How are you doing, fellow food adventurers?

If you’re like me, you like to explore new foods. I love pizza and tacos as much as the next guy, but I also want to get the most health mileage out of the foods I eat. Sometimes, this involves exploring staples from other countries to find new foods that are tasty and also packed with nutrients.

One such place is Costa Rica, which is famous for the long lives of its residents in the City of Nicova, where people are about twice as likely to reach the age of 90 than people in the US, as noted by the BBC (https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200429-nicoya-the-costa-rican-peninsula-where-centenarians-thrive). If you haven’t already, it’s time to give these Costa Rica medicinal foods a try.

Chan seeds

Widely used throughout Costa Rica and other parts of Central and South America, the triangular chan seed is similar to the chia seed but does not come from the same plant. These seeds are usually soaked and used in beverages such as a lemonade or tea. Because of their mucilage content, chan seeds are also used to aid digestive health and ease issues such as indigestion and constipation. These seeds are also full of magnesium, which may help lower blood pressure.

Cassia grandis honey

In Costa Rica, residents use a delicious natural syrup made without sugar. Instead, the sweetener is a substance found in the Cassia grandis’ tree pods, which is found in southern Mexico and South America. This syrup, know to many as Cassia grandis honey, is mixed with milk for an easily-digestible beverage and is also used a natural sweetener.

This honey is great source of energy that is rich in iron and can also help ease digestive troubles and stimulate an appetite.

Hearts of palm

Chances are you may have seen hearts of palm, which are becoming more popular in the US. Made from the inner core of some palm tree types, hearts of palm are low in fat and packed with nutrients. These hearts are traditionally eaten raw or cooked in salads, and they are easy to prepare. They are also rich in many minerals, including potassium, iron, copper and zinc. The dense stalk vegetable is also used to help regulate weight because it is low in calories and fat.

There are many ways to work these wonder foods in your diet. Give Costa Rican foods a try today–maybe you’ll increase your odds of living longer!