Black Foods Are The New Superfood Kitchen area | Food
When you think of the colors on your plate, do you already think of black? Well, it’s about time you did! As they are the new power supply. We all know that greens, yellows and reds are packed with nutrients – blacks are less so too!
What are black foods? Foods containing pigments called anthocyanins are called black foods. Anthocyanins are found in black, blue and purple colored foods and have hidden nutrients and benefits galore. These pigments have rich antioxidant properties that promote health and have the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. They play an important role in immunity. They’re fun, healthy, quirky, and a great visual treat too.
Abhilasha V, HOD and Chief Clinical Nutritionist – Cloudnine Hospitals Group, Bengaluru, some interesting and their advantages:
Grown in the belt of Southeast Asia, this rice has a nutty flavor and can be used in many recipes. In China, this was known as Forbidden Rice in ancient times because it was reserved for royalty. Now, some areas in northeast India also grow black rice. They are loaded with lutien and zeaxanthin and promote good eye health. They have anti-cancer properties due to their high content of antioxidants and fiber. They can be used in puddings, stir-fries, risotto, porridge, noodles, bread and even make a great idea for a good kheer!
A surprise closer to home! Indians have used black dal for ages. They are used as sauces and in mixed dal preparations. They’re high in fiber, iron, folic acid, and protein and can be delicious too.
With the western influence on our eating habits, it has brought a long list of good foods. Olives are one of them and they are versatile in their flavor. They can be added to salads, pasta, stir-fries, and some pickles and drinks. Olives contain monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, polyphenols, and oleocanthal, a potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic compound found in olives. This powerful little food can protect your arteries from clogging, maintain eye health, prevent DNA damage, promote healthy skin and also healthy hair.
Black sesame seeds
Commonly known as Til, they offer many benefits, rich in fiber, protein, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, copper, selenium, and vitamin E. It also contains sesamin, which helps reduce inflammation and plays a role. vital role role in joint pain. Yes! All of this in a daily ration of 1 to 2 teaspoons can do wonders for your health. They can be used in salads as a garnish, in laddoos, in breads, smoothies, soups, hummus, dips and even tahini. They can be eaten soaked, sprouted, baked or roasted too.
Known for their sweet taste and popular flavor, black grapes are a favorite for many. This seasonal fruit has many benefits to offer us. Black grapes contain lutein, zeaxanthin which prevents retinal damage and macular degeneration. The resveratrol in grapes is known to have anti-cancer properties and have a huge protective effect on heart health by also lowering LDL levels. The proanthocyanidins present in this fruit also have great benefits for the health of the skin. Use these grapes in salads, smoothies, jams, and even good ol ‘rice curds!
Yes, you heard right. Well, these are not found naturally, but develop this color due to a process that makes them black and widely used in Asian cuisine. It is ordinary white garlic that has been fermented or aged. It has a caramelized and flavorful richness that adds flavor to stir-fries, baked meats, rice and noodle preparations, and soups. These have properties that prevent cell damage and therefore protect us from cancer. Black garlic contains more antioxidants [almost 2X] than its white counterpart. So why wait – add them in small doses to your meals and let your health flourish.
Advantages : As mentioned above, they come with a plethora of benefits such as anti-cancer, anti-aging, healthy eyes, heart, skin and hair.
Disadvantages: Nothing in particular. There is no real toxicity associated with these foods which are reported and considered generally safe, but always remember that too much of anything is not the rule when it comes to nutrition.
Points to remember: Always make sure you are eating a balanced diet that contains all of the food groups, a myriad of colors, nutrients, and varieties – choose in moderation and incorporate them into your daily meal plan with the help of a nutritionist.