Peruvian Superfoods That Fight Inflammation
Food can be our medicine and if we focus on adding high-quality, powerful ingredients into our diets, we can noticeably improve our overall health and longevity.
The tropical and subtropical climates of Peru are a home to a huge variety of superfoods with numerous health benefits, helping fight inflammation every step of the way. Some of them might be familiar to you already and you might even be using them on the regular, not even knowing about the incredible effects they have on your body.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammatory processes that occur in our bodies are very common in today’s world, where stress is the number one factor we all have to deal with. In addition to that, the food we eat on a daily basis is extremely processed, our soil is becoming more and more depleted, and there’s environmental toxins in pretty much everything: from the air we breathe to the water we drink to the containers we buy sliced fruit in.
The way inflammation shows up in the body is by triggering the activation of the immune system, sending out inflammatory cells to attack whatever is trying to damage your healthy cells. These dangerous invaders could be bacteria, viruses, toxic chemicals, processed foods, or basically nothing. This last instance is called chronic inflammation, and that’s when many autoimmune or chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, Celiac disease or Alzheimer’s can overpower and take control of your system.
The Symptoms of Inflammation
Acute inflammation occurs when there’s a real threat to your system such as an injury or an infection, and it usually shows up as swelling, redness, pain, heat, or fever. It’s immediate and of relatively short duration.
Chronic inflammation occurs when the acute inflammation isn’t treated and healed or the threat isn’t dealt with, when the immune system isn’t strong enough to fight, or when there’s no threat at all and your body mistakes its own cells for pathogens. It’s slow and long in duration, existing for months, sometimes even years.
The symptoms usually include pain in different areas in the body, water retention, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, fatigue, digestive issues, insomnia and other sleep disruptions, and more. All of these symptoms are pretty common for almost every disease, infection, illness, and condition so they might be harder to spot than the signs of acute inflammation.
Fighting inflammation with food is one of the easiest ways to go. You have complete control of the ingredients you choose to put in your mouth and these Peruvian superfoods are some of the best choices you can make.
The list of their health benefits goes on and on, from promoting cardiovascular health and healthy blood sugar levels, to keeping your blood pressure in its optimal range, aiding better digestion and nutrient absorption, to fighting off diseases and balancing out hormones.
One of the most popular Peruvian superfoods, cacao is the king of antioxidants. It’s anti-inflammatory properties are very well known, as is its protection against heart disease. Cacao is also efficient in helping relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression, slowing down the breakdown of collagen in the skin, and protecting neurons and promoting brain health.
Cacao is also high in many vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Since its health benefits are through the roof, adding it to your diet is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and longevity. And its use is incredibly versatile.
Raw cacao tastes very bitter so make sure to pair it with a healthy sweetener such as lucuma or yacon syrup and enjoy it as a drink, add it to your smoothies, make healthy desserts and cakes, enjoy a healthy ice cream, and so much more.
Also called Inca berries, goldenberries are a real Peruvian superfood, incredibly high in antioxidants and natural steroids that fight inflammation and diseases, with studies even reporting cancer-fighting properties. They’re rich in a variety of nutrients and fiber, helping you maintain healthy blood sugar levels and keeping your blood pressure low.
These little magical berries are also packing a ton of flavor so don’t skip on adding them to your smoothie bowls and nice creams, or even turning them into a healthy jam. They’re a delicious fruit that you won’t be able to stop munching on!
This golden root is famous for its incredible health benefits all over the world, but the Peruvian superfood variant has a specifically spicy flavor. Its medicinal properties are vast and they range from aiding better digestion and revving up the metabolism to relieving nausea and symptoms of respiratory disease and reducing inflammation.
Ginger contains a number of powerful healing compounds such as gingerol, shogaol, zingerone, and others, which all contain strong antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties, helping fight against diseases, cancer, and many other potential threats to our health.
You can drink it in your tea or add it to broths, sauces, or simply eat it pickled with sushi! Take your pick.
This wonderful root vegetable is incredibly rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, and a plethora of vitamins, helping you fight inflammation, keep your blood sugar down, as well as promote gut health, and aid in digestion. Its glycemic index is low, making it suitable for those struggling with type 2 diabetes and others trying to keep a low-sugar diet.
This Peruvian superfood is easy to incorporate into your diet with its most famous product, the yacon syrup. Easily added to healthy cakes and desserts as an alternative sweetener to refined sugar, yacon syrup is so versatile and delicious, you won’t even notice the difference!
Also known as Inca gold, lucuma is one of the most potent Peruvian superfoods which stands out as a natural sweetener. It’s therefore mostly used in powder form in desserts and other sweet concoctions, letting you indulge your cravings while still keeping a healthy diet.
Lucuma offers many health benefits, from fighting inflammation and repairing cell damage to preventing cardiovascular disease and promoting digestive health and healthy blood sugar levels. It’s rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, helping your body optimize its processes on a cellular level. Add it to your daily diet and use it instead of your regular sweetener!
These little black powerhouses are a Peruvian superfood that’s packed with protein, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids. What differs them from most other chia seeds is that in Peru, they’re grown organically, without any no pesticides or adulteration.
Their health benefits include reducing inflammation and helping fight off free radicals and oxidative damage, suppressing appetite and aiding weight loss, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, improving bone health and density, as well as improving insulin sensitivity.
Probably one of the most popular ways of adding them into your diet is by making chia seed pudding, but you can just as easily add them to your smoothies, smoothie bowls, banana bread, and more.
Maca is one of Peruvian superfoods that have become popular in recent years, with celebrities swearing by its many health benefits. It’s loaded with antioxidants, promotes sexual health and libido, reduces blood pressure and improves mood, and helps with menopausal symptoms and inflammation.
Some people report maca tasting like caramel, which is why they like adding it to their coffee and hot chocolate. Others like to add it to their smoothies and smoothie bowls, raw vegan desserts, and other sweet creations.
These amazing Peruvian superfoods are nutritionally dense foods, full of incredible ingredients, loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, and healthy fats that are helping boost your immune system and fight inflammation, whether it’s acute or chronic.
Add these healthy foods to your meals and get a boost of natural macro and micronutrients, helping you stay healthy for years to come!