So you’re aware that wearing black makes a guy look trim and dandy and a gal sexy ‘n’ svelte. But did you know, there are several healthy black foods, which have been around forever, but have been rediscovered as a particularly important ingredients in your diet?
Black Foods are good for you. They can fortify your kidneys, strengthens your heart and build up your immunity.
Here is a List of 10 Healthy Black Foods you should include in your Diet-
Black Berries are among the top ten antioxidant rich foods. It polyphenol antioxidants regulate metabolism and keep you trim. They are an excellent source of vitamins C, A, E, K, mineral and fibre. So we have better digestive health, a strengthened immune defense, a reduced risk of type II diabetes, prevention of heart disease and haemorrhoids. Ployphenols may help prevent breast and cervical cancer too, while anthocyanins in berries help memory retention.
So indulge in this berry tasty, nutrient dense food- as a snack or dessert. They contain only 62 calories per cup.
Black beans figure among the world’s 50 super foods. Also known as pinto beans, they are rich in flavonoids, protein and fibre all the better to prevent type 2 diabetes, keep you heart healthy, your arteries, plaque free and prevent colon cancer.
Soaking the beans in water and then throwing off the soaked water helps get rid of the indigestible starch called oligosaccharides that cause flatulence. After which you can cook the beans in fresh water over a stove or in pressure cooker.
Two cupful a week is good enough to derive all the health benefits black beans offer.
Yet another of the world’s 50 healthiest foods that is native to India. Pepper is today the most widely used spice in the world. It was once used as currency and presented to the Gods as offering.
Just as you sneeze if you sniff at a whole handful, black pepper seasoning stimulates your taste buds and whizzes off an alert to your stomach to increase hydrochloric acid, essential to your digestion. Black Pepper is very useful to cure acidity, gas, constipation, diarrhoea.
Black Pepper is rich with some healthful ingredients such as magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K and fibre which not only add flavour to your meals and preserves it too but also relieves respiratory disease, vitiligo and insect bites. As an added bonus, it breaks down fat cells to keep you slim.
It’s best to DIY. Grind whole peppercorns rather than buy ready-made powder which not only lose their zing but may be adulterated.
Black Sesame Seeds:
The Chinese start their day with a tonic prepared from ground black sesame seeds mixed with hot water as a little fountain of youth. Ayurveda uses sesame to arrest ageing and greying hair.
They’re tiny cholesterol fighters, chockfull of sesame, sesamolin and dietary fibre. They support cardiovascular and respiratory health, reduce inflammation; protect against colon cancer and osteoporosis.
A quarter cup offers these minerals:
125 mg of magnesium (32% of your daily requirements)
350 mg of calcium (with hulls) (35% of your daily requirement- and more than a cup of milk)
1.5 mg of copper (74% of your daily requirement)
2.5 mg of Zinc (15% of your daily requirement)
All these micro-nutrients regulate your blood pressure, lessen tension and migraine headaches, help regulate sleep patterns and build collagen (the compound that keeps skin cells youthful and plump)
Their dark hue comes from flavonoids. More vibrant the color a grape, higher is the percentage of flavonoids. Resveratrol and Quercitin are the two main flavonoid compounds which are supposed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular illnesses.
They work by decreasing the formation of blood clots in the arteries and platelet clumping and preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol which is the main initiating factor for damaged and hardened arteries. Grapes also hike up nitric oxide levels which helps keep penile arteries supple.
Grape skin is rich in phenolic compounds that help inhibit a group of enzymes known as protein tyrosine kinases which maintains cell regulation and also hinders tightening of blood vessels thus decreasing the blood flow to the heart.
Saponis-Phytonutrient compounds present below the skin of grapes bund with cholesterol and prevent its absorption. They help to curb inflammatory pathways and protect against heart disease and cancer. Grapes also help to combat hypertension, protect against lung cancer, lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and act as anti-aging agents.
Three thousand years ago it was the food of the Emperor of China, but forbidden to the common man.
With a nutty flavour, black rice which turns purple when cooked contains vitamin B, niacin, vitamin E, calcium, iron and zinc in higher levels than the common white rice. It is rich in anthocyanin antioxidants, which are water soluble and so reach every nook ‘n’ cranny of your body. It may help protect against cancer, type-2 diabetes, heart disease like heart attack and Alzheimer’s.
The health benefits are in the bran and it can be powdered and dusted on fish or pancakes.
Black Olives are very healthy and has lots of health benefits. The difference between green and black olives is that the black are allowed to ripen fully before being harvested and processed.
Black olives burst with flavonoids, polyphenols, vitamin E, mono-saturated fats, fibre and iron. Don’t be worried about the salty flavour, because it is within the recommended range.
Back Olives, a flavourful anti-inflammatory food which lowers cholesterol and strengthens your cardiovascular system. The ancient Chinese used them to treat coughs.
Heart healthy olive oil is made from pressed black olives. You can use it for Greek salads, pizzas, tapenade spread; bake them into your bread-or into any continental dish that you want to make special.
Black currants come from a shrub and have a pleasant tart taste. The high levels of anthocyanin’s and vitamin C (3 times more than oranges) make them a disease bursting antioxidant powerhouse-anti diuretic, anti-diarrhea, anti-rheumatic, anti-uric acid, anti-exhaustion, anti-menopausal symptoms, anti-heart diseases.
Dried black currants are high protein, low fat, high fibre with copper, manganese and potassium, too. They help lower the risk of type-2 diabetes, cholesterol, digestive disorders and osteoporosis.
Make a tonic of one tsp of dried black currants and 250 ml of water. Cook till it bubbles for 30 minutes. Drink up in a day. It is great for your skin.
Black mushrooms (Shiitake) are yet another super food among the world’s 50 healthiest. They have been used medicinally by the Chinese for 6000 years and are a symbol of longevity in Asia.
Black shiitake mushrooms are believed to have anti tumour, anti-viral properties and may help relieve arthritis and allergies because they are abrim with B vitamins, iron, selenium and copper. They can protect against cardiovascular disease (including hardening of the arteries)
It’s a super food too, made from oxidized leaves which are fermented and dried. After which they turn black. Black tea was used as currency in Asia because it keeps its flavour and colour for years.
It contains antioxidants called catechism which protect the artery walls against damage and prevent the formation of blood clots and pushes up good HDL cholesterol; manganese which helps cardiac function; polyphenols which prevent the formation of carcinogens (Specially of oral, stomach, prostate, breast cancers) and kills malignant cells, leaving normal cells alone. They stop irritable bowel syndrome, banish acne better than harsh benzoyl peroxide and build stronger bones. New research suggests that black tea may protect against Parkinson’s disease too.