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    Ask the Chef: Do white foods have any benefits?

    By Julie Morris, Superfood Chef | August 29, 2016

    Do white foods have any benefits?

    We've all heard that one of the best methods to enjoy a healthier diet is to eat the rainbow. But what about white foods? Do they have any benefit at all? Turns out it depends on what kind of white foods you're talking about.

    Most of the time, when we hear nutritionists bad-mouthing white foods, what they're really talking about is processed foods: White sugar, white flour, white rice, white bread, etc. These kinds of foods don't just happen to be white, they're made to be white… a result of their naturally nutritious elements stripped or bleached away for a longer shelf-life or cheaper product, resulting in what's essentially an empty calorie food. In this case, no, white foods don't have benefits.

    But nature offers white foods too, of a very different variety. It may come as a surprise to learn just how wonderful some of these white foods really are. Let's take a look at a few of the the best white foods you can enjoy:

    Coconut - Coconut is such a versatile food, its number of products seems almost limitless. From the full coconut flesh to coconut water, coconut oil, coconut sugar, and more, there are so many ways to incorporate this incredible food into your diet! Coconut is a fantastic source of cholesterol-free healthy fats, most notably MCT's, which are extremely easy to digest and provide the body with quick energy. Coconut is also an excellent source of fiber, hydrating electrolytes, and low-glycemic sugars.

    White Mulberries - It's true, white mulberries in their fresh form aren't a true “white,†but don't let their name deceive you that they are devoid of benefits! Aside from being sweetly delicious, white mulberries are packed with minerals like iron, loaded with digestion-friendly fiber, and serve as a potent source of rare antioxidants like heart-healthy resveratrol. Try dried white mulberries as a candy-like chewy snack.

    Mushrooms - Many edible and medicinal mushrooms boast a white color, but are actually some of the most healthy foods on the planet! Aside from being uniquely low in calories (especially for something that seems so satiating when cooked), mushrooms boast many phytonutrients that make them a fabulous immune system aid and anti-cancer food. Additional nutrients like vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and selenium, round out the miraculous mushroom's long list of benefits.

    Cauliflower - These days, cauliflower is often called “the new kale,†due to its impressive array of nutrients, as well as its vast diversity of uses. Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable, contains several powerful antioxidant compounds such as sulforaphane and isothiocanates, which researchers point out as potent cancer fighters. Other phytonutrients make cauliflower a great anti-inflammatory aid to your body, while helping to boost your system with plentiful micronutrients like vitamin K, magnesium, and folate. This is one white food with a whole lot to offer!

    Hemp Seeds - Hemp seeds, along with other white seeds and nuts such as macadamia nuts, cashews, sesame seeds, quinoa, and more, are all wonderful superfoods. Rich in protein, good fats, and fiber, an increasing number of studies show seeds like hemp to be a promising daily practice for improved heart health. Nuts and seeds don't have to be white to be of benefit or vise versa, but it's good to keep in mind that these are white foods that are strictly on the opposite of what would be considered “empty calorie†white foods. Add them in where ever you can!