Haven’t heard of black rice? It’s not surprising really, it’s pretty rare compared to its brown and white relatives. Despite being less popular than brown rice or wild rice, black rice, known as forbidden rice, is an ancient grain that has even more impressive health benefits than most other closely related rice varieties. It’s no wonder that this ancient blend was reserved for Chinese royalty centuries ago and maintains its unique name from these times. Here are the top benefits of black rice:
Black rice is abundant in anti-oxidants! Antioxidants are natural or synthetic substances that protect or reduce the likelihood of cell damage from environmental toxins and free radicals. Black rice is rich in anthocyanin antioxidants, which may be helpful in fighting cancer and heart disease. 10 spoonfuls of cooked black rice has as much anthocyanin as a spoonful of blueberries. To top it off, anthocyanins are water-soluble, unlike other antioxidants in black rice which are fat-soluble. This means the antioxidants in black rice can reach many different parts of your body.
Black rice decreases dangerous atherosclerotic plaque formation in the arteries, which is very important for keeping arteries clear and preventing heart attacks and stroke. The specific anthocyanins phytochemicals found in black rice help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels by reducing total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol.
Black rice bran is rich in phytochemicals, so adding it to your diet could help you improve and maintain your health. You can make homemade black rice bran powder by grinding dried kernels in a coffee grinder. Put the powder on fish or in pancakes to add flavor, nutrients and color. Food manufacturers could use black rice bran and bran extracts to increase the health benefits of breakfast cereals, drinks, baked goods and other foods.
FREE OF GLUTEN
Black rice is naturally free of gluten, a protein found in all products containing wheat, barley and/or rye. Many people that suffer from gluten allergy might find this whole grain helpful in removing digestive problems related to the gluten sensitivity.
Black rice is full of antioxidants in them and they help to detox the body and cleanse the liver of harmful toxic build up. There are also phytonutrients found in black rice which help the body to reduce inflammation and cleans the body of harmful substances that might contribute to a wide range of harmful conditions. Having your body detoxed is good news not just for health purposes, but also for your skin. A lot of times, your skin suffers from breakouts when there are too much toxins in your body. So clearing the toxins means blemish free skin.
LOW ABSORPTION OF SUGAR
Compared to eating processed carbohydrates which are stripped of their fibre, antioxidants, and other nutrients that help to slow down the absorption of sugar in the blood stream, black rice is a much healthier option. Black rice contains the entire bran of the grain where the fibre is stored, and fibre is able to help glucose (sugar) from the grain to be absorbed by the body over a longer period of time.
CAN BE USED AS NATURAL FOOD COLOURING
Black rice extract’s natural colours may offer a healthy alternative to the artificial food colourings some manufacturers add to beverages and foods. The pigments in black rice extracts can produce a variety of colours, from black to pink, which might make the powder of black rice bran a good source for natural food colouring.