Peruvian food is known to be delicious, but many may not realize it has health benefits also. The benefits are related to its ingredients.
There are superfoods in Peruvian cuisine that offers a health boost. Yucca and avocados are obvious choices. While quinoa, one of Peru’s superfoods that is currently receiving worldwide attention, has gone mainstream in the United States, there are other less known foods worth your attention. Those foods include cacao, lucuma, camu-camu and maca.
Cacao is created from unroasted cocoa beans that are cold pressed into a powder. It is used in desserts. Cacao, unlike cocoa, is unprocessed, so doesn’t have sugar or additives. It does contain antioxidents.
Lucuma, a noted ice cream flavor in Peru, is a fruit similar in taste to pumpkin or caramel. It has contains a wealth of elements like fiber, beta-carotene and antioxidants. It is known to lower blood pressure.
Camu-Camu is another fruit with an abundance of vitamin C, more than 60 times the amount of an orange. It has properties, like anthocyanines and carotenoids, that help with inflammation.
Maca is a root that is often placed in the nut category because of its shape. It typically comes as a powder. There are a multitude of benefits to maca, including improving energy, improve fertility and sex drive.
Male model Franco Noreiga, now a chef, says part of the reason he looks good is because he grew up on Peruvian food. He credits the superfoods in it, saying it allowed native Peruvians to “be healthy without trying too hard.”
Two dishes that include healthy native Peruvian ingredients are Flan de Quinoa and Tuna TarTare. Flan de Quinoa are macerated apples on toasted quinoa. Tuna Tartare features ahi tuna marinated in a Chinese Peruvian sauce. It comes with avocado, boiled egg and yucca chips.
Those who want to try healthy Peruvian dishes can visit La Costanera Restaurant, located outside of San Francisco. This Peruvian restaurant features authentic Peruvian cuisine with ingredients typically only found in South America. Chef Carlos Altamirano prepares his native foods with a modern flair that awakens all your senses. A plate is waiting!