The ark swayed in the sea near where the country of Chile and home of the Selva Valdiviana rainforest used to exist. Annie and LJ were there to assess the condition and depth of the water for Gabriel, the leader of the survivors of the 500-day storm that destroyed the earth. He sent them as part of a plan to help determine where a receding ocean would reveal land first. It would be the initial place all arks would gather to begin restoring human habitat.
LJ walked into the seed room to find Annie immersed in the never-ending job of examining the condition of the 930,000 seeds that represented the entire planet’s biodiversity. “Hi babes, according to my calculations, we are right where the Southern Ocean connected to the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.”
“That means we are at the tip of what was Chile,” said Annie, sadly. It was a beautiful, environmentally diverse country.
LJ hugged her, “yes, Chile was devoted to protecting its ecology. Twenty percent of the country’s landmass was designated for its forty-one national parks, forty-five reserves, and seventeen natural monuments. We have seeds from all its flora and fauna on board. Some day they will grow on earth again. We can reminisce about what we used to have before human-induced climate change destroyed our planet, but we must remember our mission now is to protect the seeds and clean up the waters.”
Annie brightened,” you’re right, LJ, and the good news is we have seeds from some of Chile’s best medicinal fruits.” Annie opened a tiny drawer and reached inside, “these seeds produce Lucuma, a native fruit that grew in the Andean valleys. It looks similar to mango and has an inedible seed. It can be eaten raw but was commonly consumed in powder form as a healthier alternative to table sugar. Lucuma is an excellent source of calcium (bone builder), potassium (blood-pressure regulator), phosphorus (formation of bones and teeth), vitamin C (tissue repair), and protein.”
LJ laughed, “I was at the farmer’s market once trying to figure out if it was a mango or a Lucuma. While there, I tasted another native fruit, a Pepino Melon. There are several types, the one with golden skin and purple stripes caught my eye. It tastes like a combination of cantaloupe and honeydew melon, and its skin is edible. It’s also native to Chile.
“I have Pepino melon seeds right here, said Annie. “Research shows Pepinos contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and substantial amounts of potassium, calcium, and vitamin C. They have no sodium but are high in fiber, supporting digestive health and weight loss.”
Annie opened another drawer, “here are Maqui Berry seeds. They are also native to the Chilean rainforest. This tasty berry contains anthocyanins, flavonoids, and more antioxidants than acai, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Researchers indicated Maquis might help slow the progression of diabetes, combat dry eye, and support gut health. They are chock full of potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and protein. The berries can be eaten raw as a juice or powder.”
“Please tell me we have Cherimoya seeds,” LJ said. “It’s also called a Custard Apple because of its creamy texture. They taste like a delicious mix of papaya, coconut, banana, and vanilla. Cherimoyas can be eaten raw or in smoothies, tarts, or topped with yogurt. It’s a good source of protein, vitamins C and B6, Manganese (bone health), Magnesium (nerve & muscle function), Riboflavin (converts carbs, protein, and fat to energy), and Thiamin (converts carbs to energy).”
“Of course, we have cherimoya seeds, sweetheart. They are right next to the Chilean Myrtle seeds. The Myrtle tree, its leaves, flowers, and berries contain potent compounds and nutrients used for thousands of years for food, liquor, and essential oil. Myrtle berries are a source of Quercetin (combats cancer cells and protects cardiovascular health), Catechin (cell protector), and Malic Acid (skin health).
My favorite of the Chilean Rainforest fruits is Rose Hips. They are the fruit of the rose bush that appears after the rose petals have fallen off. The seed-filled bulbs are nutrient-dense. Their compounds help combat LDL (bad) cholesterol, boost immunity due to their high vitamin C content, and regulate blood sugar levels. Their astringent quality helps maintain your skin’s elasticity and youthful appearance.”
Rose Hips help you look young?” asked LJ. “In that case, let’s make sure we always have a supply.”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.