Black Rice…The “Forbidden Rice”
By Lisa Metzgar, PhD – Nutrition Tidbits
In ancient China, Nobles did not allow the commoners to eat this amazing grain,Black Rice.
If caught stealing this coveted rice, you could be put to death. Recently, Black Rice has caught the attention of health conscious individuals for being a super food. It is now available in main stream health food stores and I recently found it at Costco.
This rice is very dark in color, almost black, in its dried form and when cooked it is a beautiful deep purple. It has a nice nutty flavor with a bit of floral finish making it a delicious alternative for a healthy grain.
There are many amazing health benefits of black rice, making it a super food. It has even more health benefits than brown rice. The rich dark color is due to its high antioxidant, especially anthocyanin (an antioxidant found in blueberries). Antioxidants protect your cells from free radical damage. Free radical damage can increase your risk of cancer and heart disease.
Black rice is rich in iron which can help prevent anemia. Iron helps keep the body oxygenated by aiding in the production of red blood cells. It is an excellent food to eat if you are training for any kind of sporting event to help improve circulation and the oxygenation of blood and muscles.
The bran in black rice is high in fiber which helps lower cholesterol and keeps the colon healthy. Fiber helps lower the glycemic index which helps prevent diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. It has a much lower glycemic index than white rice. Glycemic index measures the rate that blood sugars go up. The lower the index, the slower sugars are released into the blood stream. Eating a diet of lower glycemic index foods helps control the epidemic of high blood sugars and over insulin production.
Black rice has been shown to be an excellent anti-inflammatory food. Chronic inflammation creates serious health issues. Studies on mice have shown to reduce chronic contact dermatitis by feeding them the bran of black rice. Brown rice did not have the same affect. It is always better to control inflammation with natural means instead of drugs that can cause other problems.
Black rice is a good source of healthy carbohydrates, low in fat, more protein than white rice, and low in calories. It is a great food to add to your family’s diet for all its wonderful health benefits. It is easy to replace your typical white rice or potatoes with black rice. Try adding it to your soups, salads, scramble with your eggs, replace it in your favorite risotto recipe, add to your stir fry, and even in desserts. Your kids will love the rich purple color and the sweet nutty flavor.