We all know about the great health benefits of green vegetables, but what about black veggies? Black foods have more antioxidants than light-colored foods because of their high pigment content. So in the words of Wesley Snipes, “Always bet on black.” Here are five foods that prove why:
1. Black Garlic
Black garlic may look frightening but this aged version of garlic actually has twice the antioxidants of regular garlic. Described as being sweet and reminiscent of molasses, black garlic can be used as traditional garlic with delicious results.
In a 2009 mouse study, Japanese researchers found that black garlic was more effective than fresh garlic in reducing the size of tumors. The study was published in the journal Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Science and Technology.
Black garlic is packed with high concentrations of sulfurous compounds, especially one in particular: s-allylcycteine (SAC). Science has shown a number of health benefits from SAC, including stopping the formation of bad cholesterol.
2. Black Mushrooms
Bypass traditional button and Portobello mushrooms for shiitake, black trumpet, and what are called 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.
The 5,000-year-old traditional Chinese medicinal system uses black mushrooms for high cholesterol, atherosclerosis and as a tonic to benefit your overall health. Traditional Japanese medicine employs black mushrooms to treat parasites, circulatory disorders, heart conditions and exhaustion.
3. Black Figs
Black or dark figs are a delicious summer fruit that can be perfectly paired with cheeses and tossed in salads. They are also very high in fiber, potassium, manganese, and a rare fruit source of calcium.
Figs are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure. Since many people not only do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, but do consume high amounts of sodium as salt is frequently added to processed foods, they may be deficient in potassium. A low intake of potassium-rich foods, especially when coupled with a high intake of sodium, can lead to hypertension.
Dark figs are also a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber and fiber-rich foods may have a positive effect on