Chaya: the Yucatecan superfood with high nutritional content

Mérida, Yucatán (January 17, 2021) Thanks to the excellent chef Julio Ku, we were fortunate to savor one of the most nutritious dishes in the Mayan world, the queen’s arm. We once again recalled an expression of the Yucatecan intellectual José Díaz Bolio, one of the great researchers and compilers of Mayan science, who says: “mixing chaya with corn and pumpkin seeds gives human beings the ability to survive for a long time for the nutrients and the energy they provide when combined.

And with regard to chaya, several investigations testify that chaya is rich in iron and good quality protein, but that it also contains crude fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamins A and C, in addition to carotenoid compounds, minerals magnesium, sodium, copper, and zinc, essential for brain functions and growth.

The nutritional properties of its leaves are superior to those of spinach, amaranth, cabbage or lettuce. Hence it is known as the Mayan spinach. Among its most prominent therapeutic uses, it should be noted, the decrease in blood glucose levels for diabetics, regulation of high blood pressure and, in addition, the supply of antioxidants is included in the package.

But apart from regulating blood pressure, deflating the veins, lowering the level of cholesterol and uric acid, we cannot omit one of its main benefits: its ability to retain calcium and expel it from the kidneys, facilitate digestion and avoid constipation.

Another great therapeutic effect attributed to chaya is its hypoglycemic power, that is, it works as an aid in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, since it is capable of lowering blood glucose levels.

Due to the amount of iron, this leaf can help fight and prevent anemia, as this essential mineral is required to produce hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that is responsible for transporting oxygen to the lungs and to different parts of the body.

The “Chaya” (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius), aundant in the Yucatan.

Chaya helps fight free radicals that prevent premature aging, in addition to preventing overweight.

Consuming chaya regularly helps reduce cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Apart from enjoying it in various dishes, a practical way to consume it is in capsules.