Superfoods From Around the World

When it comes to everyday foods, I am all for going local to support the community and being a little greener, but there’s something nice about being able to try foods from around the world. And I don’t mean having to leave the country to do so. There are so many different herbs, spices, and even berries that make their way to us from all around the globe. Here’s where some of my favorite superfoods are from!

Mexico: Chia Seeds and Cacao

Beautiful Mexico is known for its delicious cuisine and beautiful beaches. But because the country also has such a rich culture and history, some of your favorite superfoods date back to as early as 3500 B.C.

Chia seeds–those little seeds that you use in your baked goods, to make chia pudding, and even as an egg substitute–were first used by the Aztecs as a cash crop. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3s, protein, antioxidants, and fiber, and they were used as food, mixed into beverages, and ground into flour. The seeds, with their super nutrients, were also considered medicine and were offered during religious ceremonies.

And now, one of my favorite superfoods: cacao! Cacao, the Mayan food of the Gods, is a powerful antioxidant that can provide support to your brain and cardiovascular system. Let’s not forget that cacao is the main ingredient to make heavenly chocolate. Like chia seeds, cacao was also used as currency, and it played an important (and delicious) role in Mayan ceremonies.

Brazil: Acai and Camu Camu

Next up, we have Brazil. Brazil has an abundance of different trees and plants due to its privileged location and tropical weather. Here, you can also find the Amazon rain forest, home to a diverse vegetation, including the beloved acai berry.

The Acai berry, for those not too familiar with it, is a small, dark purple berry that grows on specific palm trees. Acai gained popularity a few years back for being a potent antioxidant rich in different polyphenols and flavonoids. In fact, you may notice that many foods that have vibrant and rich colors (such as acai) are also rich in phytonutrients. Acai is a source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber and when eaten can provide the body with an energy boost!

Camu camu is also found in the Amazon rain forests of Brazil and Peru. These little dark red berries are mainly known for being a rich source of vitamin C, making them a must for skin health and an immune boost. The tart flavor of the camu berry can be enjoyed blended in juices and your favorite smoothies.

Peru: Maca

Peru, like Mexico, is also known for its decadent cuisine as well as its ancient history. But there are also quite a few superfoods that come from Peru. Starting with the Maca root. This root is also known as the Peruvian ginseng and is considered an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogens, like the name suggests, help the body adapt to outside stressors that we are exposed to every day. Maca, in particular, is known for giving the body a natural energy boost as well as stamina. Its sweet and nutty taste can be easily incorporated into your favorite smoothie recipes for that healthy daily boost!

India: Turmeric

One can’t think of spices and natural remedies without India coming to mind. When it comes to alternative medicines and ancient remedies, India is rich in knowledge and experience. Its traditional form of medicine, also known as Ayurveda– Ayur meaning life and Veda knowledge–works with a mind-body approach and embraces the healing abilities of spices and herbs.

If you are interested in alternative medicine, you probably have read up on the incredible benefits of turmeric. This bright yellow root, found in the ginger family, is a main spice in Indian cuisine and one of the most popular current superfoods. This potent anti-inflammatory can provide joint, brain, and overall cell support and can be enjoyed in teas, smoothies, baked goods, and added to your favorite dishes for beautiful color and extra nutrients!