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The Black Super Foods

Updated on November 9, 2011
black rice
black rice

Black Super Foods: A List of 8 and the Benefits

Add black to the list of colors for super healthy foods and most are readily available. Below is a list of super foods and their healthy benefits. Some you probably already use, such as black pepper, and others you may want to try, like black rice.

1 - Soy Sauce - Soy sauce, also known as soya sauce, has an antioxidant that helps decrease free radical damage and improves blood flow for several hours after you eat. What makes it so potent is the fermented soybeans and molasses. This makes soy sauce 10 times more powerful at eliminating free radicals than red wine. Another surprise is that it's 150 times more powerful than vitamin C and E. A plus when using soy sauce is that you can reduce the table salt in your diet. Make sure it's real soy sauce and not those little packets often given out in Chinese restaurant - those are filled with sugar, coloring and artificial flavoring .

Note: Soy sauce has a taste known as umami in Japanese, which is a savory taste. (For more information about umami, see links below - the interview with a food taster, and umami foods - they help make you feel full longer).

2 - Black Rice - One of my favorite foods and it is served at the local Japanese restaurant. High in nutritional value, black rice has antioxidants that help reduce the type of inflammation that is a known link to the development of cancer. Black rice also has anthocyanins - which kill cancer cells and help block the formation of blood vessels to tumors, which in turn, acts to cut off the lifeline. The black color - when the rice is cooked - turns to dark purple which is the anthocyanins. Black rice also has a high mineral content because it contains iron. The rice can be found in local supermarket but at premium prices. If you live near a Chinese or Korean supermarket you'll get a much better price.

Note: Black rice extract appears to reduce breast cancer cells by weakening and destroying them.

3 - Black pasta - is still somewhat unfamiliar to the American market. The reason the pasta is black is because of squid ink. Squid ink has chemicals that stop breast cancer cells from spreading throughout the body and also blocks the growth of new tumors. As far as flavor, the taste can be described as having just a hint of the sea. I can find this in my local supermarket and it truly does make a unique and stunning dish.

4 - Blackberries - are a well-known fruit that is noted for its high nutritional content of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, essential minerals and manganese. Blackberries are also high in polyphenols. Polyphenols help reduce age-related inflammation in our brain cells. They also improves communication between cells and help us learn new information more quickly. The polyphenols are known as ellagic acid, tannins, quercetin, anthocyanins, gallic acid and cyanidins. Blackberries are also highly rated on the ORAC scale. In fact blackberries rank at the top of more than 1,000 antioxidant foods. (Prunes, sometimes considered a black food as well, also rank high on the ORAC scale. For more information about prunes and the scale see the link below).

Note: Although consumers may not like the many seeds in blackberries, the seeds are also very nutritious. They contain an oil that is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The seeds also contain protein, fiber, ellagic acid and carotenoids.

5 - Black Beans - Here I must stress that it should be dried beans because canned beans are usually in cans that have a BPA* lining and you want to avoid that chemical. It is also the canned beans that are the cause of gas. Dried beans are also much cheaper. As far as health, a serving of black beans each day, about 4 ounces, will lower your risk of colon cancer by as much as 75%. Black beans fight the formation of the polyps that lead to colon cancer because they are high in fiber, and increase the concentration of your butyric acid - an acid that helps the cells that keep the digestive tract healthy.

6 - Chia seeds - Yes, the same seeds that are used to make Chia Pets (which tend to show up for sale every Christmas). Chia seeds help reduce aches because they contain omega-3 fatty acids that are known to reduce swelling. Use chia seeds by adding them to yogurt, salads and any other food, or grinding the seeds and adding them to drinks. They can also be sprouted. (For more information about chia seeds, see the link below)

7 - Poppy Seeds - are rich in linoleic and oleic acids as well as vitamin E. in fact, I don't think anyone would be surprised to read that poppy seeds are known to reduce the blues and make you feel good. The seeds come from the opium poppy and have long been harvested by many civilizations for thousands of years. The seeds can be used as is or ground and added to a variety of foods. You have probably seen bagels or rolls that have poppy seeds on top. You can also wash the seeds to make a poppy tea.

Note: Compared to the seed pod, the seed itself actually contains very low levels of opiates.

8 - Black pepper - helps to stimulate your taste buds and helps your stomach improve acid production. Acid production helps reduce stomach upsets because it breaks down food properly. You can buy whole black peppers in just about any supermarket and then grind when needed. You can also buy them in jars that are also grinders. Dried and ground black pepper has been used since antiquity, not only for flavor but also as a medicine. Chances are, you may have a pepper shaker on your table along with a salt shaker.

*BPA, Bisphenol A - is an estrogen-mimicking endocrine disruptor. It has been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, early puberty and polycystic ovary syndrome. Banned in New York State (for use in products intended for children, such as baby bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups) - as of 2010.

For more healthy eating suggestions, and information about umami foods, see links below:


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      I love this hub and how you wrote it. You possess an amazing gift of writing.

      I was proud to vote Up and all of the choices. Loved your graphics.

      Keep up the fine work and I will always be your fan and follower.


      Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, AL.

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 5 years ago from New York City

      So glad you enjoyed the list DaffodilSky and thanks for the votes! Yay!

    • DaffodilSky profile image

      Helen Lush 5 years ago from Cardiff, Wales, UK

      How very interesting - especially about soy sauce. Gratifying too, since some of my favourite foods are on your list! Voted up and interesting.

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 6 years ago from New York City

      Thanks Marie! Just read your article on squidoo - excellent and highly recommended!

    • profile image

      Marie 6 years ago

      yeah - black is the new green !

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 6 years ago from New York City

      So glad the hub is found to be so useful. I love the black rice and need to pick up some blackberries tomorrow.

      Thanks for writing!

    • lanealanea profile image

      lanealanea 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      I am keeping this for reference. I will add blackberries to my diet now as I am big on polyphenols. Thanks for the useful information voted up.

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 6 years ago from Minnesota

      Very interesting! This was a very helpful article! Thanks for sharing :)

    • sam-eg profile image

      sam-eg 6 years ago from Happy Land

      Great tips!!! especially the one about( Chia seed) I didn’t know that they contains omega-3, actually Omega-3 helps as well improving the memory too thx for providing those useful information, definitely voted up

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      i like your list very much as I use soya sauce on a regular basis and I eat most of what listed there, except chia. Got to give it a go. Wonderful and rating it up.

    • satice_j profile image

      satice_j 6 years ago from via the Bronx, NY

      Wonderful hub certainly! I definitely do have black pepper in my seasons cabinet and I love it on a great steak! Reading your hub makes me want to try these other foods you mentioned. I will definitely seek them out and add them to my diet, if possible! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      PWalker281 6 years ago

      Black foods? Of course, I had to check this hub out. Talk about black power! :-)

      This is a great list; I never heard of black rice or black pasta either. Will have to look around for black rice as there are many Japanese markets in Hawaii. My daughter always corrects me when I say soy sauce. It's referred to by its Japanese name, shoyu, here. Great hub as usual. Rated up and useful!

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      I did not know soy sauce was actually good for you. Thanks for the info.

    • celeBritys4africA profile image

      celeBritys4africA 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I like blackberries and today I found more good black foods.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia

      I had no idea there was such a thing as black rice and black pasta - I will definitly have to try them both! Thanks for the reminder about the canned beans - regrettably I have a pantry full of them right now! I know dried is soooo much better and cheaper I just have to learn how to cook them.

      I had no idea that soy sauce had so many benefits. I just considered it a vital condiment while consuming Asian inspired dishes. Thanks for another benefical hub! Rated it up

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 6 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Thanks for this unique color food HUB. This is one of the most original ideas ever and I can see evryone, including me, enjoys it very much. Keep up the great HUBS!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Thanks so much for the "blacklist" and information on these super foods. Some we already use and others, such as black pasta, we will look to purchase. This is a great Hub.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      black pepper is my most used ingredient when i cook. i never had black pasta but cooking fresh squids, you could have all its squid ink and it really taste good.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      I've been thinking about that part too. It's got me a little icky, but a little curious and I want to try to read more about it. Maybe you have, TheListLady? If so, tell us more! :)

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

      Never knew about this black pasta! Appreciate learning about it, just not sure about the squid part...makes me a little nervous? Never have had squid ink?

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      How interesting~! Never thought of them in a group before but all good for you. Great subject.

    • CountryCityWoman profile image

      CountryCityWoman 6 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

      Wow - I want those black noodles. What a nice surprise to make as a dish. I think I may like them cold. I see them all the time in the market and now I know about the squid ink.

      I will pick these up when I shop again.

      Black beans I love and wouldn't that look good with the black rice.

      Great list and rated up!

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 6 years ago from New York City

      Oooh thanks for the lovely quick comments. I am just getting back here. It seems the black pasta is really a new surprise for so many and what a dish.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 6 years ago

      Love all the nutritional information. A great encouragement to keep making those healthier choices. Never heard of the black pasta before.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks a million for the list. I love black rice and always keep soy sauce on hand. I will look for the black pasta today - what a great change that will be.

      Thanks for the super list and thanks for linking my chia seeds hub! Rated up!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      I'm so pleased to a bunch of my favorite foods in this list! Great Hub! And wow. Who knew that soy sauce had health benefits?? :D

    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 6 years ago from Australia

      Very interesting indeed. I have tried all these black foods except the black pasta. Will definitely look for black pasta when I go to the supermarket next time.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Good overview of black foods. I would like to link this to my black rice hub, if you have no objection. Thanks!

    • profile image

      leann2800 6 years ago

      Great hub. I would love to try the black rice.

    • AnnieMorgan profile image

      AnnieMorgan 6 years ago from Shoreline, WA

      Nice hub. I'm really interested in learning more about chia seeds. Thanks for sharing.