Black rice is a highly beneficial ancient grain, used to improve liver, stomach, and kidney function. Also known as forbidden rice, it was reserved only for Chinese royalty for hundreds of years.
Nowadays, it is popular in Europe, Australia, and the United States, where it was only recently introduced. Black rice has a dark purplish-black color with a nutty, slightly sweet flavor.
It is often considered a superfood due to its high nutritional content, in addition to the fact that it’s naturally high in anthocyanins, which give the rice its unique coloring. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s even considered a blood tonic.
It has an outer shell like brown rice, making it a little more time-intensive to cook, but you can speed up the process by soaking it for an hour. The anthocyanins in its content may help fight serious health issues, like cancer and heart disease.
One serving of black or forbidden rice contains only around 160 calories but is high in flavonoid phytonutrients. Black rice is also a rich source of important fiber, substantial mineral content and plant-based protein.
A 1/4 cup serving of steamed organic black rice contains approximately:
- 156 calories
- 32 grams carbohydrates
- 4 grams protein
- 1.5 grams fat
- 2.3 grams fiber
- 0.7 milligram iron (4 percent DV)
Researchers tested black rice bran and found it was a “useful therapeutic agent for the treatment and prevention of diseases associated with chronic inflammation.”
It improves health in various ways, so here are some of its health benefits:
1. Helps Prevent Obesity
Research has shown that whole grain rice varieties, such as black rice, can help prevent insulin resistance, and thus lowers the risk for obesity.
2. Protects the Heart
Black rice reduces plaque formation in the arteries and thus protects against heart attacks and stroke. Moreover, it is loaded with phytochemicals that maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
3. Strengthens the Immune System
Black rice is rich in antioxidants that boost immunity, fight inflammation, boost brain function, and fight off free radical damage.
Black rice is a gluten-free grain, so it is a healthy alternative for wheat, rye, and barley.
5. Helps Prevent Diabetes
Studies have shown that the consumption of black rice can help prevent diabetes, as it slows down the absorption of sugar in the blood and regulates blood sugar levels.
6. Detoxifies the Body
Black rice detoxifies the body and the antioxidants in its content reduce oxidative stress and cleanse the liver and arteries of toxins.
7. Improves Digestive Health
Black rice is high in fiber which prevents and treats digestive issues like bloating and constipation.