Exotic foods to introduce into our diet

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Joe Dispenza


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“Exotic” for us has the double meaning of something that comes from a distant and foreign land, and of something decidedly different and unusual. This term, which in the food field is often associated with fruit, cooking and food in general, has no strict parameters: what was exotic in the past is now no longer so and what is exotic. today it won't be tomorrow anymore. What makes a food cease to be exotic is the habit of consuming it, hence its stable and regular entry into the diet and food culture.

Nowadays the cuisine of the countryside is no longer as dominant as in the past, and on balance perhaps not even in the past it never was, but if in the past the el paeseni followed more regional dietsinstead of the national one, now, also due to globalization and immigration, we find in the country many foreign cuisines and, consequently, many ingredients from distant lands: spices, vegetables, fruit, sauces.

More rarely foods based on animal products because many of them, which at home respect local laws, would not be such in the country: one thing we can boast of is that the food laws and the country are among the most restrictive and safe in the world, not only to protect the quality of the product, but also the health of the consumer. We now come to a possible list of exotic foods that deserve to be introduced regularly in our diet, as happened to bananas, corn, tomatoes and thousands of other foods that are now "classic" and sometimes even "local".



L'okra is a mallow that produces fruits generally known as okra, bindhi, lady finger or okra. It is native to the Indian peninsula but is also highly consumed in Africa. The fruit resembles a small friggitello pepper, striped and slightly hairy. Cutting it we discover that it contains seeds and a gel rich in healthy mucilage. It is frequently found in ethnic food stores and the reasons why it should be introduced by us are many: the first is because it grows without too much difficulty, is rich in excellent fiber and prevents diabetes; excellent content of vitamins (K, B, E), helps in cases of constipation and sunburn; protégé from colon cancer and kidney problems.


Read also Vegan recipes with okra >> 



The avocado it is a magical and inimitable fruit, a source of fat as it is not found elsewhere. Nowadays they are also able to grow in Sicily and Calabria and in any case they can be found organic. Rightly considered a superfood, avocado is one of the few sources of fat that can be assimilated raw and without transformation, as is the case with olive or seed oil. It is extremely nutritious, an important source of vitamin K and vitamin C; contains more potassium than bananas, protects the heart and helps assimilate the nutrients contained in other foods, especially carotenoids.


Winged beans

I winged beans are a variety of tropical green beans that are easy to find in Asia. They look truly exotic and they are not  difficult to find in ethnic food stores. Why prefer them to local green beans? It is not a question of preferring but of alternating: Winged beans are richer in chlorophyll, fiber, antioxidants (especially in the purple varieties) and less in proteins.



Passion fruit

It is occasionally found on exotic fruit stands and as an aroma in fruit juices but the passion fruit is a noble fruit and deserves to be consumed regularly. More' it grows without too much difficulty in the South. There are several species, more sweet or acidic but all share the fact of being a very rich source of minerals and antioxidants; also rich in fiber, it has a slight laxative power linked to its ability to protect the colon from cancer. Excellent source of Vitamin C and good source of Vitamin A.


Read also 3 recipes with passion fruit >>


Potato Chips

The sweet potato is not exactly an exotic food but it is not even part of the country culture, if anything we find it rooted in some region. Similar in all respects to the potato, but with a sweetish taste that reminds a little of the pumpkin and a little of the chestnut, Batata is one of the number one suspects on the list of foods that help you have a long life: very rich in antioxidant flavonoid pigments, it is a caloric food rich in amylose, a sugar that raises the glycemic index in an extremely slower way than other sugars such as glucose or fructose. Rich in minerals and B vitamins, it grows very well in the country and its leaves are a delicacy and a superfood.


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