As we know, Peru is a country rich in many aspects, from its countless archaeological ruins to its incredible gastronomic revolution. And within the Andean country, you will find numerous fruits, tubers, and seeds with great nutritional value. Therefore, it would not be surprising that Peru is considered the world capital of superfoods. Therefore, together with the travel experts of Machu Travel Peru, we have proposed to list those Peruvian superfoods that you cannot miss trying on your next trip. From Quinoa to Tarwi, you can find these superfoods in any store or restaurant in Peru.
Peruvian superfoods you must try while in the Andean country
Quinoa was the preferred food of the ancient Andean warriors who needed energy. Now, the so-called “gold of the Incas” is the preferred food of North America, Asia, and Europe. Thanks to its high levels of protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, lysine, manganese, and vitamin B12, Zinc, Copper, and Potassium among others, it qualifies as one of the best Peruvian superfoods. Quinoa helps prevent heart disease and high cholesterol levels, not to mention its amazing and delicious taste. This superfood usually grows in the Andean regions of Peru and is boiled as if it were a grain. Many Peruvian desserts include quinoa as one of their main ingredients.
Cacao is one of the most recognized Peruvian superfoods worldwide. Cacao is native to the Amazon basin and the surroundings of the Andean regions in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. This superfood is rich in minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, among other great features. Its consumption helps protect the heart and is a natural mood enhancer. Certain tours in Peru offer the possibility of visiting the Chocomuseum, an incredible experience where you can learn to make your homemade chocolate bar.
Maca root is a tuber very similar in appearance to the average potato. Maca is one of the Peruvian superfoods whose popularity has grown in recent years. It has also gained some popularity throughout the world, especially in the United States and Canada. Maca root belongs to the same family as broccoli and radish. It is considered one of the healthiest natural ingredients in the world, with benefits such as improved testosterone production, improved libido, energizing, and much more. If you are looking for tips for healthy travel, we recommend trying the delicious Peruvian Maca.
Panela, also known as Chancaca, is one of the best alternatives to refined sugar. Panela is a solidified form of pure cane sugar. Being unrefined, Chancaca is full of vitamins and minerals such as Calcium, Copper, Selenium, and Iron. Despite being considered a Peruvian superfood, its consumption has to be moderate and conscientious.
The Coca leaf is not only a Peruvian superfood, it is also an important part of the Andean culture. Its natural and unrefined consumption has to stop being related to the negative effects of cocaine. The coca leaf is full of minerals, essential vitamins, and alkaloids that help cope with the high altitudes of Peru. If you plan to go on a hike, a Coca tea for altitude sickness can help you feel more energetic and vital.
As with most Peruvian superfoods, Sacha Inchi or “Maní Inca” was one of the favorite foods of the majestic Incas. This seed is rich in omega fatty acids, proteins, fibers and also contains vitamins A and E. Eating the roasted seeds or using unrefined virgin Sacha Inchi oil has numerous health benefits. The seed and its oil have direct benefits for the skin, hair, and eyes and help reduce cholesterol levels.
The Camu Camu berry is another of the Peruvian superfoods that you cannot miss on your next trip. This small berry with a tangy taste is rich in vitamin C. It is estimated that a single serving of Camu Camu has 50 times more vitamin C than what can be found in an orange. The berry is reddish and grows in the swampy regions of the Peruvian Amazon. The fruit decomposes very quickly, so it is usually rare to see it outside these regions. You can only see it in powder form in most stores and places outside of Peru. If you want to taste it fresh, you better take a trip to the source and enjoy the tourism in Peru.
The Olluco is a tuber that has existed for thousands of years. These have an appearance similar to those of potatoes, but they are completely different species from a botanical point of view. Its texture, however, is much crunchier and its flavor is also very different. This Peruvian superfood is very popular in the cuisine of all Peru, including it in many dishes. Olluco is rich in proteins, fiber, calcium, and vitamins A and C among other benefits.
Quinoa is not the only Peruvian superfood in grain form. Kiwicha is another Peruvian favorite and is very similar to quinoa but just smaller. Kiwicha is a vegetable protein rich in amino acids, fiber, vitamin B, phosphorus, and manganese among others. This ancient seed was used for certain ceremonial rituals by the Andean peoples. Today, Kiwicha is considered a gluten-free alternative for making bread and other delicacies.
High in protein and fiber, the nutritious Tarwi legume is another of Peru’s best-kept secrets. Tarwi is a bitter bean that requires constant rinsing to wash off certain alkaloids before being used in different traditional Peruvian food. It is rich in omega fats, minerals, and has high levels of healthy fiber.
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT LESS, YOU JUST HAVE TO EAT RIGHT.”
We hope together with the experts of Machu Travel Peru to have clarified some of the most important Peruvian superfoods. You can try each of these foods on your next trip to the Andean country. If you want to find out about our gastronomic tours, you can consult for free with our qualified advisors.