Nicoya Diet from Costa Rica

The Nicoya Diet - Ingredents to a Long Life Span

Costa Rican cuisine is delicious, filling, and nourishing. Their dishes can make a welcome addition to any Well100 diet.  Costa Rican's plant-based diet mainstays are corn tortillas, beans, and rice, all from locally-grown organic produce. Another mainstay is Chan seeds, small black seeds used throughout Costa Rica and Central and South America. Chan seeds are high in magnesium. Plantains are a carbohydrate rich source of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals such as folate, magnesium, vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6. Plantains are low in fat and sodium.

People living on the Nicoya Peninsula grow their own vegetables. Varieties include bell peppers, cabbage, garlic, wild ginger, green vegetables, onions, plantains, tomatoes, and yams. 

Sunshine and Vitamin D

People living on the Nicoya Peninsula are not lacking in vitamin D, which is a vitamin and a hormone. Your body needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium. When your skin is exposed to the sun, it can produce this hormone on its own. Vitamin D plays a key role in bone health and in reducing the risk of stroke, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and heart disease. The tap water available on the Nicoya Peninsula has high levels of calcium in it; there is more calcium in the water on the Nicoya Peninsula than in any other part of the country. The combination of vitamin D and calcium helps to promote stronger bones, meaning fewer fatal falls and fractures among the elderly, and far less heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.


Plantains and bananas are genetically similar, but plantains are primarily eaten cooked.

Like bananas, plantains are originally from Southeast Asia. However, they are now grown all over the world, including in India, Egypt, Indonesia, and tropical regions of the Americas.

Plantains are usually larger and tougher than bananas, with much thicker skin. They may be green, yellow, or very dark brown.

Plantains are starchier than bananas and not very sweet when green. When ripe, they are sweeter and become more so when cooked. Plantains can be boiled, baked, or fried.

What is the best way to eat a plantain?

Ripe plantains are sweet like a banana, without the banana flavor. They can be eaten raw but are best when fried. The edges caramelize and become crispy like the edges of pancakes cooked in butter.