Modern medicine certainly has a lot going for it, but looking backwards in time can be extremely helpful when it comes to fueling your body with the best foods.
These superfoods have all been around since ancient times, and all of them pack a huge punch of nutrients that can dramatically improve your health and the quality of your diet.
The maca root looks a little bit like a beet, although it’s also readily available in a powdered form to use as a supplement in other foods. Grown at high altitudes in Peru, maca root contains various compounds that help to regulate the endocrine system. This can help boost energy, regulate menstrual cycles, improve fertility, and benefit the circulatory system.
With tea as a base, this fermented beverage originated in Eastern nations thousands of years ago and brings with it tons of probiotic benefits. Drinking kombucha may help restore and maintain colonies of healthy bacteria in the gut, which allows you to digest food comfortably and use all of the available nutrients. The caffeine from the tea also stimulates metabolism.
This condiment of fermented cabbage has been a staple of the Korean diet for decades. In addition to packing in a ton of strong, tangy flavor, kimchi comes packed with vitamins A, B, and C. And like kombucha, the fermentation process that goes into making kimchi results in healthy bacteria that can improve your digestion.
This ancient grain is another Peruvian gem. For thousands of years, quinoa has been renowned as a good food source. The tiny grain is one of the most protein-rich foods you can eat, and contains all of the essential amino acids you need for good health. Quinoa is also full of fiber and iron, as well as important nutrients like vitamin B2, manganese, and magnesium.
Don’t let the intense green color scare you off – spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there. This algae, or cyanobacteria, is incredibly high in protein, fatty acids, and iron. Spirulina also has a huge vitamin profile, is four times as rich in antioxidants as blueberries, and has 26 times the calcium of milk.
6. Sacha Inchi
Peru is at it again! The Incas first cultivated these seeds, which are similar to peanuts and are rich in Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids. In fact, sacha inchi seeds make an excellent alternative to fish oil supplements, thanks to their fatty acid profile. In addition, sacha inchi seeds are rich in vitamins A and E.
7. Purple Potatoes
In taste and texture, purple potatoes (first cultivated in – you guessed it – Peru and Bolivia) are just about indistinguishable from your standard brown russet potato. Nutritionally, they’re fairly similar in terms of fat, carbohydrates, fiber, and so on, as well. The big difference comes in the number of antioxidants. Purple potatoes, thanks to the phytochemicals that give them their color, pack in a huge antioxidant punch. These compounds may also help reduce blood pressure.
Have any recipes for these ancient superfoods? Share them with us!