Black is the new green
Green superfoods have been all the rage for a number of years now, yet health-conscious folks are beginning to discover the equally impressive benefits of black foods—in this case, squid ink. Traditionally used in the cuisine of Japan, Italy and Spain, most commercially available ink is actually from the cuttlefish—a larger, thick-fleshed relative of the squid. But for scientific inquiry (and culinary purposes), the classification is generally squid.
The ink itself is composed mainly of melanin (the pigment that influences skin color), but it also contains proteins, lipids, minerals (especially iron) and the amino acid taurine, as well as dopamine - a neurotransmitter associated with positive mental states.
Not only nutrient-dense, squid ink also has substantial therapeutic value. In one instance, researchers at the Department of Preclinical Medicine in Shenyang, China, found that squid ink encourages natural killer cell activity in lab mice, thereby significantly curbing tumor growth.
And a study in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that squid ink offers notable radio-protective qualities in animal tests. Furthermore, researchers at the Modern Biochemistry Center and the College of Food Science and Technology in Zhanjiang, China, established that squid ink protects white blood cell production in mice exposed to the widely used chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide.
The ink also demonstrates considerable antibacterial activity against several antibiotic-resistant pathogens, such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  Additionally, an animal study at Cairo University in Egypt found that squid ink provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
How to use
If you would like to benefit from this unusual food, Spanish black risotto or a gluten-free nero fettuccine are good places to start. For the more adventurous, learn how to clean your own squid and harvest the ink here. It can then be used in homemade pasta or as part of Japanese Ikasumi jiru, otherwise known as cuttlefish ink soup.
Learn more: www.naturalnews.com/043074_squid_ink_health_food_disease_prevention.html