We talk about eating green food a lot. And we suggest having a colorful diet. But, one thing we’ve never written about before is eating more black foods. No, we don’t mean dyed Halloween treats. Foods with a natural black hue can offer significant health benefits.
Black foods are packed with anthocyanins, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties. It boosts the immune system, helps maintain health and can protect against many diseases. It can be found in many naturally red, blue and purple foods. But black foods have an exceptionally high concentration.
When you hear “black food,” you might think it’s either unappealing or something exotic. But black beans are in every supermarket! They are high in protein and have anti-cancer properties. They are also rich in fiber that helps digestive health and blood sugar. Blackberries are also rich in fiber. They aid heart health as well as the immune system, skin appearance and brain aging. They are among the 10 foods highest in antioxidants and have many phytonutrients. Black tea’s polyphenols lower cell damage and fight free radicals. Plus, the theaflavins can aid cholesterol, weight and blood sugar control. Black olives are another supermarket staple rich in antioxidants and healthy fats. While high in sugar, black grapes are also much higher in antioxidants than red or green grapes. Eggplant is also filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Slightly more exotic foods can often be bought at places like Walmart. The superstores are enormous, and it’s surprising what you find on the shelves if you look for it. Black garlic might not be in your supermarket, but it’s at Walmart. Aging garlic doubles the amount of antioxidants in it. As are things like black lentils. They’re rich in iron, protein and fiber and can aid cholesterol and blood sugar. We’re barely scratching the surface of how many healthy foods there are, and you don’t have to go to special stores to find them all!
One thing to note, many lists of healthy black foods will suggest activated charcoal. It can flush chemicals out of the body, and people praise it for its ability to lower bloating and hangovers. We don’t suggest it. It can remove lots of things from your body, including nutrients and medications. Without speaking to your doctor, we don’t think it’s something anyone should be adding to their diet. While it first became trendy with foodies for its black color and then in wellness circles for its “purifying” abilities, it can be dangerous to people on medications.