Let’s face it, women don’t always feel super. For me, this sluggish feeling happens around that time of the month. It also happens when I’ve strayed too far away from healthier eating habits. My Jamaican elders have instilled in me that food is also medicine. Internalizing this has brought me from the defeat of fatigue to the victory of strength. Like other Caribbean islands, Jamaica has influences from all over the globe. As a result, a bunch our power replenishing foods and spices can be found outside of the Caribbean as well. The following are my top 4 Caribbean inspired ingredients that leave me both nostalgic and pumped!
1. Ginger Root
Menstrual bloating and glutenous bloating are no match for the ginger root. Though available in the dried variety, fresh ginger can be that one-two punch that I need to pick myself back up. I love adding it to smoothies, curry dishes, and tea just to name a few. My digestion thanks me whenever I consume fresh ginger.
2. Pimento berries/seeds (Allspice)
Pimento seeds not only allow me to add more flavor to my food, but also give me an unexpected burst of energy. Energy is what every superwoman needs! Whether ground or added whole to virtually any savory dish or drink, a few days of regular pimento seed use lead to good vibes. I’ve even seen a drastic decrease in my sporadic ankle swelling after using pimento seeds more often.
3. Hot Peppers
Scotch bonnet peppers, wiri wiri peppers and many other Caribbean varieties help give me that extra push I need to cross the finish line of digestion. Adding these hot chilis to my complex carbs, stews, curries, and egg dishes almost instantly mek (make) me run to the bathroom whenever I’m having a bit of trouble. I mean, who can take on the world when they are all stopped up? In addition to that, my belly jiggles a little less since these hot peppers help keep my belly fat from going completely out of control.
4. Coconut Milk
My favorite fat in the entire world has to be coconut milk. As a curvy woman, I need to keep my starch intake in check, and coconut milk helps me stay satiated while cutting my carbs a bit. I’ve always struggled with inflammation, so it is no surprise that foods with anti-inflammatory factors are a huge part of the foods I use to move from a bloated and sluggish hot mess, to a mildly bloated and energetic superwoman. Coconut milk is the star of many of my savory dishes like curry, and my sweeter dishes like porridge.
Women are strong and resilient, but we can get sluggish as well. If you’re ever feeling less than your heroic self, then give these four ingredients a try. Whether used separately, or all at once, I’m sure your gut will thank you. Not all heroes wear capes, so protect your fabulous female self by starting from within. Walk good!