Black rice

Black rice is a nutritious rice and a type of glutinous rice. It is delicious and also called purple rice. What makes it so healthy? Know it’s nutrients and health benefits.

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Black rice

Black rice is a type of rice that is oryza sativa (cultivated form of wild rice) variety. It also has other names such as purple rice, emperor’s rice or forbidden rice. It has a deep purple black color with a rich complex flavor. Moreover, its anthocyanin pigments provides it with a slight nuttiness and sweetness.

Black rice
Black rice (Source: Pinterest)

The wild rice had only one color which was red. But when China started cultivating it around 5000 to 9000 years ago, it was in a range of colors such as white, brown, red and black. The colors were due to the grain’s outer layer hue. Some people preferred one color rice and with cross breeding began to grow them in vast numbers.

Black rice had a rich taste and became popular amongst the elite group. It was forbidden to anyone who was not royal or rich. Hence it acquired the name of forbidden rice. You will find this rice in Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and China. It is short grained or long grained. The long grained is healthier with less starch and lower glycemic index.

Nutritional value

O.25 cup serving of this rice has 173 calories and 2 grams of fat. Cholesterol, trans fats and saturated fats are nil. This has a total carb amount of 38 grams. While protein is 5 grams. Sugar is 1 gram and dietary fiber is 3 grams.

It has no potassium and sodium is low at just 4 mg in this serving size of 0.25 cup. This rice has some amounts of iron and calcium but no vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin A, cobalamin or vitamin B6. It also has no magnesium in it.

Black rice
Black rice and its nutritional facts (Source: In harvest)

This rice contains vitamin E, phosphorus, chromium, manganese and copper. Additionally, it has riboflavin and niacin.

Health benefits

This rice is rich in the antioxidant, anthocyanin pigment. This gives the rice its high nutritive value. The pigment mops up the harmful free radicals of the body. Thus, they protect the body from chronic diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and such illnesses. It boosts the heart and improves overall body fitness.

Moreover, this rice is high in lutein and zeaxanthin. These two carotenoids are useful for eye health. They protect the eyes by removing the effects of ultraviolet rays on them. The flavonoids in the rice improve insulin sensitivity and hence helps in blood sugar management in healthy adults as well as diabetes patients.

It has 18 amino acids including the essential as well as non essential amino acids. These aid in tissue repair and growth. It also has fatty acids of the healthy type.

Black rice
Cooked Black rice (Source: Oh Sweet mercy)

Also, read Making Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch

Black rice may have some arsenic that it gets from the soil. To prevent toxicity, rinse the rice under free flowing water before cooking. One can cook it. But it requires more water for cooking. It has a chewy texture and is more nutritious than white rice.