Africa

6 Nutritional Wonders Of The World

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Close up of turmeric powder in wooden bowl

Image: Shutterstock/Kenishirotie

6 Nutritional Wonders Of The World

For many travelers staying healthy while traveling abroad is a primary concern. Fortunately, there are a variety of superfoods to enjoy whether you are traveling to India, Thailand, Mauritania or Brazil. From anti-inflammation to antifungal and digestive benefits, there are a ton of health-motivated reasons to embark on a culinary tour of the world. Check out these six nutritional wonders of the world.

Korea: Kimchi

Kimchi, a staple in Korean cuisine, consists of fermented cabbage. Fermented vegetables offer many health benefits including probiotics, which aid with digestion and fighting fungus and bacteria. Kimchi is usually served with every meal, and also added to international dishes like pizza and hamburgers. In a study titled Health Benefits of Kimchi as a Probiotic Food by Dr. K.Y. Park of Pusan National University, the benefits attributed to kimchi include cholesterol reduction, anti-aging, anti-cancer and anti-obesity properties, and increased skin, brain and immune function.

South America: Açaí

The açaí fruit comes from trees in the South American rainforest, but has taken the North American superfood scene by storm. The fruit has cropped up in juice bars, smoothies, ice creams and has even inspired its own dish, the açaí bowl, which consists of the fruit in purée form topped with berries and coconut shavings. Health properties of the açaí berry include antioxidants, fiber and good fats. Consuming açaí is believed to improve arthritis, skin conditions and cholesterol levels.

Indonesia: Mangosteen

The mangosteen resembles a citrus fruit, with a juicy, fibrous flesh and inedible rind. Though it originated in Southeast Asia, it’s since been introduced in Florida and Puerto Rico. Popular in juice form, mangosteen enthusiasts claim consuming just a few teaspoons of the fruit juice each day can eradicate arthritis, low-energy, cancer, inflammation and even Alzheimer’s disease. Essential vitamins and nutrients including fiber, vitamins C and B and folic acid are found in mangosteen.

India: Turmeric

Turmeric, a fellow root and relative of ginger, serves as the base for many culinary dishes in India. The deep yellow-gold root previously served as a dye before ancient health practitioners discovered its medicinal properties. In fact, turmeric is researched for use in medications. Turmeric’s primary uses include reducing inflammation and swelling, especially as it relates to arthritis and even treating depression. Curcumin compounds are responsible for many of the root’s benefits.

Africa: Plantain

While at the grocery store, you may have accidentally picked up a plantain thinking it’s a banana. The slightly longer and thick-skinned banana look-alike is a savory alternative to the fruit and the base for carbs in many West African dishes. Like bananas, plantains are an excellent source of potassium and make for a filling snack. The green plantains are savory, but as they turn yellow and eventually black they become sweet. Be careful as plantains can easily turn into an unhealthy snack when eaten the most popular way, doused in canola oil and fried. Instead, opt for grilling the plantains. It’s a great alternative for individuals who have gluten intolerances or a sensitive stomach and it’s an easy portable snack that can be eaten raw or at any stage in its development.

Southeast Asia: Coconut

Coconut, though available in many regions of the world, is widely used in Southeast Asia as a base for many local dishes. The fruit has gained recent popularity as a dietary supplement and topical supplement for the skin and hair. Coconut oil has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Coconuts have both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which makes it very effective for topical application . Coconuts are an excellent source of fats, vitamins B,C, E as well as fiber and calcium, which makes it particularly popular among lactose intolerant individuals.

Whether at home or abroad, these nutritional wonders of the world are good to incorporate in your diet to ensure you get a variety of nutrients.