Looking for new ways to boost your mood and keep your brain healthy through whole foods? Black foods are super nutrient dense and known for their healthful properties – think forbidden rice (it’s black), and touted as the most precious rice one can consume. But if you’re looking in the produce aisle, where should you turn to first? Check these 3 awesome and nutritious foods out and add them to your next grocery list:
1. Blackberries: These richly-colored berries pack a big nutritional punch for your body and brain. They are rich in minerals and fibre, while being low in calories, carbohydrates and fat. A recent Tufts University study shows that polyphenols in blackberries reduce age-related inflammation in brain cells, improving communication between those cells and enabling you to learn new information faster! Eat them plain or add them to smoothies, salads or desserts for delicious added flavor.
2. Eggplant: It might look dark purple, but eggplant is considered a black food – and no matter how you prepare it, be sure and keep the skin on! Here’s why: People who regularly eat eggplant skin are more likely to have a sharp memory and think faster on their feet compared to those who skip it, reveals research from the University of California Berkeley. Credit goes to the compound nasunin–found only in eggplant skin–that wards off damage to brain cell membranes. That’s critical since the membrane protects the cell from harmful free radicals, lets in nutrients and receives instructions for what functions to perform. For those not sensitive to eating vegetables in the nightshade family, of which eggplant is a member, it can be eaten raw (in which case it is best marinated), steamed, baked or grilled, and is delicious added to salads and entrees.
3. Poppy-seed: These little seeds are rich in oleic acid and Vitamin E, a nutrient combo that lessens moodiness and the blues, confirms a study at Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil. Poppy seeds are also a rich form of carbohydrates and calcium, and a good source of energy. Load them into smoothies, desserts, and onto your fruit for added flavor, texture and decorative flare.