Never derive yourself from anything good in life. That principle has kept the people from Somaliland happy and healthy.
There is a lot of good in unconventional foods, such as the seeds in our everyday foods, spices and sea vegetables. The latter is especially important because of the growing amount of vegans.
Many spices contain more of your essential vitamins than you would ever guess.
Here are some spices, fruits and vegetables to include in your diet.
1. Chia seeds
3. Pumpkin seed
4. Cucumber and cucumber seed
5. Green Chilli pepper
8. Red Seaweed Karengo
9. Sunflower seed
10. Brown rice
1. Chia seeds have been on the market as the go-to superfood for a while now. Just a tiny bit of this super seed gives you the necessary omega three and minerals like zinc, iron and magnesium.
2. Include dates in your diet for a variety of iron intake. You can utilise this fruit’s benefits in a variety of ways. Furthermore, this famous ancient fruit can be eaten with your regular oats or millet in the morning. You can process it in a Muesli bar or homemade cookies. It goes exceptionally well in juices and smoothies as it also functions as a natural sweeter.
And from the biblical and Qoran story of the Virgin Mary, we learn that dates are one of the most sustainable fruits. With high magnesium levels, phosphorus, folates, pantothenic acid and vitamins A, C and K. You can basically live on dates and water to survive.
So keep that in mind next time you plan a solo hiking or sailing trip. Bring enough dates, for they might keep you alive for an entire lifetime on the ocean.
3. Pumpkin seeds can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, benefit the prostate, and positively affect your metabolism. They are a great source of protein; it helps heal wounds, have alkaline-forming properties, and even enable you to sleep better. Pumpkin seeds nourish the body with essential vitamins and minerals such as zinc and phosphorus.
4. A much-underestimated superfood is a cucumber. I say underestimated because there is so much of it available that we tend to pass by it in the vegetable aisle. If you are a regular juicer, your body will thank you for including the cucumber in your overall diet. This vegetable reduces cancer risk and blood pressure, but it also improves digestive problems and helps lower your blood sugar levels. The cucumber contains many minerals such as phosphorus and potassium, it has anti-inflammatory properties, and its juice is perfect for homemade face masks. The nutritional value of the cucumber seed is similar, and yes, you can snack on the dried cucumber seed instead of popcorn while watching your favourite series.
5. Not everyone likes spicy food, but many exotic cultures can’t go without it. The green Chilli pepper, for example, is loaded with vitamin C; it is rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron. Consuming the green chilli helps your stomach digest food better due to saliva production. Especially for women, adding this vegetable to your diet helps you lose weight and age slowly. What else could a girl ask from a diet?
6. Cloves come from East Asia and are a tiny but powerful spice. Though relatively unknown in most Western kitchens, it is used in some liqueurs. Its benefits are widely utilised in both the Asian cuisine and the Somali kitchen.
Cloves are filled with antioxidants and contain vitamin A and K. This spice carries anti-bacterial properties in its function. It contributes to a healthy stomach by reducing ulcers and the risk of arthritis and aids in the bones’ recovery process.
It’s a spice mentioned in Islamic medicine; cloves were popular in the early Islamic era for their medicinal purposes. Today it is often used by Muslims to treat toothaches and tongue ulcers.
Cloves also have minerals like potassium and beta-carotene, and this little spice desecrates pleasant aromas.
7. Millet is a type of grain that also grows in mainland Somaliland. Millet contains minerals like iron, potassium, calcium and several vitamin B’s. Moreover, millet grain has a lot of fibres; it’s a gluten-free grain that also contains antioxidants.
8. Karengo or Porphyra umbilicalis is seaweed with a red/purple colour. It is famous in Japanese cuisine and used in the Austral/Asia region. Karenga is an alga that can be processed and used in various ways. Fermented, liquefied in powder form and added to strengthen soups. Moreover, it is available in sheets and dried crumbs as it is also consumed in salads.
Global interest in seafood has surged, but the harvest to cover the demand has stayed behind. However, much is still unknown about the use and purpose of what the ocean offers. Seaweed in many parts of the world is gaining in popularity.
However, known amongst vegans, processed seaweed is gradually winning popularity in the rest of Europe. Though embraced in the French cuisine early on, as of recently, Sweden appears to be the centre of it all.
Karengo is the Maori name for the red algae or Iwanori in Japan. A country that has dedicated an entire day to these algae where it’s also normal to gift the Karengo as a present. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, and just like its green variant, it's excellent for those with stomach and digestive problems. Porphyra umbilicalis is crammed with the crème the la crème of vitamins which in my mind is the B12. Furthermore, it contains minerals like iodine, iron, porphyrin, copper, and niacin. Other vitamins in this red seaweed are A, B, C, E and K vitamins.
9. Sunflower seeds are one of those seeds whose benefits are either unknown or people are just ignorant about the nutritional facts in these seeds.
A few of the minerals in these seeds; are manganese, niacin, selenium, zinc and choline, which are vital for brain development in infants. These superpower seeds have all the B-complex, C and E lots of protein and are gluten-free.
10. Brown rice contains minerals such as niacin, thiamine, and B-6 that help reduce anxiety and stress. Moreover, Brown rice has vitamin D and E; both are essential for the bones and skin. It is high in fibre and protein and suitable for those with high cholesterol as it adds none to your body. Brown rice is the healthiest alternative to rice because it has more vitamins and minerals per 100 grams when compared to other rice. It even contains beneficial carbohydrates, and it is sustainable. Brilliant for your energy levels too.