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Ten Caribbean ‘Superfoods’ Grown on the Islands

by Karen Rollins Jun 10, 2019

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The Caribbean is a tropical haven for all kinds of plants and wildlife so it may be no surprise that several so-called ‘superfoods’ are also grown on the islands.

Here are ten of some of the most nutritious and healthy foods all available on our doorstep!

Coconut – Coconut provide us with milk, jelly and a husk but one of its greatest gifts is water. Coconut water contains five essential electrolytes; calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium. It also tastes great!

Breadfruit – A staple in several Caribbean countries, breadfruit is a good source of calcium, fibre, omega-3, and vitamins A and C. It is also high in complex carbohydrates and can be baked, grilled, boiled or fried.

Sorrel – Sorrel is popular throughout the Caribbean and is believed to have various health benefits including helping to lower elevated blood pressure. It contains vitamin C, calcium, iron, niacin and riboflavin and is a natural diuretic.

Cassava – Also known as Yuca in some countries, Cassava is a healthy starch alternative to potatoes and rice. It is high in antioxidants and a good source of vitamins A and C and several B-complex vitamins.

Moringa – Moringa is said to be ‘one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet.’ Originally cultivated in parts of India and Africa, the Caribbean is now also growing moringa trees. Almost every part of the moringa tree is edible and full of essential vitamins and minerals along with antioxidants.

Okra – Okras are low in calories and high in fibre. They also provide potassium, vitamins B and C, folic acid, and calcium. Recent studies have suggested that okra helps to manage blood sugar and diabetes.

Sea moss – Sea moss, also referred to as Irish sea moss, is often blended with milk and sweeteners to make a creamy drink. Pure / unrefined sea moss is said to be high in vitamins A, B, C and D and contain iron, protein and iodine. However, refined or processed sea moss, known as Carrageenan, has been linked to cancer, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome.

Soursop – Soursop is known to have a wide range of health benefits because it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals and is a powerful antioxidant. It is usually eaten raw by cutting it and scooping out the flesh, or it can be combined with milk, grated ginger, nutmeg and vanilla to create a tasty and healthy drink.

Avocado – Avocados contain 20 different vitamins and minerals and have more potassium than a medium-sized banana. They don’t contain any cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat. 

Guava – Guava fruits are high in antioxidants, dietary fibre, folic acid, potassium, copper and manganese. They also have four times more vitamin C than an orange.

Sources: Barbados Pocket Guide / Foodtrients / Everyday Health / Healthline / BBC Good Food / Maco Caribbean / That Girl Cooks Healthy