It is not surprising if anyone says that they have never heard of Black rice. Black rice is the variety of rice which is pretty much rare compared to brown and white rice.
Black rice may as well be called “forbidden rice” because of not being so often available and also due to some historical reasons. Despite being forbidden, black rice has a lot of health benefits compared to other varieties of rice.
Black rice has many nutritional benefits which make it one of those varieties which would be suggested by nutritionists. It has many features that will be beneficial for the cure of many diseases.
Black rice is also known as Purple rice. It is deep black in color which when cooked thoroughly changes to purple color. The deep purple color of the rice is due to the anthocyanin content.
It is suitable for making traditional Chinese diseases like the black rice cake, porridge.
Black rice is known as chak-hao in Manipur, India along the western borders of Myanmar, where it is used for making desserts that are served during festivals and feasts.
History of Black Rice
Black Rice is, however, claimed by the Chinese people as their own cultivation. It is an ancient Chinese grain.
If the lore of ancient China is to be believed then, Black rice cultivation was used solely for the purpose of feeding the king and his family. If any common man was found consuming black rice, he was immediately sent to jail.
Due to the nutritional benefits of Black rice, it was stated that only the Emperor and his family could consume Black rice. Anyone consuming Black rice without permission was supposed to be guilty and was severely punished for it.
Famous in Other Regions Around the World
As the ancient tales go, Black rice is continued to be consumed in China and is eaten in various regions of Asia.
Gradually, it is being consumed in United States, Australia, and Europe because people have started to become aware of the health benefits of black rice.
The varieties of black rice include Indonesian black rice and Thai Jasmine Black rice.
Rich Source of Carbohydrates
It is said that rice grains are rich sources of carbohydrates so, in case of a balanced diet, rice is considered as an essential. White rice isn’t bad for health but it is rich in calories and consuming too much of calories can somewhat make you fat. And also it is lower in nutritional content.
Like brown rice, black rice also contains the bran of rice gain which is removed in case of white race. Black rice is pretty much rich in anthocyanin and carbohydrates. The content of black rice includes:
- 160 gram of calories.
- 5 gram of fat.
- 34 gram of carbohydrates.
- 2 gram of dietary fiber.
- 1 gram of sugar.
- 5 gram of protein.
However, another benefit of black rice is that it has no saturated fat, neither does it has cholesterol content which makes it one of the most ideal choice to include it in the diet for people suffering from any cardiac disease.
The content of brown rice includes:
- 170 calories.
- 45 gram of carbs
- 4 gram of protein.
The content of white rice includes:
- 180 calories.
- 53 gram of carbs.
- 3 gram of protein.
As studied from the facts as mentioned above, it is clear that though regarding macro-nutrients all the three categories of rice is same, but when it comes to the micro-nutrient content, it is black rice which has taken the lead.
Health Benefits of Black Rice
Black rice is a rich source of iron, Vitamin E, and anti-oxidants. Blueberries are very rich in anti-oxidants, but Black rice is considered to be rich in anti-oxidants more than blueberries.
Since black rice is rich in iron, it proves to be a better option for the vegetarians who rely on pulses and legumes for protein.
Black rice like brown rice is a rich source of ingredient that prevents skin inflammation and also it is rich in contents that makes it an ideal medicine for the cure of diabetes and other diseases.
Some of the essential benefits of black rice are as follows:
Rich Source of Anti-Oxidants
Blueberry is considered to be having the highest amount of anti-oxidants, but the “forbidden” black rice even beats this order and is supposed to have anti-oxidant more compared to that of blueberries.
Even for the concern of brown rice and white rice, black rice or purple rice puts itself ahead in this race and has a higher content for anti-oxidants.
A study conducted showed 12 different varieties of rice being analyzed and it was black rice who topped the list. Black rice’s anti-oxidant content is six times more than the anti-oxidant content of white rice and brown rice.
Fights Against Inflammation of Skin
Inflammation is the response of the body to foreign bacteria and viruses and is considered to be healthy. But sometimes the skin inflammation can get out of control and can be irritable. This is when Black rice comes to rescue.
Black rice helps in suppressing the unwanted inflammation and hence can be considered a useful agent for prevention of skin diseases and for curing chronic inflammation.
Also, studies have found out that the main constituent of black rice is C3G which is very much useful for suppressing chronic inflammations of the body.
Helps in Weight Loss
Apart from being rich in anti-oxidants and fighting chronic inflammation disease appropriately, black rice has proved useful in reducing weight. It is an ideal agent for controlling weight.
Black rice has just 160 calories which are less compared to brown and white rice. It helps people maintain weight. Because of the high fiber content of black rice, it makes it easier for maintaining health.
Foods rich in fiber take a significant amount of time to be digested thereby providing a feeling of being full for a longer time and also prevents hunger and different cravings for food.
So, consumption of black rice plays a significant role in maintaining body weight.
Black rice plays a significant role in maintaining the proper heart health of people.
It helps in decreasing atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries of the body. Building up of plague in the body causes hardened arteries which may eventually lead to blockage. This may be one of the reasons for cardiac arrest.
Hence, the no cholesterol content of the black rice makes it very essential to maintain heart health and also prevents the cause of any heart disease.
Black rice plays an important part in maintaining the health of the heart and ensures that the arteries and veins of the heart aren’t blocked.
The liver is the biggest organ in the human body that is responsible for processing the nutrients and providing nourishment to the body. It is also responsible for regulating hormones in our body.
Studies have proved that black rice has always been sufficient for the proper functioning of the heart health. Black rice consumption helps in prevention of fatty liver disease.
Black rice aids in improved blood lipids and also lowers the triglyceride and overall content of cholesterol in the body.
It also assists in maintaining a healthy weight for being a part of the healthy balanced diet. Fatty liver diseases can be prevented if one continues to support the proper health.
Improve Brain Functions
Black rice is pretty much rich in anti-oxidants. Hence it affects memory and learning. Anthocyanin is one such anti-oxidant that helps in improved brain function.
Too much of stress contributes to losing memory, and it is these anti-oxidants that will help in counteracting the effect.
Consumption of foods rich in anthocyanin can delay mental aging up to two and a half years, according to studies. This can increase if the intake is too much and flavonoids are also associated and result in slower rates of cognitive decline.
This anti-oxidant, anthocyanin reduces the rate of mental aging and also helps in boosting up the power of memory and learning.
Some studies do not directly link the effect of black rice with improved functioning. However, some studies directly link the impact that black rice has on memory and learning. It states that these anti-oxidants boost up the memory.
Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Anthocyanins protect the body from free-radical damage. Damage of free radicals can eventually lead up to cancer.
The anthocyanin content of black rice is responsible for stopping the increment of tumor metastasis, which is the spread of cancer in various body parts.
Developing tumor in the body is a leading cause of deaths due to cancer, so scientists are always in search of something that would stop the rate of this spreading.
According to few of the studies, black rice has shown a remarkable inhibition in the developing cancer cells.
Black rice is also capable of stopping the development of tumor metastasis which eventually sometimes may lead to breast cancer cells.
Black rice has the ability to fight breast cancer by killing the cancer cells.
However, this fact needs to be clear that black rice only helps in preventing the spreading of cancer, this by no means shows that it completely cures cancer.
Gluten Free Nature
Black rice is free of gluten, like the other rice varieties.
Studies show that 1 out of 7 people suffer from sensitiveness to gluten however they may not notice the symptoms. They may as well test negative for Celiac Disease.
People who suffer from gluten sensitiveness, after the consumption of gluten, suffer from Celiac Disease which includes symptoms like bloating, constipation, diarrhea and deficiency of nutrients.
However, increased consumption of gluten increases the risk of the leaky gut syndrome.
Consuming gluten-free black rice will prove beneficial for eliminating the digestive problems out of the body that most of the people suffer from who are sensitive to gluten.
Prevents the Risk of Diabetes
Consuming black rice slows down the rate of sugar absorption in the body thereby reducing the risk of diabetes or obesity.
Foods rich in carbohydrates are stripped of anti-oxidants, and other nutritional factors slow down the rate of sugar absorption in the bloodstream.
Black rice contains the whole bran of grain and bran is the major source where fiber stores. Fiber allows glucose from the grain to take a long period of time to be absorbed.
Studies have shown that out of brown rice and white rice, white rice contributes to resisting insulin and diabetes. Consumption of black rice reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes, keeps a check of weight and also helps in balancing the energy levels in the body.
Prevents the Risk of Obesity
Black rice is rich in fiber content which makes it one of the ideal choices for maintaining the healthy body weight and reducing diseases like obesity, diabetes and other illnesses which involves resistance to insulin.
Black rice is always a better option for treating disease than the processed “white” types of whole grains that lack fiber.
Researchers have also found that whole grains like brown rice and black rice help in preventing insulin resistance, which is one of the leading factors for the decreased risk of obesity.
Final Thoughts on the Health Benefits of Black Rice
There are a lot of health benefits of black rice, and the most approved is it’s rich in anti-oxidant content.
Gradually with time, the “forbidden” black rice is coming into the limelight and has started to be consumed various countries because of its nutritional benefits.
Apart from the anti-oxidant benefit of black rice, there are several other benefits of it too. The other significant benefits include the weight loss and its ability to fight cancer.
One can only be healthy if he maintains a healthy diet into the eating plan and Black rice is a healthy food that needs to be included in the diet.
Despite being a healthy food, it tastes delicious too. The nutty flavor of the rice is what is adored by the people worldwide.