Discover the 7 shocking health benefits of black rice.
Despite being less popular than brown rice or wild rice, the benefits of black rice, known as forbidden rice, is an ancient grain that has even more impressive health benefits than most other closely related varieties of rice.
Not only is it the richest type of rice in powerful disease-fighting antioxidants, but it also contains dietary fiber, anti-inflammatory properties, and can help stop the development of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and even weight gain.
Black rice has been consumed in parts of Asia for thousands of years, for centuries, it was reserved only for Chinese royalty. Today, this type of rice is gaining popularity and appears in more healthy food stores in the US, Australia, and Europe, as people discover the many health benefits that brown rice can offer.
The bran hull of black rice, which is the outermost layer of the rice grain, contains one of the highest levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin found in any known food.
Black rice has a dark or somber purple color, which is an indication of its high antioxidant properties, similar to the way that deep-colored antioxidant berries like blueberries, raspberries, and blueberries appear.
Sources show that the anthocyanin content within black rice benefits is higher than any other grain, including brown rice, red rice, red quinoa, or other varieties of colored whole grains.
Anthocyanin can help prevent a myriad of common but serious illnesses according to numerous studies that have looked at the benefits of this antioxidant.
Anthocyanin antioxidants have been correlated with: helping prevent cardiovascular disease, protect against cancer that can be caused by free radical damage, improve brain function, reduce inflammation, and more.
Nutrients are lost from whole grains when the outer layer, hull, and bran are removed. Only whole grains that include all their natural parts retain their antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. White rice, in addition to other refined grains, loses these beneficial properties during the milling process.
While brown rice and red rice also contain beneficial antioxidants, only black rice contains anthocyanin. Additionally, black rice also contains important antioxidant vitamin E, which helps maintain eye, skin, and immune health, in addition to other important functions.
Studies have shown that the benefits of black rice decrease the dangerous formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries, which is very important for keeping the arteries clear and preventing heart attacks and strokes.
The specific phytochemicals anthocyanins found in black rice help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels by reducing total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides total concentrations. These are 3 factors commonly involved in cardiovascular disease.
Considering how common heart disease is in almost every western developed nation today, this is one reason why consuming healing foods like black rice is so important.
Studies have shown that consuming black rice can help detoxify the body and cleanse the liver of harmful toxic buildup thanks to rice’s high antioxidant content.
In a recent animal study, the antioxidant status of the blood, liver, and one of the main arteries, the aorta, was evaluated in rabbits that were fed refined white rice or black rice.
The results showed that rabbits fed black rice experienced less oxidative stress (also called free radical damage), contained more antioxidants in the blood, underwent liver detoxification, and also reduced plaque build-up in the arteries.
The phytonutrients found in black rice help the body to reduce inflammation and cleanse the body of harmful substances that can contribute to a wide range of conditions.
Black rice and other varieties of brown rice, such as wild, red, or brown rice, have a similar amount of fiber, with about 2-3 grams per half-cup serving.
The fiber in black rice helps prevent constipation, bloating, and other unwanted digestive symptoms. Fiber binds to waste and toxins within the digestive tract, helping to remove them and contributing to regular bowel function.
The dietary fiber found in black rice can also help you feel full after eating and stay full for a longer period between meals, which can help you lose weight.
Studies have found that a diet rich in dietary fiber made from whole-grain rice varieties protects against obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
This is because fiber has the important work to rid the body of toxins, help reduce inflammation and clean the arteries, as it removes waste and plague from the body; The benefits of black rice can also help prevent or cure cases of diarrhea, as the fiber adds bulk to the stool.
Like other varieties of rice, black rice is naturally free of gluten, the protein found in all wheat, rye, and barley products.
An estimated 1 in 7 people are sensitive to gluten, whether they know it or not, but still test negative for celiac disease.
After eating something with gluten, those with gluten sensitivity suffer many of the same symptoms as those with celiac disease (a confirmed allergy to gluten), including bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nutritional deficiencies, and an increased risk of developing bowel syndrome permeable.
Consuming black rice instead of refined grains and processed flour products, but also wheat, barley, and rye-containing foods, even those that are whole grains, can help eliminate digestive problems associated with gluten consumption for many people.
Studies have shown that when it comes to the risk of developing diabetes and even obesity, consuming whole grains is much more beneficial and preventative than consuming refined carbohydrates.
Compared to eating processed carbohydrates that lack fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients that help slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, black rice is a much healthier option.
Black rice contains all of the bran from the grain where the fiber is stored, and the fiber can help the glucose (sugar) in the grain to be absorbed by the body over a longer period.
When the researchers examined the consumption of white and brown rice about the risk of type 2 diabetes, they found that white rice was more likely to contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes risk.
Substituting whole grains, including brown or black rice, in place of white rice, white bread, pasta, and sweetened cereals can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and other complications, as well as keep your weight and energy levels under control.
People with prediabetes, diabetes or other forms of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance must consume 100% whole grains, as opposed to processed “white” types that lack fiber.
The same can be said for those struggling to lose weight, as the fiber and nutrients in brown rice help cut off hunger signals and prevent overeating.
Research has shown that whole grain rice varieties can help prevent insulin resistance that is linked to an increased risk of obesity.
A serving of black or forbidden rice contains only about 160 calories but offers a very high amount of flavonoid phytonutrients, a good source of important fiber, a substantial mineral content including iron and copper, and even a good source of protein-based of plants. Only the outer shell of the grain has one of the highest levels of antioxidant anthocyanins of any food!
A half-cup serving of cooked black rice, or about ¼ cup uncooked, contains approximately (in the recommended daily values):
1.5 grams of fat
34 grams of carbohydrates
2 grams of fiber
5 grams of protein
4% DV for iron
Wondering how the benefits of black rice compare to other varieties of rice? Here’s how different types of rice differ in terms of nutrient content when we compare a 100g serving of each type:
Polished White Rice – contains 6.8 proteins, 1.2 iron, 0.6 fibers.
Brown rice: 7.9 proteins, 2.2 iron, and 2.8 fibers.
Red rice: protein 7.0, iron 5.5, and fiber 2.0.
Black rice: 8.5 proteins, 3.5 iron, 4.9 fibers, and the highest amount of antioxidants of any variety of rice.
It can be seen that black rice contains the highest amount of antioxidants, protein, and dietary fiber of all rice varieties; Additionally, black rice is also a good source of iron, which can be hard to come by for eaters who rely on grains and legumes for protein.
And while scientists are discovering that some rice contains heavy metal arsenic, you can perform simple cooking tricks to avoid low-level arsenic poisoning from rice.
Cooking rice more like pasta – in 6 to 10 parts water to one part rice – dramatically reduces arsenic levels; UK researchers also found that cooking rice in a coffee pot reduces arsenic by up to 85 percent.
Although black rice contains beneficial nutrients, grains are generally most beneficial when eaten in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
While the benefits of black rice contain more fiber and antioxidants than refined grains or carbohydrate foods, all grains still can affect blood sugar levels, so it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the serving sizes of all grains.
It also helps to consume grains like black rice with a healthy fat source and some protein. This further delays the time it takes for sugars from carbohydrates to impact blood glucose levels.
Ancient whole grains, such as black rice, can play a healthy role in someone’s diet, as long as they are aware of how much they are consuming and also make sure they are getting enough filler protein and healthy fats from other food sources that are better suppliers of these important macro-nutrients.
The popularity of black rice and awareness of its many health benefits is growing in Western nations, including the US, but it remains much less popular than less healthy white rice and even brown rice.
Right now, you will likely find it in most health food stores and large gourmet food markets, as well as Asian supermarkets. The hope is that as more people learn about the benefits of black rice and demand it, black rice will likely become more widely available in larger chain supermarkets and restaurants.
Because the mentioned health benefits of black rice are found in the rice bran, you always want to buy 100% whole grain black rice. You can be sure you’re getting the right kind by checking the ingredient label and looking for the words “whole black rice” as the first, and ideally the only, ingredient on the list.
Black rice comes from the same plant family as other colored rice and includes several varieties, such as Indonesian black rice and Thai jasmine black rice.
The different types of black rice contain very similar health benefits and all have a mild, nutty taste that is similar to the taste of the more familiar brown rice.
Because it is unrefined and denser than white rice, black rice takes longer to cook. The best results can be achieved by first soaking the black rice for at least an hour before cooking it, but preferably for several hours.
If you can plan and soak your rice, it will reduce the amount of cooking time required and will also make the nutrients in the rice more absorbable.
After soaking the rice, rinse the rice and place it on the stove with two cups of water for each cup of rice. Boil the rice for at least half an hour if you soaked the rice, and for an hour if you didn’t.
Check the texture of the rice after this time to see if it is chewy and cooked; if not, keep boiling until it reaches the texture you are looking for.
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