What are the black rice bebefits?
Black rice is a wholegrain rice with a dark purple colour determined by its high level of antioxidants.
It is part of the species known as “Oryza sativa” and it is believed to have originated in Japan before spreading to ancient China and becoming the “Forbidden Rice,” only available to those in Chinese Imperial Court.
As black rice is not refined on its way to you, it retains its natural minerals and vitamins, including Vitamin E, high levels of fibre, and 9.9g of protein per 100g serving, higher than many other rice and grains.
In Italy and China, black rice has historically been prized for its association with health and vitality.
Foodies worldwide are increasingly attracted to this novel grain, which gets its deep black colour from an abundance of antioxidants.
Did you know that it’s these same antioxidants that also make aubergines purple and blueberries blue?
If you’ve been seeing black rice in all the trendiest recipes lately and have been wondering if you’re missing out, don’t worry… Here’s everything you need to know about why black rice deserves a prime spot in your recipes and day-to-day diet.
In this article, we’ll explain what black rice is, and the health benefits associated with it. We’ll break down the nutritional profile of a bowl, advise on who should avoid it, and even how to cook black rice.
What is black rice?
Black rice is a species of wild rice with a deep purple, nearly black, colour, due to its high antioxidant content.
Desserts are frequently made from black rice in South East Asia, as it is starchy, stickier, and has a nuttier flavour than most rice varieties.
11 benefits of black rice
Black rice is associated with a whole host of health benefits, including:
- Antioxidant properties
Black rice contains more antioxidants than any other rice.
Antioxidants protect your body from the negative consequences of ageing, like age-related diseases, by reducing oxidative stress.
Antioxidants can be found in a wide variety of nuts, fruits, and vegetables – in fact, here are six other foods that are high in antioxidants you might want to bring into your kitchen.
Ready for the science behind it? Well, the outer layer of the rice, known as the bran and hull, are filled with an antioxidant called “anthocyanin”, an antioxidant that – as you’ll see – helps to keep you healthy in a number of ways
- Better heart health
Diets rich in food with a high anthocyanin content, like black rice, are connected to fewer instances of cardiovascular disease as they help to reduce cholesterol.
- Promotes healthy brain function
High levels of antioxidant-anthocyanin are also believed to support with healthy brain function and reduced inflammation, associated with the ability for anthocyanin to suppress the signals of inflammation in areas where it may occur.14
- Supports in weight loss
As black rice is a whole grain, it offers high levels of fibre in its bran (outer layer).
This means that the glucose inside each grain takes longer to be absorbed by the body, helping you to keep control of your sugar levels and reducing hunger.
As the high levels of fibre keep you feeling full and energised for longer, you’ll be less tempted to snack throughout the day, therefore supporting you in healthy eating and weight loss.
- Better eye health
Black rice contains powerful carotenoids which preserve eye health by protecting against harmful blue light and helping to reduce the risk of age-related blindness.
- Full of fibre
Black rice has a high level of fibre, with about 3.7g of fibre per 100g of black rice, giving you an easy way to intake 7.4% of your daily fibre intake in one meal.
There is strong evidence that diets with high levels of fibre can aid digestion, prevent constipation, and is associated with the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
- High levels of protein
When you’re looking to build muscle or lose weight, the first thing you’re often asked to reduce is your carbohydrate intake.
That’s because foods that are high in carbs are often believed to be low in protein, although both are equally important in maintaining a healthy diet.
That isn’t the case here. Black rice naturally contains one of the highest level of proteins amongst all the grains, with 9.9g of protein in 100g of black rice, compared to 3.5g of protein in the average supermarket own-brand long grain rice.
- Naturally high in Vitamin E
Whereas refined rice loses many of their nutrients as they lose their outer layer on their way to the supermarket shelves, whole grains such as black rice retain their natural minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins.
One such vitamin is Vitamin E, which supports the health of your eyes, skin, and immune system.
How to Use Black Rice?
You may use black rice as an alternative to traditional white rice.
You must consult a qualified physician before taking black rice in large amounts or any other herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.