November 09, 2007

Black is the new chocolate

Yes, black foods may just be the next big thing in food according to Janet Helm in a recent Chicago Tribune article.

Helm notes that in some cultures, black foods are considered a sign of good health. For example, she writes that in Chinese medicine, food colors are linked to specific body organs. In that case black food realtes to kidney health.

Again cribbing from her article, black and dark foods are colored by anthrocyanins, a class of natural plant pigments that are also at work in cherries and blueberries. Studies suggest that these anti-oxidants may have anti-inflammatory properties and may offer some protection against cancer and heart disease.

Black is Beautiful
Try these at your next meal

Black beans- great in a salad, hearty winter soup, or if you're not inclined to mess up your kitchen, a burrito from Chipotle or your favorite Mexican joint.

Black vinegar- available at Asian markets, as are products made with black squid ink

Black mushrooms-

Blackberries- the kind you eat

Black nigella- or fennel, seeds, available at Indian markets

Black carrots- yes! Sort of. Click to see a rainbow of carrots

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