptoms. You can add it to anything from smoothies to soups to baked goods.
Nopales, a Central American vegetable predominant in Mexico and made from the pads of underdeveloped cactus plants, offers tons of potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved skin and heart health, and reduced inflammation. Eat it as a side dish or add to anything from eggs to a stir-fry.
Peruvian kiwacha, also known as amaranth or "mini-quinoa," is a seed known to be high in protein, amino acids, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper, all of which can potentially help decrease cholesterol and boost immune function. You can prepare it as you would rice or quinoa and even eat it in salads.
These seeds are commonly called Inca peanuts, and are rich in omega fatty acids, as well as iodine and vitamins A and E and can also help manage cholesterol and fight heart disease and diabetes. Snack on it like you would other nuts, or use the oil in place of olive oil in salad dressings.
Potatoes tend to get a bad rep as a starchy carb, but they actually come with many health benefits. Peru is home to more than 3,000 types, and the purple ones have long been a star thanks to the Incas. Purple potatoes are packed with flaminoids, a chemical with anti-cancer and heart-healthy properties, and can also help stimulate the immune system and your memory. Serve them as a roasted side dish, prepared with olive oil, salt, and garlic.
This South American fruit, most commonly found in Peru, is recognized as as the "gold of the Incas." High in iron, calcium, and beta carotene, lucuma is a sweet fruit also known as a popular ice cream flavor.
These Brazilian berries can be easily purchased in tablet form or in juices all over the world. Packed with antioxidants, these berries are an excellent addition to smoothies and energy drinks.
Nicaraguan dragon fruit is loaded with antioxidants that aid in preventing cancer and diabetes and boost immune function. Simply slice it up for an afternoon snack, or add it to your smoothies and blended juices.
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