The term “superfood” has become quite trendy in the last few years thanks to a renaissance of holistic wellness, celebrity endorsements, and companies capitalizing on this newfound interest.
Though foods like quinoa and chia seeds are becoming more popular in the U.S. now, Latin Americans have been harvesting and eating them for thousands of years. Our ancestors were doing something right by consuming these plants and seeds that Mother Nature made available.
Here are 4 of our ethnic Latino Superfoods to cook with now (and always!)
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Called an “ancient grain,” quinoa has been cultivated for over 5,000 years in South America. It was so important that it was considered the “Gold of the Incas” because they believed it increased the strength and stamina of their warriors.
- Possible health benefits: Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat — it’s a complete protein, like meat, eggs, and dairy products, and contains all nine essential amino acids that help build muscle. It also contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains.
- Origin: Grows high in the Andes Mountains of Peru and Bolivia.
- How you can use it: Salads (like this one), porridge, and a perfect substitute for rice (like this Quinoa & Beans Moro recipe)!
- My favs on Amazon: I like this quinoa & this quinoa.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia is an edible seed, dating back from the Mayan and Aztec cultures. Its name means “strength” in the Mayan language.
Warriors would take a pouch of seeds and a gourd of water on their trips; the seeds were their food source and taken with water they would hydrate their bodies for endurance.
- Possible health benefits: Chia seeds have twice the protein of any other seed or grain and five times the calcium of milk, they also have omega 3 and omega 6 which are essential oils for the body.
- Also, just one ounce of chia seeds provides 10 grams of fiber, which is important for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Origin: Mexico & Guatemala.
- How you can use it: Sprinkle on salads, smoothies, chia seeds pudding (like this one), sprinkle in your water/juices for agua fresca, and even on your favorite cocktails for a healthy twist (like this one).
- My favs on Amazon: I like these chia seeds & these chia seeds.
Endemic to Brazil, cacao beans were put on the map by the Mayas, who figured out how to ferment cacao and then began to trade it as a tribute to Aztecs when they were conquered by them.
Don’t confuse it with chocolate; it’s not the same. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate; this means it’s raw and much less processed than cocoa powder or chocolate bars which typically have high amounts of sugar and milk.
- Possible health benefits: Cacao is rich in flavonoids and is an antioxidant. It’s touted as good for combating stress, helping with mental alertness and stamina, and warding off heart disease.
- Some studies suggest that eating dark chocolate in moderation could be good for the heart.
- Origin: Brazil, Mexico.
- How you can use it: In baked goods, smoothies, homemade raw foods, oats (like this one), cacao nibs for salads, breakfast bowls, and smoothies, etc.
- My favs on Amazon: I like this cacao powder & this cacao powder.
Maca is a root vegetable (typically consumed in powder version, as shown in the photo above), and has a nutty, slightly butterscotch-y taste.
This adaptogen is a nutritional powerhouse, and one of my favs. An excellent source of carbs, low in fat and contains a nice amount of fiber. It’s also high in some essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, copper, and iron.
I like to use maca on pretty much everything + the aphrodisiac benefits of maca are very well known. Not for nothing maca is called “Mother Nature’s Viagra”. Yup, you can thank me later!
- Possible benefits: Maca root has traditionally been used to enhance fertility and sex drive. It’s also claimed to improve energy and stamina. May also improve symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and disrupted sleep at night.
- Origin: Andes of central Peru.
- How you can use it: In baked goods, smoothies, homemade raw foods, oats (like this one), etc.
- My favs on Amazon: I like this maca powder & this maca in pills.
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Ok, hope you learned a lot and above all. got motivated to start using these wonderful Latino Superfoods!
When you start using them, make sure to share a photo and TAG ME on Instagram.
I love to see your creations, and cheer you on!
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Here’s what we’re covering:
– How to boost your immune system with easy to follow steps even if you’re super busy, have kids, or limited budget
– My most successful tricks make your immune system STRONG to help you PREVENT (or fight off) infections
– E-book for you to download
– Recordings of the Q&A with me!
Are you ready to make 2020 your healthiest & most amazing year yet?