When you think of colorful foods – green grapes, red tomatoes and yellow bananas – you think healthy, right?
Well believe it or not, some of the most nutritious foods are black in color.
Black hued foods might not look very appealing, but dietitians and health experts like holistic health counselor Andrea Beaman are urging Americans to take advantage of their amazing health benefits.
“They are so striking in color but they’re also good for us,” said Beaman.
“Choose the rainbow, including black,” added nutritionist Willow Jarosh, explaining that it’s the dark color that makes these foods nutritious. “The more potent the pigment of the plant is, the more potent the antioxidant benefits.”
We all know how important antioxidants are for our health. They destroy “free radicals” which are chemicals created by the body and linked to heart disease, cancer and premature aging.
Many black foods contain “anthocyanins”, powerful antioxidants.
“Studies have shown that they inhibit the growth of cancer cells like all antioxidants,” Beaman said.
And that’s not all, black foods also provide many other nutrients.
For example black berries are high in iron, rich in vitamin C and vitamin K.
“They’re just so sweet and succulent. They’re also high in fiber, you know, and they satisfy a sweet tooth,” explained Beaman.
Black lentils, sometimes called beluga lentils, are high in fiber and vitamin B. Black soybeans are a great source of protein, as are black beans which are also high in fiber and iron. Many people also use black sesame as a flavorful seasoning in a variety of dishes.
One of the most exotic black foods is black rice. This jewel toned grain has more beneficial antioxidants than white or brown rice or even a super food like blueberries. In ancient China, only the emperor was allowed to eat this nutritious grain. But nowadays, it easily accessible and some chefs even like to use it in sushi.
So, increase your variety! The more you can introduce into your diet the better off you will be.