5 Superfoods that are found all over Goa

In Goa, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for superfoods, especially because so many of them are native to the state.
5 Superfoods that are found all over Goa

The term ‘superfood’ can seem intimidating, and refers to any food item that is packed with antioxidants, bio-flavonoid compounds and health boosting micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and more.

The most common misconception among people is that superfoods are pricey, which couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, many are easily available year round, while others are seasonal. And, the little state of Goa has several of them, but we’ll mention just a few here.


Back in the day, almost every household in Goa had a kokum tree, considering that kokum was a popular souring agent in local curries. Kokum is also used to make kokum juice, as well as a popular drink called Sol Kadhi.

The kokum tree is indigenous to the Western Ghats of India. A plant in the mangosteen family (Clusiaceae), it has culinary, ayurvedic, pharmaceutical and industrial uses such as confectionery, ointments, medication, skin tonics and hair products. The fruit peels are rich in nutrients, including anti-oxidants, anthocyanins, garcinol and hydroxycitric acid to name a few.

Kokum is available in local markets all through the year.

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Garcinia indica

LOCAL NAME: Bhinda/bhirinda

BUY IT FROM: Any local market

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Kokum is the chief ingredient in a healthy Goan drink, called&nbsp;<em>Sol Kadhi</em> </p></div>

Kokum is the chief ingredient in a healthy Goan drink, called Sol Kadhi

PIC CREDIT: OneTeaspoonOfLife


The drumstick/moringa tree grows abundantly all over Goa. The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, and are a significant source of B vitamins, vitamin C, β-Carotene, vitamin K, manganese and protein among other nutrients.

Moringa is beneficial for anaemia, arthritis and joint pain, asthma, cancer, constipation, diabetes, diarrhoea, epilepsy, stomach pain, stomach/intestinal ulcers, intestinal spasms, headache, heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney stones, fluid retention, thyroid disorders, and bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections.

In Goan kitchens, drumsticks are used to make curries and vegetable dishes. Moringa powder is also available in pharmacies nowadays.

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Moringa oleifera

LOCAL NAME: Mashinga pallo

BUY IT FROM: Any local market

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Drumstick leaves, powder and pods</p></div>

Drumstick leaves, powder and pods

PIC CREDIT: healthvision.in


Coconut trees are plentiful in Goa, and coconut is an essential ingredient in Goan food, from gravies to vegetable to sweets. Coconut oil was the chief cooking medium well before packaged oils came along.

Coconut oil is high in medium-chain fatty acids, which are easily digested and absorbed by the body. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties, and is beneficial for teeth, skin, brain function, bones, wounds, arthritis etc.

One of the more modern uses of coconut oil is in the production of dark chocolate.

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cocos nucifera


BUY IT FROM: Any local market

<div class="paragraphs"><p>For centuries, coconut oil was used for culinary and medicinal purposes in Goa</p></div>

For centuries, coconut oil was used for culinary and medicinal purposes in Goa

PIC CREDIT: medicalnewstoday


India is the largest producer of jaggery in the world. Made from the sap of the coconut palm, this dark brown jaggery, is called madachem godd in local parlance, and is an essential ingredient in the Goan Catholic kitchen, finding use in curries and sweets.

Loaded with iron, vitamin C, protein, magnesium and potassium, jaggery is particularly beneficial when the climatic temperature drops.

It is used as a sweetening agent for beverages like tea as it has more nutrient value compared to sugar and is known to improve intestinal health. Some people consume jaggery post meals as a perfect and quick dessert.

It’s traditionally available in the form of solid pyramids in Goa. More recently, it is being sold in granulated form for use as a sugar substitute.

LOCAL NAME: Madachem godd

BUY IT FROM: Local markets, especially Mapusa & Margao

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Goan palm jaggery is sold in the form of pyramids</p></div>

Goan palm jaggery is sold in the form of pyramids

PIC CREDIT: posro.co


Jackfruit is power-packed with nutrients. The seeds are rich in thiamin and riboflavin and small amounts of minerals like zinc, iron, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium. Boiled seeds are used in Goan cuisine in curries and veg dishes. Some people bake them for a healthy alternative to French fries.

The fruits are rich in vitamin C and B, and also contain folate, niacin, riboflavin, potassium and magnesium. They are very popular in Goa, and are eaten plain or cooked in curries or in the form of chips.

The world is waking up to the value of the jackfruit, which is now considered to be the perfect meat substitute for vegans.

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Artocarpus heterophyllus


BUY IT FROM: Any local market, especially in April & May

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Jackfruit is plentiful in local markets in April and May</p></div>

Jackfruit is plentiful in local markets in April and May

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