Whether you’re a candidate for an honorary degree in nutrition or someone who thinks gluten is a broad term for calories, fat, or anything that’s bad for you- you’re probably familiar with the superfood craze that’s taken hold of the world.
Avocado toast may be the reason millennials can’t afford to buy homes and acai may have 12 different pronunciations but these immune-boosting, nutrient-filled foods come from some exotic locations that are worth traveling to.
1. Açaí - Brazil
Found growing on skinny palm trees around the Amazon River, especially in the jungles of Brazil, the açaí berry (pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”) is low in sugar and packed with antioxidants. These berries are delicious but highly perishable. In order to supply their cult-following in the first world countries, they are usually shipped in juice form and served in a bowl or smoothie with granola and other fresh fruit.
2. Tumeric - Morocco and India
Turmeric is possibly the most studied superfood. Harvested in India and Morocco, the active ingredient in the spice is curcumin, an inflammation blaster that helps ward off pretty much every disease. But don’t take it from me, Dr. Bharat Aggarwal, professor at the Anderson Cancer Center says “Wherever inflammation is a problem, curcumin may be helpful.” And where is inflammation a problem? It’s linked to heart disease, cancer, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s- the list goes on. Forget Sriracha keychains, to-go tumeric is the new essential for healthy people everywhere.
Learn more about Morocco's spice markets in our Fez Edition.
3. Baobab Fruit - Madagascar
Baobab trees are the “big and talls” of the tree world. While acai is a great addition to a breakfast dish or dessert, baobab fruit offers the same great (even more concentrated) benefits but has a mild flavor that blends easily into more savory dishes. Found in Madagascar, Australia, and India. You could go hit up an Indian spice market to get your Tumeric fix then check out a Baobab forest for a sweet sunset instagram like the one pictured above.
4. Purple Corn - Peru
A staple in the Inca empire, purple corn absolutely puts the other colors to shame. Found in Peru, purple corn basically built the massive Inca temples that still stand there today, or at least gave the energy needed to create those monstrosities. Anthocyanins are the pigments that make the corn purple and are super anti-oxidising and anti-inflammatory which, as we learned from the Turmeric, is super important for literally everything. So replace those white corn chips with the purple and build yourself an empire.
5. Chia Seeds - Mexico
While the Incas were chowing down on purple corn, the Aztecs and Mayans swore by the chia seeds. These little things contain more omega 3’s than salmon and are key for hydration and water retention. Grown in Central and South America, they make your body process more of the water you drink and help you pee less, so you can drink a ton of it, have clear skin, more energy, and all of the other benefits you hear about- without spending half of your day walking to or from the bathroom.