Nature Is Wise. We Should Let It Guide And Teach Us
Cacao is a rich source of flavonoids, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, fiber, and proteins. Its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents offer neuron protection, inhibits mental fatigue, enhances cognition, and positive mood. It lowers immunoglobulin E release in allergic responses. It can affect the immune response and bacterial growth at intestinal levels.
Adaptogenic substances are believed to have the capacity to normalize body functions and strengthen systems compromised by stress. Adaptogenic mushrooms like reishi, chaga, turkey tail, lion’s mane and cordyceps have been used therapeutically for centuries for their ability to help the body’s natural healing processes. Studies suggest that they have anticancer, antiviral, and antibacterial properties as well.
The benefits of aloe have been recognized and taken advantage of throughout history. This low-calorie, fiber-, omega-, and vitamin-rich substance was used by Cleopatra as a beauty product, by other Egyptians as a medicine, and by the Hebrews as a laxative and remedy for skin conditions. Today, aloe’s potential benefits include the reduction of cholesterol, fats, triglycerides; antiviral, antibacterial, protection against inflammation and improvement of the immune system.
Maca is a plant that grows above 4000 altitude meters in Peru's Central Andes and is used for its nutritional and medicinal properties. It has favorable effects on energy and mood. May decrease anxiety. Calms menopausal symptoms. Increased libido, improves sexual performance in men and increases fertility. It reduces the glucose levels. Its consumption is related to the lowering of blood pressure and an improved health score. Due to its hormonal implications, I personally do not recommend its use in children or adolescents.
Lúcuma is a native fruit of Peru. It can be found worldwide in powder form, and sometimes frozen pulp in Latin markets. It can be used as a sweetener (providing many vitamins and minerals). It is believed that its complex carbohydrates could have beneficial effects to keep blood sugar levels constant. It contains a lot of insoluble dietary fiber, helping to prevent constipation and serving as a prebiotic food for good intestinal health.
Camu camu is a native fruit of the Peruvian jungle. As an acidic edible fruit, it’s usually used in juices and smoothies, liqueurs, jams and granitas. You can find it around the world in the form of powder or frozen pulp. Rich in Vitamin C, camu camu has a very high antioxidant capacity. It is also a good source of minerals and has anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and antibacterial properties.
The tigernut is the tuber or edible root. It is believed that the tigernut has been endemic in the five continents of the planet, its origin being located in Africa at least two million years ago. It has a slightly sweet and starchy flavor, rich in good fats, fiber, vitamins (with significant levels of biotin or vitamin B7), and essential minerals. Tigernuts milk has between 70% and 80% monounsaturated fatty acids (healthy fats) and especially oleic acid. The arginine it contains is an important amino acid that is involved in the formation of nitric oxide in the body, which improves circulation and blood pressure.
Of Andean origin, quinoa is classified as a pseudocereal because some experts consider its seeds as fruits. Quinoa has high nutritional value, being rich in proteins, lipids, fibers, vitamins and minerals, with a balance of essential amino acids. It is an excellent source of thiamine, folic acid and vitamin C. Its seeds contain a high tocopherol index and high concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium and copper.
Eat an avocado a day and your heart will thank you. Avocado oil contains a balance of good fats that promote a healthy blood lipid profile. This oil also improves the bioavailability of fat-soluble vitamins and phytochemical in other fruits and vegetables when eaten together. Consuming avocados helps maintain cardiovascular health and supports weight managements and healthy aging. Both avocado fruit and avocado oil are great additions to our diets.
Moringa is a tropical tree native to the south of the Himalayan Mountains in northern India. The plant contains many amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids, and it is rich in iron. It is a great ally against malnutrition and may help to reduce anemia. The highest concentration of nutrients is found in its leaves, which can be used fresh or in powder form. We like to use it in smoothies, juices, soups and stews. You can also use moringa in baked items such as in my Superpowerful Brownies recipe on page 210 of my cookbook.
Sacha inchi is considered to be one of the best vegan protein sources in the world at 33% protein, far exceeding soy and sunflower. It has anti-inflammatory properties and has high amounts of antioxidants. Native to the Peruvian jungle, its fruit is cultivated for its large, edible seeds which are very similar to nuts. You can eat them toasted with salt as a snack or with some dressing. In powder form, sacha inchi can be used in a variety of recipes or simply added to smoothies or lattes.
Butterfly Pea Flower
Butterfly pea flowers are used in Ayurvedic medicine as a brain tonic and memory enhancer, as well as an antistress, antianxiety agent. Further benefits include antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Used as a dried flower in drinks or crushed into a powder, these flowers turn tea into a beautiful blue color. When citrus is added, the pH level will transform the tea into a stunning purple. Note that some herbalists do not recommend consuming it during pregnancy.
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