Peruvian superfoods at their simplest may be defined as nutritionally dense foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants and are considered to be good for health and well-being.
A regular consumption of these products has many benefits, including aiding in increasing energy and vitality, regulating cholesterol and blood pressure and helping to fight and prevent diseases, read a statement from OCEX Peru New Delhi (commerical office of the Embassy of Peru).
Here are a few Peruvian superfoods that are now available in India:
* Purple corn: It is fast approaching classification as a functional food – an integral component that provides energy and essential nutrients.
Purple corn contains cell-protecting antioxidants with the ability to inhibit carcinogen-induced tumours, as also demonstrated anti-inflammatory capabilities and the potential to help control diabetes.
This variety of corn, whose farming goes back to the pre-Hispanic period, is the base of some Peruvian gastronomy classics like mazamorra (soft, sweet maize-based dessert) and chicha (purple corn sweet drink).
* Peruvian Quinoa: Quinoa is an Andean plant which originated in the area surrounding Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia. When the United Nations declared 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa, it was a recognition of the superiority not only in quality but also in nutritional value and intake of agricultural goods from Peru.
Quinoa, considered to be a pseudo-cereal, is highly nutritional, yet its bland flavour aids its versatility in the global kitchens. With a history of 5,800 years, quinoa is gluten free, has twice the amount of proteins than any other cereal, and is rich in fibre (higher than 6 percent of the grain’s weight).
* Avocado: Peruvian Avocados contain good fats, the same as nuts and olive oil. They have nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, including 150mg potassium and over 2 gram dietary fibre, and are naturally sodium and cholesterol free.
* Lucuma: It is a fruit rich in carbohydrates and it’s orange- yellow colour comes from beta-carotene, a powerful anti-oxidant. It is known to strengthen immunity and reduce the possibility of heart attacks.
* Maca: Resembling a small rough stone the size of a walnut, Maca blossoms between 3800 and 4400 metres above sea level, and has been cultivated by the inhabitants of Chinchaycocha’s lake shores in Junin for more than three thousand years.
Maca is a celebrated aphrodisiac with properties that elevate virility, vitality and physical strength. With high concentrations of calcium and phosphorus, it is great for bone development, and is a revitalizing source of selenium and magnesium.
* Sachainchi: Known as the Inca peanut for its importance during the empire, Sacha Inchi allows the balance of cholesterol and triglycerides and helps regulate weight and reinforce mental capacity.
It is a source of Omega 3, 6, and 9.
* Camu Camu: Native people of the Amazon go on board a fragile boat in search of the camu camu tree under the water. This tropical fruit is one of the world’s most potent sources of vitamin C, and is known to strengthen the immune system, skin and eyes.
It is a natural antioxidant that when compared to orange provides 30 times more vitamin C, 10 times more iron and fifty percent more phosphorus.