What links olive oil to pomegranates and almonds to kale? Well, they’re all superfoods. The food group is big business, expected to be worth $209.1 billion by 2026! These foods are integral to healthy eating and are key essentials to diets that range from organic to paleo, plant-based to keto. Now more than ever, people are looking to get healthy by starting with what they eat. So what are they? And how can they be found locally? Tu Mordisco will answer questions such as “what are the best super foods in Spain?” and “where can I find them?” starting with a superfoods definition.
Super foods definition: what is a superfood?
Superfood is an umbrella term for It relates to any food with high nutritional benefits. It’s not a word without controversy, as there’s no scientific definition of what defines a superfood. But in general, the term has drawn significant attention to healthy food, which can only be a good thing! Just keep in mind that no single ingredient can single-handedly combat disease or lead to total wellness transformations lifestyle, so it’s worth looking at individual food types to understand their unique health properties.
The good news for Tu Mordisco readers is that Spain boasts an abundance of natural “superfoods.” Keep reading for some of our favourites!
Aside from making any plate dazzle with nourishing colour, leafy greens are bursting with goodness, including zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and fibre, which will help your immune system and metabolism function. Plus, there’s a whole range of Spanish-grown goods to choose from, such as chard, kale, spinach, broccoli.
Despite being newly introduced to Europe, Kale thrives in the Mediterranean climate and is well suited to the fields of Murcia, Jumilla, and Albacete, while the Moors introduced spinach hundreds of years ago. Delicious (and healthy) recipes such as spinach and chickpea stews now characterise Andalusian dining!
We like to deck our fridge full of leafy greens. There’s nothing quite like opening the refrigerator and seeing a world of green waiting inside.
Exquisitely juicy, there’s nothing quite like cutting into a ripe pomegranate! Although you cannot eat the rubbery, tough skin of the red fruit, the jelly-textured seeds inside are edible and brimming with goodness. Packed with antioxidants and impressive anti-inflammatory properties, Pomegranates can help combat heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease. They are one of the healthiest fruits on the planet and are deliciously sweet, perfect for eating raw or mixing up in a juice.
They’ve long been at home on the Spanish peninsula, thought to have arrived in the 8th century with the arrival of the Moors. The pomegranate was well matched to Andalucia’s fertile soils and is now an emblem of the region— the Moorish city of Granada literally translates to pomegranate!
Olive oil may now be synonymous with Italy, but the Romans (who called it “liquid gold”) actually imported it from Spain! Even today, Spain is the largest olive oil producer globally, accounting for 44% of global production, extracted from the fruit of Spain’s characteristic olive trees. They’re so beloved in Spain that the Spanish government even submitted The Olive Grove Landscapes of Andalusia for consideration as a UNESCO World Heritage site (the final decision will come in 2023!).
What’s more—olive oil, a staple of Mediterranean cuisine, is a superfood! With high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenolic compounds, it can help fat loss and reduce the risks of heart disease.
Almonds are one of the world’s favourite nuts—which is no surprise given their delicious creamy flavour! A handful of almonds will stave off hunger, and given their low carb and high protein and fibre propensities, they can help you feel full and lower your calorie intake. They’re additionally packed with antioxidants and can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
And, you’ve guessed it, they’re grown in Spain! Spanish farmers have been busy upping their almond production to satisfy a growing global demand for this super nut; the country is the world’s second-largest almond producer. Be sure to travel across southern Spain while almond trees are in full bloom from January to March; their white and pink blossoms make for truly picturesque landscapes!
The Mediterranean diet is real
If you live or have visited Spain, you’ll probably have enjoyed the tastes of the rich Mediterranean diet. While many diet trends tend to be unsustainable or rely on imported ingredients, Spanish food is characterised by local ingredients cultivated in optimal climatic conditions — and it’s healthy!
Has this post left you with an appetite, the visit Terminal 42 in Barcelona, where fresh local ingredients fuse with global flavours?