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Black is the new colour of superfoods

Black garlic contains more antioxidants [almost 2X] than its white counterpart. So why wait -add them in small doses into your meals and let your health thrive.

SNS | New Delhi |

We usually associate bad things with black and good things with white and other bright colours. If a food turns black we often consider it as a stale  and not fit to eating. 

From our childhood we are always told to add more colourful foods in our daily diet for a healthy lifestyle. So it’s very obvious to know that green foods are loaded with nutrients. But how many of us know that black foods are as powerful as other colour foods like yellow, green and red.  

Nowadays, foods with darker shades are in trend and considered as super foods for our health. Black colour foods are black because of the pigment known as anthocyanin. This component is usually found in dark coloured foods such as  blue, black and purple food items. They have hidden nutrients and are rich in antioxidant properties. They are not only trending over the internet because of their intriguing colour but because they reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke. They help improve our immunity. They are fun, healthy, offbeat and make for a nice visual treat too.

Here we list a few black superfoods that you can incorporate in your diet on a daily basis.

Black Rice

Black rice is cultivated in the Southeast Asian belt. This dark coloured is rich in anthocyanins and has a nutty flower. It has a history of being consumed in China initially only by the royal families.  Black rice consists of certain antioxidants that can help to boost eye vision. They have cancer fighting properties due to their high antioxidant and fiber content. They are used in recipes such as puddings, stir fries, risotto, porridge, noodles, bread and even makes a great idea for a good kheer!

Black Grapes

They are rich in flavour and sweetness. They are loved by kids and many adults. Though it’s a seasonal food, it has numerous benefits as they contain Lutein, Zeaxanthin which help in preventing retinal damage and macular degeneration. The component resveratrol in grapes is known to have anti-cancer properties and it has a huge protective effect on cardiac health by lowering LDL levels too. Proanthocyanidins present in this fruit have great benefits for skin health too. Use these grapes in salads, smoothies, jams, and even good old curd rice!

Black Dal

A closer to home surprise! Indians have used black dal since ages. They are used as gravies and in mixed dal preparations. They are rich in fibre, iron, folate and protein and can be quite delicious too.

Black Olives

With the western influence on our eating habits, it has brought along a long list of good foods. Olives are one of them and they are versatile in their flavour. They can be added to salads, pastas, stir fries and some pickles and drinks too. Olives contain monounsaturated fats, Vitamin E, Polyphenols and oleocanthal — which is a strong anti-inflammatory and pain-killer compound found in olives. This little power-packed food can protect your arteries from clogging, maintain eye health, prevent DNA damage, promote good skin health and also hair health.

Black sesame seeds

Commonly known as Til, they come with a huge bunch of benefits, loaded with fibre, protein, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcim, zinc, copper, selenium and Vitamin E. It also contains sesamin, which helps reduce inflammation and plays a vital role in joint pain. Yes! All of that in a daily allowance of 1-2 teaspoons can do wonders for your health. They can be used in salads as garnish, in laddoos, in breads, smoothies, soups, hummus, dips and even tahini. They can be consumed soaked, sprouted, baked or roasted too.

Black Garlic

Usual white garlic when aged or fermented through a process turns black. Yes you heard that right. Well these aren’t naturally found, but develop this colour due to a process that turns them black and used widely in Asian cuisine. It possesses a caramelized, savoury richness that adds flavour to stir fries, meat bakes, rice and noodles preparations and soups too. These have properties that prevent cell damage and hence protect us from cancers. Black garlic contains more antioxidants [almost 2X] than its white counterpart. So why wait -add them in small doses into your meals and let your health thrive.

* Advantages: As mentioned above they come with a pile of health benefits such as anti-cancer, anti-ageing, good for eye, heart, skin and hair health too.

* Disadvantages: Excess of everything is bad. There are no real toxicities associated with these foods that are reported but they should be consumed in appropriate limits. 

* Points to remember: Always make sure that you take a balanced diet that contains all food groups, myriad colours, nutrients and varieties — choose in moderation and build them into your daily meal plan with the help of a nutritionist.