More than chronological age, mental age is everything for many Peruvians: feeling young and getting up early to exercise at home is one of the many customs that persist among the elderly. Others, however, prefer to do mental exercises: crosswords, sudoku and other puzzles are the favorite pastimes.
All to counteract the loss of calcium, the weakening of tissues, or the lack of memory that can come with old age. Even more so after a prolonged compulsory isolation, in which stretching your legs and regaining the former agility becomes increasingly necessary. If the return to exercising is accompanied by a balanced diet that strengthens the body's functions, then recovery will be much faster.
Fortunately, Peru is an inexhaustible supply of highly nutritious food that is ideal for the elderly. Here is a list of Peruvian Super Foods that you should add to your diet (make sure you don't stop exercising!) if you have already entered the golden age.
1. Camu Camu. This small, round, reddish-green and sour-tasting fruit, native to the Amazon, is one of the richest in vitamin C, which means it helps strengthen bones, teeth, skin, cartilage and ligaments. Its high potassium content also helps prevent cramps. It is the anti-viral and anti-influenza fruit par excellence. It is common to consume it in a delicious soft drink, prepared from fruit pulp and water. You can also enjoy it in the form of ice cream.
2. Quinoa. For 5,000 years, this wonderful seed from the Altiplano has kept the inhabitants of the sierra strong. According to research by the prestigious ELLE, magazine, quinoa has more proteins than any other cereal: 12-16 grams per 100 grams. It is in addition rich in fiber and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Try it in stews, mazamorra and even in delicious vegetarian burgers.
3. Maca. This tuber with high nutritional and medicinal value comes from the heart of the Andes. Its high potassium content reduces the risk of suffering from hypertension. Maca can be consumed in the form of powder, liquid extract, juice, jam or in pharmaceutical capsules.
4. Anchovy. Small in size –the length of an adult is less than that of a pen-– but with gigantic nutritional power, this small fish that abounds off the Peruvian coast is the essential feed for many other species. The reason is its high doses of vitamin A (healthy bones and skin) and vitamin D (that helps absorb calcium). It does in addition contain iron (that nourishes the blood) and Omega 6 (that protects the cells) and Omega 3 (good for the heart) fatty acids. Tiradito, Adobo or anchovy Cau Cau are just some of the culinary options for this Superfood.
5. Trout. This Superfood, which lives in the depths of rivers and mountain lakes is ideal for strengthening muscles due to its high protein content. Its Omega 3 content does in addition prevent mental and heart diseases. Enjoy it steamed or grilled.
6. Tarwi. Another grain with high nutritional value, even superior to soya, is tarwi, also known as chocho or lupino. It contains unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids, which assist the synthesis of other fatty acids. Tarwi has fewer carbohydrates than beans and can be eaten in canned food, drinks or snacks.
7. Asparagus. Available twelve months of the year, this super vegetable is one of Peru's most representative exports due to its numerous benefits, such as its high fiber and water content (ideal for rehydrating the body), as well as its level of vitamin K (important for blood coagulation). Asparagus has been proven to slow down the cognitive impairment of the brain. Eat it fresh, as a snack, or in cans.
Did you know that...?
Another important factor for the body in this post-quarantine period is rehydration, so the consumption of water or natural juices is recommended.
Sources: Instituto de Investigación de la Amazonía Peruana/ Infobae/ Elle/ Oceana/