Where superfoods come from


Published December 09, 2013

| The Daily Meal

Where superfoods come from

Where superfoods come from

Tracing the origin of some of the most popular superfoods.

Low-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is regarded as one of the oldest foods known to the human race, with the earliest form reportedly made in Mesopotamia estimated at 5000 B.C. The word yogurt comes from a Turkish word that means to curdle or to thicken, and yogurt has been a popular part of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine for a long time. 

Several countries have since adopted different variations of yogurt, from thick and sour to creamy and smooth. Low-fat, plain yogurt has long been considered a real superfood, and within recent years, the protein-packed Greek yogurt has become very popular around the world. In Greece, yogurt has been (and still is) used in many traditional recipes, and is often eaten for breakfast with honey.


With a protein value equal to that of milk, and packed with nutrients and vitamins, quinoa is definitely a health-packed little grain. The first use of quinoa can be traced back to about 5,000 years ago in Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia, where it was a staple part of the Incan diet.


It is estimated that blueberries have been growing in North America for more than 13,000 years, and that Native Americans used blueberries, leaves, and roots for medicinal purposes. These "super berries" are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate (when eaten in small amounts) can actually be really good for you, as cocoa beans contain high amounts of antioxidant super-nutrients known as flavonoids. Chocolate and cocoa that is rich in flavonoids has been shown to have anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory effects, which in theory could lower the risk of heart disease. 

The history of chocolate goes back about 3,000 years, when people in Central America made seeds from the cacao tree into a drink known as xocolatl or "bitter water." After the Spanish conquest, cocoa beans were brought back to Europe, and after a long time of purely using chocolate in a liquid format, the first actual solid chocolate was created in Italy in the late 18th century.

Check out the history of more superfoods.

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