Thursday, 2 August 2012

Dark Foods !

Well there is a dark side to food too ! But strangely we are not discussing anything evil or negative in nature today. With food, the darker it is, the better it is for you. 

From cliched black rice to black tea, black is back. For many cultures, dark-hued foods have long been a diet staple. Like in Latin cooking, count on frijoles negros to be prominent on your plate. Pakchoi, kale and lollo rosso are popular. Well now, 'dark foods' is the hot, enticing culinary trend. Beyond the ever-changing food fads, dark food isn't just a novelty; it is a nutritional powerhouse that is part of a healthy diet.  Black food is in and has all to do with improved awarness.

For centuries, black food has been part of a traditional Asian diet. According to ancient Chinese medicine, dark foods nourish the blood and are considered a tonic for the kidneys that are tied to a person's energy channel. The consumption of black food is believed to revitalize the body, promote healthy organ function and balance and regulate the system. Today it has become a fashionable health food the world over. Upscale menus feature black mushrooms, black soy and black vinegar, having the most-nutritious-food title. In fact, deep pigments are known to pack antioxidants that help fight heart disease, inflammation and various cancers, just to name a few.

Few of these dark-colored foods may be a better option which experts recommend for healthier living :

  • Blackberries, Blueberries, Dark Cherries, Raspberry, Pomegranate – They boast antioxidants galore. The polyphenols have shown to reduce colon cancer cells and prevent chronic inflammatory diseases.
  • Black beans – They house more fiber and anti-disease nutrients than their lighter bean counterparts. Black bean skin contains 24 plant compounds that help slow the development of colon, liver and breast cancer cells.
  • Black rice – Brown rice is a great whole grain food but black rice packs disease-fighting vitamins in addition to good digestive properties. Red and purple rice have also been a long-time favorite throughout Asia,  the deep pigments help to reduce cardiovascular disease.
  • Black tea – Green and oolong teas are healthy favorites, but health experts have found that darker tea may help to protect the heart, in addition to lowering risk for cancer and neurological problems that often come hand-in-hand with age. 
Other great dark-colored foods include black mushrooms, red-potatoes, spinach, red beet, broccoli, edamame, asparagus, plums, dark chocolate, tomato, even carrots and red wine. Which also means in terms of plant-based foods those that fall on the darker end of the color spectrum tend to be the healthiest. The benefits come from anthocyanins, the pigments that give fruit and vegetables their deep color, like the blue in blueberries, the purple in eggplants and the near black in blackberries. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that protect the human cells. Many of the dark ingredients also find a place in  top 10 'Super Foods'.

Wearing black is known to make you look slimmer, but eating black food can actually help you lose weight. Making better food choices is the nutritional cornerstone to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. One way to do that is by choosing more dark colored food. Just by swapping out light for dark, like whole grain or rye bread for white, or pale lettuce for dark green, you will be adding nutrients and flavor without adding calories. 
People are discovering all kinds of black food like black carrots, black eel and black chicken. But if you are not up for a culinary adventure, you can still inject your daily diet with a healthy dose of black by choosing your foods with thought and tact. 

By : 
Devraj Halder

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