MANILA, Philippines – In the Philippines, superfoods do not have to be expensive.
Superfoods are nutritionally dense food rich in antioxidants that help fight against cancer; healthy fats to lower the risk of heart disease; fiber for a better digestive system; and phytochemicals for other health benefits.
While some may think that they only have to buy berries and chia seeds, there are actually five local superfoods that are readily available in the market.
REBEL, a local fitness app that provides free workouts, health education and recipes that uses ingredients that are readily accessible in the Philippines, asked its in-house registered nutritionists and dietitians Jo Sebastian and Julianne Malong on what superfoods can be incorporated into the Filipino diet .
Known as a calamondin or Philippine lime, this citrus fruit is a staple in Filipino and other Southeast Asian cuisine. It’s rich in Vitamin C which strengthens the immune system, boosts collagen production, lowers blood pressure, and improves iron absorption, which is essential for cellular oxygenation.
While a lot of dishes can make use of calamansi, bear in mind that Vitamin C found in these fruits are water-soluble and temperature-sensitive, so high temperatures and long cooking times can cause severe losses of Vitamin C. So, we advise having an ice-cold glass of calamansi juice instead!
This fruit typically makes its appearance in festive occasions throughout the Southeast Asian region. Apart from its sweet and refreshing taste, a typical-sized grapefruit (about 21 ounces) can already provide around 32% of your daily copper requirement. Copper, which plays a vital role in efficiently making use of iron, helps in making sure that one’s body has enough red blood cells, and that they are kept in tip-top condition.
Pomelos are very versatile – eat them on their own as a snack or dessert, or throw them into your salad for a fresh start to any meal!
As one of the fruits known to have edible skin and seeds, guavas contain very high fiber content, as well as up to four times more Vitamin C per serving than oranges. They are also rich in antioxidants that protect and regenerate skin cells, and slow down signs of aging caused by sun exposure, stress, and having a poor lifestyle.
One might just be able to achieve recommended Vitamin C intake per day after consuming 100 grams of guava in a day – and we think that’s a great excuse to have some guava juice or even sinigang sa guava more often!
Also called string beans, this vegetable offers a lot of variety as an ingredient in typical Filipino dishes. It’s a great source of calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones, as well as Vitamins A and C for a healthier immune system.
Enjoy it in your nilag, kare-kareor even sautéed on its own to get all the nutrients this versatile vegetable has to offer.
A good substitute for white rice, Adlai is a grain with a slightly chewier texture and nuttier taste. While its energy and total carb content is negligible when compared to brown rice, it has 160% more protein and 300% more fiber than brown rice.
Because of its high fiber content, it helps promote healthy gut bacteria, which results in more serotonin, thus a better overall mood. Plus, it has a higher satiety level to keep you feeling fuller for longer. It’s also high in calcium for healthy bones and teeth, and for better athletic performance, it supports healthy nerve transmission and muscle contraction.
Cook it in broth or pair it with your favorite dish for a balanced and flavorful meal!
– Beatrice Go/Rappler.com
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