Black Rice: Nutrition & Health Benefits

Adding black rice to your diet is an excellent way to boost your nutritional intake and incorporate an ancient ingredient into your health regimen.

What is Black Rice?

Black rice is a type of rice that is grown in a very limited number of countries in the world and is commonly referred to as Forbidden Rice. This name comes from the fact that it was once highly restricted, meaning that only royalty was allowed to eat it, due to its scarcity. Black rice has been an important cultural element for thousands of years and remains a crop that is grown in a rather limited supply. That being said, research on black rice has shown that it has a more impressive nutrient profile than any other type of rice. Although it was once limited to the halls of power in certain Asian countries, black rice is now available in the United States, Australia, and throughout Europe, although you may pay a premium for it.

Black Rice Nutrition

The nutritional composition of black rice includes a solid amount of fiber, 10 grams of protein per cup, and a very high concentration of iron, phosphorous, and zinc. A half-cup of this cooked rice also provides about 160 calories, making it an important energy resource in many countries. Most impressively, however, black rice has more antioxidants than any other rice variety. Anthocyanins in this rice are the reason that it has its black color, and this antioxidant can have a significant impact on your overall health.

Black Rice Health Benefits

The most important health benefits of black rice include its effects on heart health, digestion, diabetes, weight loss, and chronic disease, among others.

Treats Chronic Diseases

Anthocyanins are well-known antioxidants, which have the ability to reduce oxidative stress throughout the body and prevent the negative effects of free radicals. This can lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as premature aging.

Improves Heart Health

This type of rice contains more fiber than other varieties, as well as a negligible amount of fat, both of which are good for heart health. Fiber helps to scrape excess cholesterol and lower blood pressure, while low levels of fat and cholesterol prevent atherosclerosis and coronary heart diseases.

Treats Diabetes

The impressive level of dietary fiber found in this type of specialty rice can also help regulate diabetic symptoms; fiber is able to regulate the release of insulin and glucose into the bloodstream, which can cut down on the spikes and drops in blood sugar that diabetic patients must avoid.

Weight Loss

Although there are 160 calories in a 1/2 cup serving of this rice, it is also chock full of fiber, which is very filling and can prevent overeating and the habit of snacking between meals. Furthermore, many of the minerals and active compounds in this rice will speed the metabolism, helping to passively burn calories and fat.

Detoxifies the Body

Research has connected the presence of anthocyanins in black rice to a reduction of toxins throughout the body; this can also help to improve liver and kidney function and put less stress on those organ systems.

Aids in Digestion

Fiber is known to improve digestive function, boost nutrient uptake, and prevent symptoms like indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. Fiber stimulates peristaltic motion, while also balancing the bacterial environment in the gut.

Boosts Energy

As a rich source of carbohydrates, black rice is an excellent way to provide a quick burst of energy. There is a reason that rice is such a staple food in many Asian countries; it is a dense and easy-to-eat source of carbs and bioavailable energy; black rice is no exception!

How to Cook Black Rice?

To prepare this nutrient-dense rice variety at home, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

  • Step 1 – Before cooking, be sure to thoroughly rinse the rice in a colander with cold running water.
  • Step 2 – Add 2 cups of this rice and 4 cups of water to a pot.
  • Step 3 – Add 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and salt, then bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Step 4 – Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 30-40 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
  • Step 5 – Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
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