What is a "superfood"?

What is a "superfood"?

A "superfood" is a term you hear a lot these days, but what does it actually mean? Basically, superfoods are foods that are packed with nutrients and are thought to offer extra health benefits beyond just basic nutrition. They're usually loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other good stuff that can help keep you healthy. It's not a scientific term, but more of a catchy way to highlight foods that are particularly good for you.

Think about foods like blueberries, kale, and salmon. Blueberries are famous for their high antioxidant content, which can help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. Kale and other leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses full of vitamins A, C, K, and several B vitamins, along with minerals like iron and calcium. Salmon is another great example because it's rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are super beneficial for your heart.

Including superfoods in your diet can have a lot of benefits. They can boost your overall health, strengthen your immune system, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Plus, they can help with weight management and keep your energy levels up. However, it's important to remember that no single food can provide all the nutrients you need. So, while superfoods can be a fantastic part of a healthy diet, it's still crucial to eat a variety of foods to ensure you're getting a well-rounded mix of nutrients.

Peru in particular is renowned for its diverse array of superfoods, many of which have been staples in the local diet for centuries due to their rich nutritional profiles and health benefits. Here are some notable examples of Peruvian superfoods:


Quinoa is often called a "super grain" because it's packed with protein, fiber, and essential amino acids. It's also rich in vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, and potassium. This versatile grain can be used in salads, soups, or as a substitute for rice.


Maca is a root vegetable that grows in the high Andes. It's known for its energy-boosting properties and is often used to enhance stamina and endurance. Maca is also believed to balance hormones and improve fertility. It can be found in powder form and added to smoothies, oatmeal, or baked goods.

Camu Camu

Camu camu is a small, sour fruit that is incredibly high in vitamin C—much higher than oranges. It's also rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. The fruit is usually available as a powder and can be mixed into drinks, smoothies, or yogurt.


Lucuma is a fruit with a sweet, maple-like flavor. It's often used as a natural sweetener and is rich in beta-carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium, and protein. Lucuma powder can be added to smoothies, desserts, or used in baking.

Sacha Inchi

Sacha inchi, also known as the Inca peanut, is a seed that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber. These seeds are often roasted and eaten as a snack or pressed to produce oil, which can be used in cooking or as a salad dressing.

Purple Corn

Purple corn is not only visually striking but also incredibly nutritious. It's high in anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and improve cardiovascular health. Purple corn can be used to make drinks like chicha morada, a traditional Peruvian beverage, or ground into flour for baking.


Yacon is a root vegetable known for its sweet taste and prebiotic properties. It's rich in fructooligosaccharides, which can promote digestive health by feeding beneficial gut bacteria. Yacon can be eaten raw, cooked, or made into a syrup that serves as a natural sweetener.

Just be a bit cautious because the term "superfood" is often used in marketing, and not all claims about these foods are backed by solid scientific evidence. And like with anything, balance and moderation are key. Overloading on one type of food isn't going to make you healthier; it's all about incorporating a diverse range of healthy foods into your meals. So, enjoy your superfoods, but keep it balanced!

Psst! NAWI Superfood Brownie Mix contains many of these Peruvian superfoods in a convenient, ready-to-mix format :)

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