Fruits and vegetables come in different colors that reflect the nutrients they contain: greens are rich in chlorophyll and phytonutrients, reds in antioxidants, etc.
A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables are necessary for a healthy body.
But what about black foods?
They haven’t exactly gotten the same press as greens. What makes foods black is anthocyanin, an antioxidant flavanoid pigment.
It has been linked to reducing cancer cell proliferation and improving visual acuity.
Don’t overlook these when making choices about incorporating all of the wonderful nutrients nature has to offer into your diet.
1. Black Tea
Readily available, just one cup a day delivers a dose of antioxidants, hot or cold. One study found that black tea reduces recovery time, muscle soreness, and inflammation after an aggressive workout.
Easy to find in most of North America, these yummy berries are good in yogurt, on cereal, or popping them plain.
The antioxidant polyphenols protect you from signs of aging and they have lots of fiber.
3. Black Grapes
With even more anthocyanin than blackberries, the color of the skin indicates how much pigment is present. The darker, the more antioxidants.
Several studies show the benefits of black grapes in the form of heart health, brain function, and blood sugar regulation.
4. Black Lentils
Not as common as yellow and green, the black variety is loaded with iron—about 8 milligrams per serving.
Rich in fiber, they help support your immune system and lower cholesterol.
5. Black Rice
With a robust, nutty flavor, this colored (also called purple or forbidden) rice is a good alternative to white rice. Black rice gets its moniker “forbidden” because:
“…during the Ming Dynasty the rice was called ‘tribute rice’ or ‘longevity rice’, exclusively reserved for the Emperors to ensure their good health and long life.”
6. Black Beans
The bioflavanoids (antioxidants that promote better eyesight, cardiac health, capillary strength, skin appearance, and immune system) in the skin raise these to the superfood level.
Packed with protein and fiber, they’re good for energy, maintaining blood sugar levels, and digestion.
You can add them to salads, soups, casseroles, and mash them for a healthful dip.
7. Black Garlic
Developed in South Korea, black garlic offers nearly twice the amount of antioxidants as its regular counterpart.
Unlike white garlic, which contains Allicin, which is only soluble in fat, black garlic contains S-Allycysteine, which is water soluble.
And in case you were wondering, the black color in this superfood is the result of the sugars being drawn out of the garlic cloves during the fermentation process.
Black Garlic vs. Raw Garlic Nutrient Comparison
(Aged 45 days)
Nature gives us a full palette of foods for good reason; a little of each contributes to our overall good health, well-being, and good eating.