What do you think of having black rice with your meal for lunch or dinner? It may seem a little unusual to many people but did you know that it comes with a whole host of nutrition and health benefits?
Except for a very mild nutty flavour and chewy texture, black rice tastes almost like white rice or red rice – the only difference is in its deep purple-black colour, which is caused by a natural pigmentation process from a plant tissue called anthocyanin. Thanks to this, the rice contains high levels of antioxidants.
In fact, black rice is so highly nutritious that in ancient China, it was once only available to nobility and royalty. Everyone else was forbidden to eat it.
Take a look at some of the health benefits of the “forbidden” rice below:
High in Protein, Fiber and Iron
Among all types of rice, black rice has the highest levels of protein. Just 100 grams of black rice contains 9 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber and 6% of your daily value of iron! A high level of fiber is also great for weight loss as it helps to reduce appetite and increases feelings of fullness.
High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are very important to the human body because they fight free radicals that have been associated with heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain forms of cancer.
Boosts Heart Health
The flavonoids found in black rice have been linked to decreased risk of developing and dying from heart disease.
Thanks to the contents of anthocyanin in black rice, the number of cancer cells in the human body can be reduced.
Supports Eye Health
This rice contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect your eyes from potentially damaging free radicals. By protecting the retina by filtering out harmful blue light waves.
This is great news especially for people who are allergic to gluten or those who are suffering from celiac disease, and those who are generally on a healthy diet.
Meanwhile, red rice is also healthy and nutritional. Just like black rice, it is packed with antioxidants and flavonoids, can help decrease inflammation in your body, keep radical levels in check, and may reduce your risk of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
So how do you cook the rice? Cooking methods are as easy as cooking other types of rice – just combine rice with water in an electric cooker or pot and cook till the water is gone and the rice is fluffy!
Now that you know all the nutritional benefits of “forbidden” rice, why not give it a try? It also makes a great gift for friends and loved ones.
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