Why this Peruvian Ingredient Should be an Essential in Your Supplements
Peru is abundant with healthy and flavorful ingredients that its traditions are filled with healthy recipes. One of their most nourishing and delicious superfoods is chicha powder, made of Peruvian purple corn as the main ingredient.
Peruvian purple corn is a variety of corn native in Peru and has been in the cultural pantry since the Incan times. It is the main ingredient in a lot of dishes, desserts, and drinks in Peru. Aside from its versatility in the kitchen, purple corn is a superfood, meaning it’s rich in nutrients that improve the body’s health.
The taste of chicha is not just exclusive to Peru. The superfood is enjoyed globally, from mixologists to health enthusiasts all over the world. Get to know this drink and try it out in your own home.
What is Chicha Morada?
Chicha Morada is a Peruvian drink that dates back as early as the Incan times. Of course, there have been a few upgrades to the recipe since then, but it’s prepared in the same concept as an iced tea; prepare, boil the ingredients to extract the flavors, and then serve cold. Here is a recipe you can try out yourself:
Benefits of Chicha
Packed with Antioxidants
Purple corn is rich in anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant with various health benefits such as anti-viral properties and fights off diabetes. It contains about 16.4mg/g of anthocyanins, much higher than blueberries. Anthocyanins are also studied to prevent skin damage from UV rays and lower the risk of cancer.
Studies have also shown that purple corn in chicha contains an antioxidant named C3G, one of the most potent antioxidants in terms of antioxidative strength. This antioxidant is forty times stronger than vitamin E in UV ray protection by inhibiting fat cell oxidation. It means that the antioxidant is capable of preventing the formation of cancers and diseases such as atherosclerosis.
These antioxidants are responsible for the purple coloration of the corn, so don’t be intimidated by the color.
Chicha has mainly been part of Peruvian culture for its taste and how it benefits the body.
Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The antioxidants from purple corn and the vitamin C from the fruits in Chicha Morada all have anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds reduce the inflammatory response created by our body that persists after getting sick or when we consume too many processed foods. Chronic inflammation results in chronic diseases, including cancer, so it is vitally important to consume anti-inflammatory nutrients to improve health.
It is also known that cinnamon is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds and a great ingredient with Chicha Morada. Having that cinnamon profile in the drink doesn’t just give vibrance to your beverage, and it provides added nutrients to ward off inflammation.
Beneficial for Eye Health
Purple corn contains two carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are compounds present in vegetables that, when consumed, promote healthier eyes and vision. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are present in the macula of our eyes to protect the underlying layer from unwanted light leading to macular degeneration.
Lutein and zeaxanthin in purple corn help prevent macular degeneration in the eyes by maintaining the proper optical density in the macular pigment of the eyes. Studies have also shown that these two nutrients together reduce the generation of free radicals in the eye and prevent cataracts as people age.
Chicha is a delicious superfood you can enjoy outside of Peru. It’s available in various shops for you to try out.You can find it at your local health food store. Or, try it today in our Chicha Smoothie.