March 05, 2021 3 min read

Black Rice; the Forbidden Rice-What are the Benefits of Black Rice?

Black rice is an ancient grain with names such as “forbidden rice” and “emperor’s rice”. The benefits of black rice are unlimited and impressive. Its origin dates back to Asia thousands of year ago. Black rice is now also emerging in health food stores in the USA, Australia and Europe. 

 What is Black Rice?

 Black rice is medium-grain and non-glutinous. It has a dark purplish-black color, which is due to the presence of anthocyanins. One meal has almost 160 calories but is rich in fiber and plant-based protein.

 Health Benefits

 Seven significant health benefits of black rice are:

  1. Antioxidants

 Black rice is rich in carbohydrates. The outermost layer contains one of the highest levels of the antioxidant, anthocyanin. Antioxidants help in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, protect against cancer and improving brain functioning. 

  1. Heart Health 

 Black rice decreases the dangerous formation of plaque in arteries. Therefore, it prevents heart attacks and stroke. They can prevent cardiovascular diseases and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. 

  1. Detoxification

 The liver gets cleansed up of the harmful toxins. If you consume black rice, it detoxifies the body.

  1. Digestive and Metabolic Health

 Fiber content in black rice prevents constipation, bloating and other digestive problems such as diarrhea. It also aids in weight loss by satisfying appetite for a longer time. 

  1. Gluten-Free 

 Many people are sensitive to gluten today, and this makes black rice best for them. Consuming forbidden rice can help in elimination of digestive problems associated with eating gluten for many people. 

  1. Slows Down Absorption of Sugar 

 It helps in prevention of diabetes and weight gain. Black rice lowers the risk of diabetes and keeps your energy levels balanced. 

  1. Prevents Fat Gain 

 Fiber and nutrients present in whole grain rice helps in lowering the appetite hence preventing overeating. They also prevent insulin resistance therefore preventing increased risk for obesity. 

 History and Uses in Traditional Medicine

 Thousands of years back, Chinese grandees did not allow public to consume black rice – giving them the name forbidden rice. In the U.S, black rice got an introduction in the 1990s. Chinese used black rice in medicine for kidneys, stomach and liver since ancient times. 

 Difference between Black and Brown Rice

 Black fibers are the richest in antioxidants, protein and dietary fiber. Comparatively, it is also the best source of iron. When we compare black rice and brown rice, black rice has higher levels of Vitamin E.

 Where to Find and How to Cook 

 It is readily available in health food stores, large food markets and Asian supermarkets. When more people start using black rice, they will become more widely available. 

 Cooking forbidden rice takes longer as it is unrefined and denser. The best way to cook them is to soak them for several hours before cooking. Cook until the rice becomes chewy, and keep it boiling until you get the texture you want. 

 How to Cook Black Rice

 Black rice can make a delicious side dish with an addition of salt and pepper. They can also be part of some soup or stew for increasing the taste. It is also a part of dessert porridge, black rice cakes, noodles and much more. Some other black rice recipes are “Rice, Tomatoes and Basil” and “Rice Salad”.

 Risks and Side Effects

Experts recommend eating a moderate amount of black rice for maximum benefits. When we compare the advantages of black rice with its side effects, we find nothing special. Overall, a common side effect of all grains is their ability to affect blood sugar levels. Therefore, moderation is the key while eating black rice.