The strategic location of Baguio City, being close to different farms around Benguet, makes the city one of the best places to find fresh and healthy produce. The weather and the soil in the mountains make it a good place to grow crops that would not survive in places with a hot climate, which is the majority of the places in the Philippines. Thanks to the cold weather, there are several superfoods that are able to grow in the Philippines.
What are Superfoods?
By definition, superfoods are foods that are packed with nutrients higher than other foods. They contain a huge amount of polyphenols, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals which bring good benefits to the body’s overall well-being.
Going to the Baguio City market and visiting some organic shops in the city, we found out that there is an abundance of superfoods being sold at vegetable stalls and shops. These superfoods are:
- Broccoli – The broccoli is one of the most common superfoods you can find in the Baguio City market. This is because there are several farms in Baguio and Benguet whose primary crop is this green superfood. Broccoli contains a good amount of potassium per 100 grams serving and lots of Vitamin A among other vitamins and minerals. But what makes broccoli a superfood is its dense content of Vitamin C compared to that of oranges.
- Spinach – the 1980’s cartoon Popeye’s most beloved ally, where every time this character eats a can of spinach he get’s a sudden boost of energy and strength. Although it might just be a cartoon, the spinach being a superfood is true. While it does not give you a sudden surge of superhuman strength, it does provide you with the vitamins and minerals you need to combat diseases and maintain a healthy body. What makes the spinach super? Aside from containing a good amount of potassium, which is an element known to aid in maintaining a healthy heart, it is also packed with Vitamin A, which aids in promoting good eyesight.
- Kale – You can find kale at the organic shops beside the Baguio Cathedral and at the Saint Joseph Church. Kale is not a very common vegetable in Baguio City and is not really produced in mass as compared with common “Baguio vegetables” like carrots, potatoes and bell pepper. In fact, Kale is just starting to be introduced in the market here in Baguio. Kale is considered to be a superfood because it contains a huge amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, apart from the other minerals and vitamins that it contains.
- Moringa – Moringa or commonly known as “Malunggay” is considered to be one of the most potent superfoods because of its numerous antioxidant, vitamins and minerals. The best part is, the Moringa or Malunggay is grown mostly in warm areas so other places in the Philippines are not deprived of this superfood. According to research, the malunggay is also packed with amino acids such as lysine, phenylalanine and much more. It’s vitamin C content is found to be more than that of oranges and its potassium content is more than that of a banana.
- Cauliflower – Although the cauliflower doesn’t contain as many vitamins and minerals as compared with the other superfoods, the cauliflower is still considered as such because it still contains vitamins and minerals and the thing that makes this food super is its fiber content. The fiber in cauliflower helps in proper digestion which in turn aid in the proper absorption of nutrients from the food that we take in. Cauliflower is sometimes used as a rice substitute so that you get all the texture, taste and crunch without having to worry about the carbs.
- Strawberries – The strawberry is the most sought after fruit when people visit Baguio City because of the abundance of this fruit in the nearby farms of La Trinidad. Some turn this fruit to jam, some would just like to eat it as it is. The best part though is the fact that the red fruit or pseudo-fruit we came to love is also a superfood. According to scientific research, the strawberry is packed with about 17 amino acids, rich in Vitamin C and packed with potassium. If that is not enough, the strawberry is also a good source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid. Maybe this is why a sliced strawberry resembles the shape of a heart because it contains properties that are good for the heart.
On your next trip to the market, it may be good to keep an eye out for these superfoods and add them to your daily diet.