Do You Know Nutrition: Dark coloration in chicken meat nothing to worry about

Recently, I cooked a whole chicken. As I was pulling the meat off of the bones, I noticed that the bones were very dark as was the meat around the bone. I am wondering if something has been fed to chickens that cause the darkening because I have not noticed that before, or maybe I am just paying more attention to our food. I would appreciate your help with this one.

Not to worry. Darkening of bones and meat around the bones occurs primarily in young (6 to 8 weeks old) broiler-fryer chickens. Since the bones have not calcified or hardened completely, pigment from the marrow seeps through the bones and into the surrounding area. To be more specific, porous bones allow the hemoglobin to escape, which has a dark maroon pigment that colors meat and bones.

Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body If the chicken has been frozen, the freezing can also contribute to the darkening.

Keep up your keen observation of food - it's very important for the health and safety for you and your family.

I recently had an attack of severe pain in my big toe that was diagnosed as gout. A friend suggested that I drink some black cherry juice. I was amazed at how it helped. Can you please explain what is in black cherry juice that helped me so much?

Gout, a very painful form of arthritis, is caused by high levels of uric acid in the body that results in inflammation, swelling and redness at the affected area.

Black cherry juice contains anthocyanin, a chemical that naturally helps relieve inflammation.

Anthocyanins are plant-based compounds that contain high levels of antioxidants and are the pigments responsible for the red, purple and blue colors in fruits and vegetables. The top anthocyanin-containing foods are black currant, blackberry, blueberry, chokeberry, cranberry, black cherry and the grand poo-bah of all - can you guess it? Eggplant. There are 700 milligrams of anthocyanins in a 100-gram serving of eggplant.

Thought for the week: We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. - Dolly Parton

The free nutrition class will resume June 16 at Organic Emporium, and at 6 p.m. May 22 at the Wellness Center in Cuero.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant; email her at docphylis@gmail.com. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.