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Dark Foods = Nutrition Champs

Dark Foods = Nutrition Champs

We all know that beans, teas, fruits and veggies are good for us but there are some that come out on top when it comes to 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.

Check out a few of these dark-colored foods that may be a better option the next time you decide to chow down and see what foods our experts recommend for living healthier.

*Black rice – Sure, 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, and research has shown that the deep pigments help to reduce cardiovascular disease.

*Black beans – Just like rice, these babies house more fiber and anti-disease nutrients than their lighter bean counterparts. Studies show black beans’ skin contains 24 plant compounds that help slow the development of colon, liver and breast cancer cells.

*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.

*Blackberries – This small fruit boasts antioxidants galore, similar to its blueberry, raspberry and pomegranate friends. The polyphenols have shown to reduce colon cancer cells and prevent chronic inflammatory diseases.

Other great dark-colored foods include black mushrooms, potatoes and yes, even carrots. What are some of your favorites? Share some of your “dark” recipes with us! [Health]

Posted: 8/4/08
carolineshannon

VBianchini -- Actually, beets are known as “red spinach,” and you will find its natural pigments are serious cancer fighters (as shown in "Foods That Pack a Punch!"). So, you are right on track! I am not a beets lover, but I do love my blackberries. Your recipe, however, sounds interesting, so I may just have to give beets another shot! Thanks!

VictoriaB

I love beets. Are they a dark food? A friend gave me a good recipe. She said to buy fresh, whole beets, wash them, drizzle some olive oil on them, wrap them in foil and bake them in the toaster over for like 45 minutes. They taste great just like that!