Peru offers the world a great diversity of products that are characterized by having important nutritional attributes. Currently, thanks to Peruvian gastronomy, which is increasingly gaining importance at the international level with exquisite dishes such as the ceviche, Peruvian superfoods have also made it to the stage.
Peruvian products such as fruits, grains, vegetables, roots, herbs and fish, have become a worldwide food trend thanks to their properties and health benefits.
The Spanish magazine Mujer Hoy published an interview with Manuel Villacorta, a Peruvian dietitian who recently participated as a speaker at Madrid Fusion 2020, addressing the power of these superfoods.
Villacorta explains that superfoods have been given this name because they are "functional foods that not only provide vitamins and minerals, but also contain some of them in great excess and, therefore, help improve health and provide benefits." For this reason, there are only certain foods that fall into this category; in order to be considered a superfood, they must contain "many antioxidants and phytonutrients," says the author of the Andean recipe book Whole Body Reboot.
With a clearer picture of why some products are considered superfoods, the following question follows: What Peruvian superfoods are the best known and why?
On this topic, the specialist did not hesitate to state that quinoa is the most widely consumed superfood in the world, pointing out that it, "provides proteins, unsaturated fatty acids and minerals like nothing else".
It should be noted that Peru is the world's leading producer and exporter of this grain.
Another food that Villacorta highlighted is maca, a product with a nutritional profile very similar to that of cereals in terms of carbohydrates. "It is a root that cannot be eaten raw and grows in a very specific area in Peru," he said.
He also pointed out that, in powdered form, it is an excellent source of amino acids because it has seven of the eight essential amino acids which help carry and optimize the nutrients required by the body: water, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins.
Other superfoods highlighted in the article are:
Camu camu. A fruit that contains a high level of vitamin C, even higher than fruits such as oranges or lemons. It also provides several classes of amino acids, such as serine, valine and leucine, as well as sodium, potassium, manganese, calcium, zinc and magnesium — nutrients that are all important for health.
Kiwicha. Commonly known as amaranth, it is packed with amino acids, especially lysine, which promotes brain development.
Jurel. Commonly known as Peruvian jack mackerel, it is a fish rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Muña. A plant with digestive properties, used to combat altitude sickness and stomach problems. It is also rich in calcium and phosphorus.
Yacon. Commonly known as Peruvian ground apple, it is a sweet tasting root that is very low in calories. It has been shown to have anti-diabetic properties and helps reduce the level of triglycerides in the blood.
Learn more about Peruvian superfoods at: https://peru.info/es-pe/superfoods