Move over Taco Cleanse — the Nicaraguan Diet has arrived! This Central American diet is not only tasty, it’s affordable and easy to follow. The best part about it, however, is that it fulfills your dreams of enjoying Taco Tuesday every day of the week.
Regarded as a popular surf spot and an affordable post-grad vacation, Nicaragua, as it turns out, is also a country of incredible cuisine. Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan or just enjoy a damn good taco recipe, this diet has something for you. Here are the top ingredients that make up this nutritionally sound meal plan:
1. Red Beans and Rice: Known as the national dish, this plant-based combo is chock-full of protein, fiber, potassium and plenty of vitamins. What more could you ask for? And if you want to make it extra healthy, go with brown rice.
2. Fish: Due to its vast coastal regions, fish is a staple item on any Nicaraguan menu. This is good news, because fish is a great source of protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for our heart, brain and eyes.
3. Eggs: Whether they’re fried or scrambled, you’re likely to find an egg in every Nicaraguan breakfast. In addition to being super simple to make, eggs are an excellent source of protein, calcium and vitamin B.
4. Mango: Delicious in a salsa, a smoothie or straight from the peel, just one cup of mango provides your entire day’s worth of vitamin C. They’ve also been shown to protect against cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
5. Avocado: Quite possibly nature’s most delicious superfood, avocados are filled with nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. They’re also the only fruit that contains monounsaturated fat, which lowers your bad cholesterol and risk for heart disease and stroke.
6. Plantains: What looks like a banana, smells like a banana but isn’t a banana? You guessed it — a plantain. Inedible in its raw state, a plantain is either baked or fried and used as a starch. Their caramelized sweetness might make you crave them for dessert!
7. Cabbage: You may have noticed that leafy green vegetables aren’t a common element of the Nicaraguan Diet. However, cabbage is usually part of every meal, typically in the form of a slaw. In addition to being low in calories and high in fiber, cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, which means it can prevent cancer.
8. Lime: In addition to taking the sting out of tequila shots, limes are great for spritzing on your fish tacos or adding flavor to your water. They also help reduce inflammation and maintain skin collagen, and who doesn’t want great skin?
9. Cilantro: So much more than a garnish, cilantro is one of the most common herbs used in Nicaraguan meals. It gives everything a Latin flare and is packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin K.
What are your thoughts on the Nicaraguan Diet? Tell us at @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)