Next time you go to the grocery store, how about taking a little vacation while you’re there and picking up some foods from other cultures to use in your next meal? Foods from other cultures are amazing for you, and many are healthier than typical American foods like meat, dairy and white potatoes, which our country signifies as cultural here in the states. Instead, branch outside the Standard American Diet and reach for healthy superfoods from other cultures that have been used there since the earliest of times. You’ll not only be embracing new ideas in the kitchen, but also experiencing delicious foods for your taste buds that are actually fabulous for your body. My favorite foods from other cultures are some that you may have heard of, and may not have. Either way, try them out and let me know what you think!
This ancient Peruvian superfood is one of the best and most popular foods from other cultures, and is my personal favorite. Maca root looks like a turnip, though it is only sold in powder form here in the United States. Maca is known as an adaptogen because it balances the hormones, blood sugar, and is great for relieving mental and physical stress. It is a good idea to eat maca after a long workout or a hard day. It is also great to use in the mornings for sustained energy that lasts all day. Though it is caffeine free, most people notice a great amount of sustained energy, reduced stress and an enhanced libido. Maca is great for women because it balances your hormones to bring them to an optimal level. So, no matter if you’re dealing with PMS, depression, menopause or a low thyroid, maca can help you feel like a new woman. I personally can’t go without it and recommend it to every lady out there. It also tastes like butterscotch and caramel, while being low calorie, fat-free, low in sugar and low starch. I use it in all my smoothies since it gives them such a great flavor that is so creamy and energizing.
2 Sacha Inchi Seeds
These seeds, which are also called Incan peanuts, are technically a seed, though they do look like a nut. Sacha Inchi seeds are rich in protein and originate from the Amazon rainforest as well as the Peruvian mountains according to researchers from MD Anderson. These seeds are wonderful for your mind and body. They offer a full range of amino acids great for brain function and metabolism, and also offer a delightfully satisfying taste. Add them to trail mixes, homemade energy bars or even stir some in your oatmeal. You can also buy the powdered form as a protein powder option. These seeds are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants that also enhance your skin.
Collard greens may seem common to you, but they’re an African superfood, and so amazing for women. Collards are rich in hormone balancing properties that help excrete harmful forms of estrogen out of the blood stream. This prevents that overkill of estrogen we all feel at times, which is definitely no fun! Collards are also rich in Vitamin A to keep your skin pretty and give you overall antioxidant support. This leafy green also contains fiber, is low calorie and tastes great sautéed with some garlic, coconut oil and onions!
4 Curry Spice
Curry spice is an Indian superfood that every woman should enjoy liberally. If nothing else, buy the main spice included in curry powders, which is the vibrant yellow spice, turmeric. It is rich in antioxidants that enhance your skin, improve your gastrointestinal tract, calm you down and relieve headaches. It is also amazing for your heart as an added bonus. Use it in any savory dish of your choosing and enjoy the bright hue it adds to your foods. Curry has been used in India for years, and each region of India even has their own special curry blend, making the possibilities to try endless.
5 Bok Choy
Boy choy is an Asian superfood to get to love now! Rich in antioxidants, fiber, chlorophyll, magnesium and water, bok choy is technically a member of the cabbage family. It has a slightly sweeter taste, but cooks very similar. The leaves wilt nicely when cooking and it is marvelous to steam with some onions, garlic, black pepper, parsley and lemon juice.
6 Acai Berries
This Brazilian superfood is not just hype, girls! Acai is a wonderful superfood that every woman should enjoy daily. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and a delicious taste, acai is great for women because it reduces inflammation, stress, and aids in gastrointestinal function. It is also said to be a wonderful way to relieve depression when used regularly. You can buy the fruit purees, or the powder, if you choose. Acai tastes like a nice mix between blueberries and chocolate. It is full of Omega 3 fatty acids, has no sugar, and is rich in fiber. I love adding the powder to my smoothies each day and they come out the most beautiful purple color too!
7 Coconut Oil
Lastly, my favorite cultural food for women is coconut oil! Coconut oil mainly originates from the Philippines, so any variety you buy from there is usually the best. Coconut oil is rich in fats that prevent depression, keep your skin glowing, enhance your metabolism and cleanse your liver. It also relieves stress, prevents yeast in the body and cures acne. It truly is amazing for almost anything you can think of. Coconut oil even contains some omega 3 fats, along with saturated fats. Don’t be scared of the fats in coconut oil like most saturated fats though. It is used immediately for energy by the body and has actually been proven to lower cholesterol and improve insulin function. Enjoy in baked goods, raw in smoothies, energy bars or oatmeal, stirred into coffee as a nice creamer option, or used anywhere else you can think. I love coconut oil and recommend it to any lady out there looking to enhance her mood, digestion and appearance.
It is nice to embrace other cultures when eating, such as these delicious and beneficial foods from other cultures. Have you enjoyed any of these superfoods from other cultures?
Sources: healthcentral.com, mdanderson.org