Use These Chinese ‘Black Health Food’ Recipes to Maintain Health and Beauty

Hot and sour soup. (ironypoisoning / Flickr)
Hot and sour soup. (ironypoisoning / Flickr)

Black buckwheat

Black buckwheat is a type of buckwheat grain that has several nutrients, including protein, oleic and linoleic acid (unsaturated omega-9 and -6 fatty acids), a wide range of B vitamins, in addition to dietary minerals such as magnesium, iron, and calcium. It also has the highest content of copper of any grain. Black buckwheat has many health benefits, and is used in the treatment of anemia and inflammation. It can improve a person’s skin tone and even help to prevent undue perspiration. Traditional Chinese doctors often use black buckwheat to help treat hypertension, control diabetes, and prevent myopia, cataracts, and retinitis. 

health food

Black buckwheat has many health benefits, and is used in the treatment of anemia and inflammation. (Screenshot from Secret China)

Black sesame

Black sesame contains oleic and linoleic acids, lecithin, vitamin E, protein, calcium, and iron. Regularly eating black sesame can help improve liver and kidney function, maintain a sharp mind, prevent anemia, and strengthen bones. It can even give hair a healthy glow. Compared with other plants, black sesame has the highest content of vitamin E—a natural anti-oxidant that prevents aging and promotes longevity. Moreover, black sesame helps to reduce the risk of blood clots, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease.

health food

Black sesame contains oleic and linoleic acids, lecithin, vitamin E, protein, calcium, and iron. (Screenshot from Secret China)

Wood ear mushroom

Wood ear mushroom is featured in Chinese cuisine, and is valued for its crunchy texture and important health benefits. In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), wood ear mushroom benefits the body’s qi, nourishes the blood, moistens the lungs, detoxifies the digestive system, and strengthens the hair. The nutrients in wood ear mushroom, such as protein, carbohydrates, iron, calcium, phosphorus, carotene, and vitamins, help prevent atherosclerosis, hypertension, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and cerebral thrombosis. Wood ear mushrooms are easy to buy in Chinese grocery stores in the U.S. They are usually sold in dried form and vacuum packed. The most common Chinese dish with wood ear is hot and sour soup.

health food

Wood ear mushroom is featured in Chinese cuisine, and is valued for its crunchy texture and important health benefits. (tvol / Flickr)

Sea Cucumber

Sea cucumber is used in food therapy to treat atherosclerosis, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. It is rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, iodine, and vitamins, but has little fat and almost no cholesterol. According to TCM, foods are categorized into four groups—hot, warm, cool, and cold. Sea cucumber is a “warm” food that can help prevent anemia, and improve sexual function.

health food

Sea cucumber is used in food therapy to treat atherosclerosis, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. (Screenshot from Secret China)

Black rice

Black rice is also called “longevity rice” by Chinese people. In addition to protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins, black rice is very rich in minerals, and has up to three times the amount of zinc, manganese, and copper compared with white rice. In TCM, black rice stimulates the appetite, warms the liver, improves vision, nourishes the spleen, and helps blood circulation. Eating black rice strengthens blood vessels, regulates blood pressure, suppresses cancer cell growth, and nourishes heart muscles.

Black food recipes

Black foods can lose their dietary benefits if an inappropriate cooking method is used. Here are some common black food recipes that preserve all the health benefits.

Black Rice Congee with Fresh Lotus Roots

Ingredients:

  •  200g peeled and diced fresh lotus root*
  • 100g black rice*
  •  400g water
  • Brown sugar to taste

* Wash ingredients before using.

Directions:

  1. Immerse black rice in water for half an hour.
  2. Place the ingredients into a crock bowl and heat until the congee becomes glutinous.

Health Benefits:

The congee is used to prevent anemia. It is especially good for seniors and women after childbirth.

Black Bean Congee with Oysters

Ingredients:

  • 20 shucked oysters*
  • 1 chopped green onion*
  • 100g black beans*
  • 100g white rice*
  • 500g water
  • Sesame oil to taste
  • Salt to taste

* Wash ingredients before using.

Directions:

  1. Soak the black beans in a pot or bowl with water overnight.
  2. Soak the white rice in water for a half an hour before cooking.
  3. Place the black beans, white rice, and water in a crock bowl and heat until the congee becomes glutinous.
  4. Add oysters and salt, and continue to heat until the oysters are cooked, but tender.
  5. Sprinkle with green onion and drizzle with sesame oil before serving.

Health Benefits:

Oysters are low in low saturated fat and high in protein, a good combination for people who are dieting. Black beans are also beneficial for people on a diet with the added benefits of treating anemia and promoting a healthy complexion.

Hot and sour soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 green onion (chopped)*
  •  1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  •  15g shiitake mushrooms
  •  15g wood ear mushrooms
  • 15g kelp
  • 10g sliced ham
  •  300g tofu
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 tsp salt 

* Wash ingredients before using.

Directions:

  1. Fully dissolve the corn starch in water.
  2. Slice the shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, sliced ham, and kelp into small pieces.
  3. Cut the tofu into small cubes.
  4. Boil a pot of water and put in all of the sliced shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, kelp, ham, and tofu.
  5. Wait until the water boils again. Now add the egg and stir the soup a bit.
  6. Wait until the soup boils. Then add the chopped green onion, salt, vinegar, and lemon pepper.
  7.  Add the dissolved corn starch to the soup, stir as you add.
  8. Turn off the heat and serve.
health food

Hot and sour soup. (ironypoisoning / Flickr)

 

Source: SecretChina

 

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