Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its unique taste, texture, and numerous health benefits. It is a type of whole grain rice that is a deep shade of black or dark purple, and was historically reserved for the emperors of China. In this article, we will explore the various benefits of black rice and why you should consider incorporating it into your diet.
What is Black Rice?
Black rice is a type of whole grain rice that is a deep shade of black or dark purple. It is also known as forbidden rice because, in ancient China, it was reserved for the emperor and the royal family. Black rice is typically found in specialty food stores, health food stores, and online retailers.
Nutrients per Serving
The nutritional value of black rice is remarkable, as it is abundant in vital nutrients. A 1/2 cup of cooked black rice provides:
- 173 calories
- 5 grams of protein
- 2 grams of fat
- 38 grams of carbohydrates
- 3 grams of fiber
- 1 gram of sugar
- 0 milligrams of cholesterol
- 4 milligrams of sodium
Furthermore, black rice is an excellent source of several nutrients, such as vitamin E, riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, chromium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, potassium, zinc, copper, and magnesium.
Health Benefits of Black Rice
Black rice offers several health benefits, including:
Rich in Antioxidants
Black rice is an excellent source of antioxidants, which are compounds that protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Black rice contains a high concentration of anthocyanin antioxidants, which are the same compounds that give blueberries and blackberries their deep blue and purple colors. These antioxidants have been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation and preventing chronic diseases.
Helps Lower Cholesterol
Black rice contains high levels of fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that consuming black rice can help reduce LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, while increasing HDL cholesterol, also known as “good” cholesterol. This can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Helps Regulate Blood Sugar
Black rice has a low glycemic index, which means it doesn’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. This makes it an excellent option for people with diabetes or those trying to regulate their blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that consuming black rice can help improve insulin resistance and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Aids in Weight Loss
Black rice is a great addition to a weight loss diet as it is low in calories and high in fiber. The fiber in black rice helps keep you feeling full for longer, reducing the need to snack between meals.
Promotes Healthy Skin and Hair
The antioxidants in black rice help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to premature aging of the skin and hair. Black rice also contains vitamins B1 and B2, which are essential for healthy skin and hair.
Promotes Digestive Health
Black rice is a good source of fiber, which helps promote digestive health. Fiber helps keep your digestive system running smoothly, preventing constipation and other digestive issues. Additionally, the fiber in black rice can help feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which can improve overall gut health.
May Help Prevent Cancer
The high levels of antioxidants in black rice may help prevent cancer by protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, some studies have shown that black rice may have anti-cancer properties, particularly in breast and colon cancer cells.
Black rice is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent option for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. It is also a good alternative to wheat-based products for those looking to reduce their gluten intake.
Black rice can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen, making it a versatile ingredient to have on hand. It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and a chewy texture that makes it an excellent addition to salads, stir-fries, and rice bowls. It can also be used to make black rice pudding, a delicious and healthy dessert option.
Overall, black rice is a nutritious and delicious addition to any diet. It is packed with essential nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber, making it a great option for those looking to improve their overall health. It is also versatile and easy to incorporate into your favorite dishes. So, why not give black rice a try and see the benefits for yourself? For those interested in a supplement high in anthocyanins from black rice, we suggest reading our review article on ageLOC Meta for further information.