I'm originally from Mexico, and one of the things I miss most about my country — besides my family and friends — is the amazing vegetation and delicious food we have back home.
Below I've gathered a list of some of Mexico’s local superfoods that have crossed borders over the years and made it to the Superfood Hall of Fame.
Without a doubt, amaranth is one of the richest and most nutritious foods of Mexico. It's become a go-to for athletes because it's pretty convenient to transport and is really high in protein.
Amaranth is also high in minerals such as calcium, iron, and phosphorus. There's a lot of ways in which it can be consumed, but the most common is to simply add it to your cereal and/or yogurt.
Try this Amaranth Porridge.
Apart from being delicious, cacao is high in antioxidants, which helps the body fight against free radicals, making it a rejuvenating food. Cacao also increases serotonin levels in the brain, giving us a pleasant feeling and increasing overall well-being.
I recommend incorporating it into your daily diet by adding cacao nibs to your smoothies or having a small piece of dark chocolate.
Try this Creamy Vegan Hot Cacao.
The word chia means "strength" in Mayan. This fiber-packed plant is well-known as a remarkable source of energy. Highly digestible protein and a good dose of omega-3s are also part of the package deal you get by pouring organic chia seeds into your morning smoothie.
They’re great for detoxing your whole system, reducing cholesterol, and maintaining optimum blood sugar levels.
Along with cacao, avocado is probably the most popular superfood these days. It stimulates the formation of collagen, helping us combat aging, and it reduces the levels of bad cholesterol (while increasing the levels of good cholesterol).
On top of that, it is also rich in vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and maintaining strong bones.
Try this Superfood Guacamole.
5. Edible Cactus (or Nopales)
Edible cactus is also known as nopales, nopalitos, or cactus pads. It's a very popular vegetable in Mexico and other Central American countries.
Nopales are very low in calories and high in phytochemicals, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Try them on a salad or add them to a juice.
This blue-green algae is by far the best source of plant-based protein. Ounce per ounce, spirulina has three times as much protein as a steak. It's also a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Just add spirulina to your smoothies to feel more energetic and support your liver.
Mariana is a Certified Health Coach and Yoga Instructor. Mariana specializes on helping busy professionals balance nutrition, fitness and lifestyle goals by looking at how all areas of their life are connected. She believes that eating can be flexible, fun and rewarding.