8 Filipino Superfoods to add to Your Diet
When in Manila, whether your goal is to slim down, become more athletic, live longer or plain and simple get healthier, adding superfoods to your daily food intake can help you achieve just this. In case you are not familiar with this very en vogue term: superfoods describe foods with presumed health benefits.
While many associate superfoods with fancy and expensive supplements from abroad, you should know that a lot of locally sourced superfood goodness can be found in our supermarkets. No need to break the bank to become healthier, fitter and feel better. Check out our list of 8 Filipino superfoods to add to your diet:
Known as the “queen of fruits”, the tropical mangosteen isn’t only delightfully exquisit but also bares several health benefits: the whole fruit’s properties – juice, bark, rind, twig and the fruit itself – are used as medicine to treat UTI’s, trush, tuberculosis, cancer, osteoarthritis, menstrual disorders, gonorrhea and diarrhea. The fruit is also said to help with skin conditions such as eczema. Today, the fruit can be found as a popular health drink and in capsule form in drug stores, pharmacies and health stores.
7. Malunggay (Moringa)
Moringa Oleifera, also known as the ‘miracle tree’, is dubbed a superfood in that it is used as herbal medicine to treat hypertension, rheumatism, cancer, arthritis, various skin disorders, joint pains and several other deseases. The entire plant can be eaten and the highly nutritious herb is high in protein & essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and anti-oxidants. This plant is known to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal. It can be eaten raw or cooked.
6. Saluyot (Jute)
A good source of calcium, iron, vitamins A, B, C & E and antioxidants, Saluyot is used to treat heachaches, digestive problems, inflammation, diarrhea, constipation and ulcers. In addition, its beta-carotene can help imrove your eyesight.
Fountain of Youth: because the plant is rich in antioxidants and vitamins C and E, it is supposed to slow down the aging process, prevent wrinkles and improve the skin.
5. Talinum (Waterleaf)
This leafy vegetable can be found in tropical climates and grows everywhere in our country. Talinum is full of vitamins A & C and is known to help lactating mothers produce milk. A health aid for liver & kidney disease, herpes and various skin diseases. Waterleaf makes a good substitute for spinach and can be cooked just the same way. The plant also happens to be quite pretty as it grows small pink flowers.
4. Atis (Cherimoya, Sugar Apple, Sweetsop)
A more well-known fruit among Filipinos, this relative of the Guyabano is said to prevent asthma through its rich Vitamin C content, lower blood pressure through its source of potassium, energize the body through thiamin, keep the bones strong with magnesium, lower cholesterol with its niacin content, help maintain thyroid health with copper and improve heart health through its high content of Vitamin B6. Not to mention that this fruit is delicious!
3. Alugbati (Vine Spinach)
The Vine Spinach, also known as Alugbati, is a green plant that has traditionally been used to treat heachaches, osteoporosis, inflammation, constipation, anemia and ulcers. A good source of calcium, folic acid, iron, Vitamins A, B & C and potassium, use this plant as another subsitute for spinach. Algubati is said to help protect against cancer of the colon as well as against cardiovascular diseases.
2. Kulitis (Chinese Spinach or Amaranth)
Adding to our list of greens is Kulitis, a plant with high levels of protein, vitamins A, C, E, K, B5 and B6, iron and calcium. The plant can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol as well as prevent cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. A great way to eat Kulitis: in soups, salads, fried or as stews.
1. Guyabano (Soursop)
A personal favorite and a well known anti-cancer fruit, the Guyabano rounds up our list of superfoods. This tropical fruit is not as sweet as the cherimoya, yet equally rich in nutritional excellence. It helps to prevent anemia, migraines, constipation, leg cramps, utinary track infections, pregnancy complications, water retention, lowers cholesterol levels and improves bone & heart health. It is also a good source of energy and tastes divine! Great as a snack or dessert, the Guyabano also makes a sumptuous addition to smoothies!
To move towards becoming a healthier you, adding more vegetables and fruits marks a good first step. Supplementing your diet with superfoods doesn’t have to be hard: replace packaged snacks with fruits, add greens to a daily salad and when you get a chance, make a breakfast smoothie or a green juice to kick off your day fresh & energized. Take note of our list above and when in Manila, stock up on local Filipino superfoods!
Do you know of any other super foods we should try? Comment below to share what you know!