8 Indigenous Super Foods For Ultimate Health

goji berries

Super foods are currently the buzz word sweeping the health food nation; and each super food has its own unique history dating much further back than its discovery by western companies. The majority of foods on this list have been used for thousands of years by indigenous people all over the world.

Goji Berries (pictured)

Originating in China, these berries have been used extensively in traditional Eastern Medicine. Legend says that goji berries have helped one herbalist live to 252 years; whether you believe that or not, the goji berry does boost immunity and relieve hypertension. This antioxidant rich berry may also have anti-tumor and liver protecting properties.

Further Reading: How To Live “Forever” With These Miracle Himalayan Health Foods

Acai

Native to South America, this dark violet berry has been traditionally used for food and medicine in its native land. Research suggests that acai possesses anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to essential fatty acids, proteins and antioxidants. Acai can readily be found in pill, powder and juice form.

sacha inchiSacha Inchi (pictured left)

This seed is relatively unknown in the North American market. Also referred to as the “Inca Peanut”, they have been traditionally used as food in South America. Research concludes that their high levels of healthy fats may lower the negative effects of unhealthy cholesterol (LDL), and raise the levels of healthy cholesterol (HDL). They are also a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids our body requires.

Quinoa

This is quickly becoming a crowd favorite. Originating from South America, quinoa is gluten free and, like Sacha Inchi, a complete protein. Andean people have been farming this grain for over a thousand years. Recent animal studies have suggested that quinoa may ward off obesity. Quinoa is widely available in red, black and white varieties; and is often eaten in place of rice or pasta.

Turmeric

The use of this bright yellow spice dates back four thousand years, as a staple in ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. Known for its cancer fighting properties, turmeric is also known for easing digestive upsets, pancreatitis and reducing osteoarthritis inflammation. Its active ingredient is curcumin, and is a very powerful antioxidant.

Cacao

Cacao is the raw material of chocolate; and has been used for over three thousand years in Mesoamerica. Ancient Mayan literature describes it as a gift from the gods. Cacao boasts an extraordinary amount of antioxidants, polyphenols, healthy fats and minerals. Plus the flavanoids present are excellent for the heart, helping to protect against cardiovascular disease. Look for cacao with a percentage over 70%.

Chia

This is no longer a toy pet that grows hair; this food staple has been used in pre Columbian Mexico and South America for years. Chia contains an impressive amount of omega-3’s, fiber and protein content. It has also been proven to lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar.

You can buy a pound of chia seeds on Amazon for just over $10 to take advantage of their incredible health benefits.

Further Reading: The Miracle Health & Beauty Benefits Of Chia Seeds

Hemp

Although the opinion varies, Hemp likely originates from Central Asia; and has been cultivated for thousands of years. And although industrial hemp does not produce hallucinogenic effects, it has been long confused with marijuana- it is not the same. The essential fatty acids in hemp may help skin conditions and normalize cholesterol levels. The antioxidants in the seed may also prove beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s disease.

About The Author:

Bianca Osbourne is a professionally trained natural foods chef, recipe developer and freelance writer; she created healthy recipes on her website Vitality Guide For Women, where she focuses on presenting healthy eating in down to earth and flavorful style.

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