10 black foods for health

Does your diet include these black superfoods?

The funky unicorn foods have found a wild counterpart in black foods, an adversary if you may! Also known as Goth foods, black foods are not only a new food trend, but are also labelled as superfoods.

Why are black foods considered superfoods?

There are some like Nori and Black Pasta, which have found a place in the kitchens of renowned chefs and high-end restaurants around the world. But why did these foods make it into the list of superfoods?

Well, black foods contain anthocyanins – a type of pigment that is known to lower the risk of heart ailments, diabetes and even some forms of cancer. Let us look at the benefits that the top 10 black superfoods have to offer:

Here’s our list of black foods for health and an overview of the black food trend:

1. Activated charcoal or activated carbon is widely used in hospitals as a detoxifier. Coconut Ash is also a form of activated charcoal was one of the primary ingredients of the Morgenstern’s Black Ice Cream that became a talking point last year.

Any form of edible activated charcoal helps hangovers and even food poisoning. Pharmacies also sell them in the form of pills to be had with water. Although, if you wish to make something and stock in your pantry, we recommend you try these activated charcoal recipes.

Want some Almond Charcoal Ice cream?

Almond Charcoal Ice cream… yes, it exists! Image courtesy http://967kissfm.iheart.com

 

2. Black Garlic is fermented and contains more antioxidants than a white garlic. The fermentation process eliminates the sugars, which makes it black in colour. This sulphur-rich food fights virus and bacteria, boosts immunity and also helps fight cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

The Black Garlic North America website gives us plenty of beautiful recipes using black garlic, check them out.

 

3. Squid Ink has long been used in a range of cuisines and even condiments. Besides lending a sheen to dishes, it also provides an enhanced flavour like Umami.

Its glutamic acid boosts the flavour of foods and requires you to add lesser salt to your dishes. Italian, Spanish and even South-east Asian dishes widely use Squid Ink. Since this superfood became a favourite of the chefs, Black pasta has been incorporated in many a restaurant menus.

It is said that Squid Ink limits the growth of blood vessels, which helps cancer patients tremendously. Also, it is high in antioxidants and iron, which makes it a health food.

 

4. Black sesame are commonly used in Korean, African and even Indian dishes. These are high in calcium and fibre, which make them a great choice for health food recipes.

Dry-roasting sesame seeds not only boosts the calcium content, but also helps preserve them for longer. You will be amazed to see these recipes with black sesame. Although, our favourite is Amanda’s Black Sesame and Green Tea Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Amanda’s Black Sesame and Green Tea Ice Cream Sandwiches

 

5. Black Rice was once considered to be exclusive royal food for the emperors of the Ming Dynasty. The reason – it was believed to help lengthen one’s life span; this is also why it was ‘forbidden’ for others.

It boasts a unique, nutty flavour that will tease your palate and its colour adds a beautiful contrast to other foods. Rich in antioxidants, black rice helps fight and protect one from common inflammations. Its dietary fibre also aids in weight loss. In fact, its protein and iron content is higher than that found in red rice and even brown rice. And it is gluten-free! Do you need more reasons to switch to black rice?

 

6. Black mushrooms such as black trumpet, wild morels and other edible forest mushrooms are great for immunity. These also check on premature aging and their antioxidants help prevent cancer. Some lesser known black mushrooms include hen of the woods and lion’s mane.

 

7. Black soybeans, like the white ones, are nutritious to say the least. The bioflavonoids present in black soybeans promote better health for eyes and cardiovascular organs and help overall immunity. Besides, they are rich in protein and fibre, which help ensure great energy levels and digestion.

Even though there are plenty of recipes, you can blindly add them to salads or make a dip and use them in any form you like.

 

8. Nori is the dried form of the common red seaweed. Like most seaweeds, it is packed with iodine, vitamins, proteins and fibre. It contains peptides, which regulate blood pressure.

You will find restaurants using dried sheets of Nori for preparing snacks and vegetable wraps.

 

9. Blackberries have become a commonly used black food and in various forms – fruit, cereal and in desserts. We know that health benefits of blackberries are plenty owing to its antioxidants. However, these are also rich in fibre and hence, good for your tummy.

 

10. Black Grapes contain higher levels of anthocyanin in comparison to blackberries, so the benefits are doubled. In fact, the darker the food, higher the pigment (anthocyanin); this applies to all sorts of black-coloured foods. Hence, black grapes promote heart health, regulate blood sugar and maintain optimum brain function. You can use black grapes in many forms, however, to reap maximum benefits, it is best had in its natural form.

Know someone who is a health enthusiast or someone who should definitely learn about the health benefits of black foods? Share this article with them.

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