....by Grace Van Berkum, R.H.N., in SurfNica Magazine Nicaragua has some great superfoods that are filled with nutrition to help you achieve optimal healthy and energy levels. Here is a list of some Gracious Living tropical favourites featured in the latest SurfNica Magazine, page 42, that are easy to get in this beautiful country. A healthy body filled with superfoods and good nutrition means more energy, more strength, more agility, more power, and of course better surf! Honoured to be a regular guest wellness contributor for SurfNica Mag distributed all over Central America and U.S.A.
Here’s to superfoods for super surf and super health!
1) Chia seeds offer fibre, calcium, protein, and essential fatty acids, that help to reduce inflammation in the body. Use them in smoothies, puddings, sauces, or desserts.
2) Raw Cacao is abundant in magnesium which fights acid buildup, neutralizes toxins, calms sensitivity to pain, quiets nerves, builds strong bones and teeth and is essential for many other functions. Raw cacao also contains iron and chromium which helps to balance blood sugar.
3) Chayote vegetable contains nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties which helps with high-blood pressure, kidney stones and indigestion. Chayote is high in fibre to helps balance blood sugar. Eat it raw, shred it in salads, add it to stir-fries or soups. You can even juice chayote which helps with liver health.
4) Mangoes are great for digestion and metabolism, promote healthy skin, and help to fight cancer. They are delicious on their own, in puddings or desserts, or divinely delicious when blended in a smoothie with coconuts. (Gracious Living TV shows you how to cut a mango with ease HERE!)
5) Coconuts are rich in fibre which helps with detoxification, they provide iron, and they are good for digestion. Enjoy fresh on it’s own, or add it to desserts, breakfasts, puddings, sauces, or smoothies. You can even add coconut to your soups and stir-fries. Coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s centre which is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes that also aids digestion. Coconut water aids electrolyte balance since it is high in potassium.
6) Dragonfruit also known as “pittaya” is a true tropical superfood, abundant in Vitamin C to boost the immune system. It is known to have anti-viral and anti-fungal affects on the body. Enjoy on it’s own or add it to smoothies.
7) Avocados are a fruit (yes, a fruit!) that are incredibly nutritious. It is high in fat, but it is good fat necessary for good brain and heart function. They are loaded with fibre, anti-oxidants, help to reduce inflammation, and are cancer fighters. Avocados are very high in potassium, which help support healthy blood pressure levels. Make guacamole, eat them in salads, spread them on toast instead of butter, use them instead of mayonnaise, or add them to your smoothies instead of milk for a delicious creamy fruit smoothie.
8) Culantro is known as Nicaraguan’s cilantro, and is a close relative of cilantro. It is high in calcium and iron and promotes detoxification. It is delicious in salsas and sauces. It sounds weird but it is also delicious hidden in smoothies!
9) Aloe Vera is not just for the skin. You can eat it and it is amazing for the insides of your body! Fresh aloe vera is found all over Nicaragua and is excellent for digestion, ulcers, and constipation. Cut off the green skin and spoon out the gel. Hide the taste of the aloe gel in your smoothies for a superfood boost. (Read my post on the healing benefits of aloe vera HERE).
10) Guava is a powerhouse of nutrients. Studies have shown that consuming guava can help prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes. The high fibre in guava helps to regulate the absorption of blood sugar which decreases the chances of major spikes and drops in insulin and glucose in the body. Guavas boast vitamin-A which helps with eye health. Guava is also known for its ability to inhibit the growth and metastasis of cancerous cells. Eat on it’s own, add to fruit salads, or veggie salads, or have a guava smoothie.
11) Moringa Oleifera is one of the most nutrient dense superfoods discovered on earth and you can find it in Nicaragua. Moringa comes in a variety of forms including oil, seeds, organic tea, and leaf powder. The leaves on the Moringa plant are the main source of nutrients.
Moringa leaves are full of essential disease-preventing nutrients.
7 times the vitamin C found in oranges
4 times the calcium found in milk, and twice the protein
4 times the vitamin A found in carrots
3 times the potassium found in bananas
3 times the iron found in almonds
**Add Moringa powder to raw cacao or mango coconut smoothies to hide the earthy taste.
You are what you eat. You are what you think. ~Gracious Living Lifestyle XO