Greens are very healthy, but let's take a moment to look at the amazing benefits of black-colored foods! They are packed with Anthocyanins, which are pigments that may help lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. You may already be familiar with black beans, black raspberries, and black tea, but let's check out some that have a more culinary edge.
Black garlic is an aged version of garlic, and actually has twice the antioxidants of regular garlic. Described as being sweet and reminiscent of molasses, black garlic can be used just the same as traditional garlic with delicious results!
Benefits of Black Rice
1. Rich in Antioxidants
The deep black or the purple hue of the black rice is a marker of its high antioxidant properties. Similar to blackberries and blueberries, that appear deeper in color because of their high content of anti-oxidants. The outermost layer of the grain (the bran and the hull), contains immense amounts of the antioxidant-anthocyanin. In fact the amount of anthocyanin contained in black rice is higher than any other grain, including brown rice, red rice, red quinoa, or other colored whole grain varieties.
Since black rice doesn't undergo any refining or processing, it is able to retain its antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Black rice also contains important antioxidant- Vitamin E, which is useful in maintaining eye, skin, and immune health.
2. Natural Detoxifier The phytonutrients present in black rice help cleanse the body of disease causing toxins (caused by free radicals). Black rice helps the liver (one of the most significant detoxifiers of the body) eliminate unwanted substances through its antioxidant activity. 3. Good Source of Fiber
The black rice has about 3 grams of fiber per half cup serving. This rich fibre content helps regulate the bowel movements, prevent constipation, diarrhea and bloating. The fibre helps bind the toxins and waste within the digestive tract, and flush it all out of the system on completion of the cycle of digestion. Fibre also gives your body a satiated feeling after consumption which prevents you from binging into other fatty food, thus aiding weight loss. 4. Preventing Risk of Diabetes
To ward off the risk of diabetes and obesity, it is advised to consume whole grains instead of just refined carbohydrates. The entire bran of the grain is where the all the fiber is stored in the black rice. The fibre is able to help glucose (sugar) from the grain to be absorbed by the body over a longer duration of time, (Since fibre take the longest to digest), thereby maintaining consistent sugar levels. Read A diabetic's guide to eating rice too. 5. Preventing Risk of Obesity
For people battling obesity, black rice is the best variant of rice to consume. Full of fibre, black rice not only gives you the feeling of being full, thus preventing overeating; studies show that the rice variant can also help prevent insulin resistance, which is often linked to the risk of developing diabetes and obesity. 6. Richer Protein Content
The reason your nutritionist has been asking you to cut down on your rice consumption is because of its high carbohydrate versus very less protein content. Proteins are very essential in building muscles, and cutting down on excess weight. Black rice also offers a minutely increased amount of protein content over other 'healthier variants'. It contains 8.5gms of protein in a 100gms serving, while brown and red rice contains 8gms and 7gms of protein respectively for the same serving. On the other hand, polished white rice contains only 6.8gms of protein.
7. Better Heart Health
Eating black rice may have a positive impact on your healthy cholesterol levels too. The anthocyanins phytochemicals found in black rice, reduces the Low Density Lipo-protein (LDL) cholesterol also known as the bad cholesterol, which is a common contributor to cardiovascular diseases. It also brings down the total cholesterol levels. The book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing, notes, black rice has been proven to actively reduce atheroschlerosis (hardening of the arteries) as well.
Bypass traditional button and Portobello mushrooms for shiitake, black trumpet, and other types of black forest mushrooms. A compound in these mushrooms stimulates the immune system and they contain an antioxidant that can help prevent premature aging and cancer. Start spouting off names like hen-of-the-woods, wild morels, and lion’s mane to impress people further.
Figs are a delicious summer fruit that go perfectly in tossed in salads. They are also very high in fiber, potassium, manganese, and a rare fruit source of calcium.
Health is Wealth! Make that your mantra while you're incorporating some of these wonderful black foods!
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