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Black Super Foods: Black Is the New Green
Ok, so everyone knows that green, especially dark green, veggies are the way to go as far as super healthy foods go. But there’s a new kid in town, black super foods. They are absolute powerhouses of nutrition! Their black color comes from anthocyanins, pigments within the plant that can lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Ounce for ounce, black foods have a higher level of antioxidants than their lighter colored cousins due to their darker color. If you can’t find some of these dark hued beauties at your local market, your local natural health food store is sure to have them.
Check out our list of the top 6 black super foods.
1. Black Beans
Cornell University did research that showed that the dark skins of black beans are full of bioflavonoids, a very strong plant based nutrient that can protect you against cancer (see more tips how to prevent cancer). They are packed full of protein also, so they are a great choice for vegetarians. But you don’t have to be a vegetarian to get benefits from the protein in black beans. These little black powerhouses have no cholesterol and only trace amounts of saturated fat. Pair rice with black beans and you have a great meal as they provide you will all the essential amino acids that your body needs. Black beans also have iron, calcium, potassium, and potassium. Don’t forget their high fiber content either. These little beauties have it all!
2. Black Soybeans
Kick edamame to the curb, here come black soybeans. A study performed in Korea found that black soybeans greatly reduce the risk of developing a type of life threatening blood clot known as thrombosis. Green and yellow soybeans can’t do that! Black soybeans are high in many phytonutrients including vitamin K, iron, copper, magnesium, riboflavin, and manganese. Low in cabs, yet high in fiber, they also have super antioxidant properties. They don’t taste quite as soybean-ish as the yellow variety do. Many people say they taste more like black beans, but they don’t have the carb content, so for those on a low carb diet, black soybeans are the answer to your prayers. Use these anywhere you would beans such as bean soup, refried beans, or chili.
3. Black Tea
Most of thing of green tea when it comes to healthy drinks, but good old fashioned black tea has plenty of benefits to offer. Rutgers University in New Jersey did a study that showed that the theaflavins in black tea, which are high in antioxidants, can help you recover from the typical muscle soreness you get after a hard workout session. Black tea can also reduce your risk of having a heart attack (see how to prevent heart disease) . So you don’t always have to think green when it comes to your tea; black is also a great way to go!
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4. Black Rice
Everyone knows that brown rice is better for you than white, but black rice is better still! The bran hull of black rice has much higher levels of vitamin E, and antioxidants that their lighter colored cousins. Antioxidants bolster your immune system and protect your cells from those nasty free radicals that love to do damage to your body. The Louisiana State University Agricultural Center did a study that showed black rice actually has more antioxidants than blueberries!
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5. Black Lentils
These tiny legumes are packed full of iron. Just one cup has 8 milligrams, that’s half of the iron you need every day. They have lost of soluble fiber, which lowers your cholesterol levels as well as improve your immune function, according to a study done at the University of Illinois.
Blackberries are another fiber rich food, with one cup having 8 grams of the 25 grams of daily fiber needed for good health. Blackberries also have polyphenols, which studies show help slow the cognitive decline that often accompanies old age. Polyphenols are the housekeepers of the brain, if you will, as they clean up dead or dying cells that can impair the function of the brain, this according to researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. Blackberries are also antioxidant rich food.