Popular Caribbean Superfoods you should immediately add to your diet.
One of the most common and broken New Year’s Resolutions of all time is to have a healthier, more wholesome diet. If you’ve fallen off the wagon- or are just bored with your current diet, here are some amazing and delicious superfoods that you can try while on your vacation to kick you back into high gear.
Hailed by nutritionists as a possible replacement for the apple- borrowing from the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” guavas- a common fruit in the Eastern Caribbean, are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, folic acid, as well as minerals such as; potassium, copper, and manganese. Researchers in India found that guava has positive effects on high blood pressure. It is also believed to lower cholesterol, battle diabetes and combat cancer. Guava leaves, when steeped are also hailed as a cure for hair loss and balding- double whammy!
The soursop is a typical tree in Eastern Caribbean backyards. Not only is this fruit delicious (it tastes like a combination of the strawberry and pineapple), it is promoted as an alternative for cancer treatment. Studies prove that the soursop extract is effective against liver as well as breast cancer cells. Locals tend to use the fleshy interior to make juices, smoothies, punches, popsicles, and other refreshing treats. If you stumble upon someone selling soursop punch while island hopping, make sure you try it!
Maybe the trendiest fruit on the list, the use of coconuts is widespread. Coconut products include; coconut flesh (locally referred to as “jelly,” “meat” or “flesh”- it depends on the island), coconut water (you have definitely seen this on Instagram), coconut oil, coconut cream, and the list goes on. The high potassium and electrolyte levels of coconut water make it a perfect sports drink, providing energy and aiding recovery from high exertion. Coconut oil can also be used on the hair, skin and for cooking.
The acerola cherry has one of the highest concentrations of Vitamin C found in fruit. Common names include Barbados cherry and West Indian myrtle. Cherries contain vitamins B1, B2, B3 & B5, vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus. The Barbados cherry (also found in many other islands) has been linked to diabetes management, cancer prevention as well as anti-aging properties. Cherries can be picked and eaten like any other cherry, or even used to make juice (its delicious!)
Seamoss, a type of seaweed is typically used as the base of a drink. Seamoss has proven beneficial for thyroid problems, heavy metal detoxification, stomach and gastric problems, increasing sperm count, heartburn, indigestion, constipation and congestion of colds and flu. It has also been shown to improve mental functioning and aid in the prevention of age related dementia.
Sorrel, the subject of many parang songs at Christmas (please open youtube and search parang music), is a common drink around Christmas time in the Caribbean. Studies show that the flavonoids found in sorrel may be a useful deterrent against certain types of cancers, help to reduce triglyceride levels- high levels of which are associated with heart disease and diabetes. Sorrel helps to enhance the body's immune system and its diuretic properties can aid in weight loss. Win win win!
So, the next time you visit the Eastern Caribbean Don't just visit… DISCOVER!