Superfoods of Bali — Eat Healthily & Eat Local

Superfoods are endowed with multiple combinations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and are considered especially beneficial for health and wellbeing.

Superfood is considered to be one that contains a high level of phytonutrients when compared to other foods. Phy- tonutrients are organic components of plants that are thought to promote health. A few that you might have heard of are beta-carotene, flavonoids and lignans. At one time, food and spirituality intertwined for indigenous people across the globe. Superfoods quinoa and maca root were sacred for the Incas, cacao was precious to the Mayans, chia was revered by the Aztecs, acai was a sacrament for the Amazonian tribes, and spirulina (blue-green algae) was holy in Africa. Chinese medicine has utilised goji berries for more than 5,000 years. These superfoods may appear to be new discoveries by gourmet foodies and health food advocates but are rediscoveries of ancient wisdom.

Some common superfoods include blueberries, bee pollen, green tea and spirulina, but in Bali, they are bearing the price tag and carbon footprint of imported goods from afar. And although these exotic superfoods may be nutritionally worthy of their hype, the earth conscious choice is to favour a variety grown right where you are. Look out for dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, parsley, bayam or Kangkung as well as avocados, onions, shallots, leeks, garlic and hot chillies.

Also, the water and flesh from young coconuts are one of the healthiest things you can eat. Coconuts contain the full range of B vi- tamins, with the exception of B6 and B12. B vitamins are essential for providing energy as they break carbohydrates and protein down. Young coconut water is also high minerals, particularly calcium (for bones), magnesium (for the heart) and potassium (for muscles). It is also very high in electrolytes – much higher than most sports drinks. This makes it a great choice for athletes and children who exercise a lot. Cloves that are actually a spice and not a food, have very powerful medicinal properties – antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic. Cloves are a natural anaesthetic due to eugenol oil and they act as a natural insect repellent.

You can regularly chew on them, add clove powder to your food or take capsules of ground clove powder.

Humble, local, and less flamboyant than imported superfood products, Bali affordable products offer antioxidants, fibre, minerals, and vitamins to superfuel your brain and body. So look out for brightly coloured, organic fruit, vegetable, herb, and spice and prevent diseases just by stopping by at your local organic farmer.■

Bali Pocket Magazine