Have you heard about black rice? It is a less popular type of rice. The more popular types are white and brown rice. Other names for black rice are wild rice, forbidden rice, or black rice. Some people also call it “emperor’s rice”. It is a very ancient grain that has many impressive benefits. It is even more beneficial than other varieties. This rice type is very rich in powerful antioxidants that help your body to fight diseases. Not only that, but it also has lots of dietary fiber and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has great benefits for preventing diverse diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. It can even prevent weight gain. In this article, we will talk about black rice nutrition and its many benefits.
Asians have eaten black rice for many centuries. In ancient Chinese tradition, only royalty could eat black rice. Nut these days, it is gaining more popularity. You will find more of it in health-food stores all across the United States, Europe, and Australia. This is because people are beginning to discover the diverse health benefits that black rice can offer. Many people now consider black rice to be a superfood. It has a high nutritional value and contains an abundance of antioxidants anthocyanins. Ancient Chinese Medicine even considers black rice to be a blood tonic. While you cannot eat black rice while on keto, it goes well with gluten-free eating. Read on as we tell you more about black rice.
Black Rice Nutrition Profile
Black rice does not have so many calories. A single serving of this rice contains just about 160 calories. In these 160 calories, you will get an abundant supply of flavonoid plant nutrients. It also contains lots of important fibers.
More so, black rice is a great source of mineral nutrients. It can also give you great amounts of plant proteins. To cap it up, its outside hull contains more anthocyanin antioxidants than you will find in any food. This antioxidant is the pigment that gives black rice its unique color.
Is black rice really healthy? One serving size measures about 1/4 cup. This serving size of steamed black rice will give you the following:
- 160 calories
- 4g protein
- 32g carbs
- 1.5g fat
- 2.3g fiber
- 0.7mg iron (about 4% daily value)
You can see how rich black rice is in nutrients, compared with other rice types. It indeed contains some beneficial nutrients. However, it is still a grain. This means that it is most beneficial if you eat it in moderation. More so, you should include it in a well-rounded and healthy diet.
Black rice has benefits and little to no adverse effects so long as you apply moderation in eating it. It is indeed a fiber-rich food with good antioxidant content. It is better than carb foods and refined grains. But then, it’s still a grain itself and, as such, may affect your blood glucose levels.
You should, therefore, keep a watchful eye on your portion size. You should also add a good source of protein and healthy fat to the plate when you eat black rice to get a balanced meal.
Benefits of Eating Black Rice
1. It’s rich in antioxidants
We know that berries have lots of antioxidants, and that is evident in their deep colors. The same is true for black rice. Its deep purple color is a result of its rich content of anthocyanin, a great antioxidant. There are even more anthocyanins in black rice than in blueberries.
Anthocyanin can help prevent heart disease, protect you from cancer by combatting free-radical damage, improve your brain function, and reduce inflammation, among many other benefits. Black rice also contains vitamin E, another great antioxidant that helps maintain eye, immune, and skin health.
2. It protects your heart health
Expert studies show that this rice type helps to decrease plaques in our arteries. This means that it helps to keep our arteries clear. This, in turn, prevents stroke and heart attacks.
More so, anthocyanins have additional positive effects on the prevention of heart disease and maintaining overall heart health. Anthocyanins help your body to maintain a healthy cholesterol level. It reduces both total cholesterol and bad (LDL) cholesterol.
3. It can help with detoxification
Studies show us that black rice helps to detoxify the body. It can cleanse your liver of toxic buildup that can harm your health. This benefit is also linked with its high content of antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and promote detoxification.
4. It enhances your digestive health and promotes weight loss
Remember that black rice has lots of fiber in it. As such, it can prevent constipation, as well as other undesirable digestive symptoms, such as bloating. Fibers bind to toxins and waste within your guts and aid their excretion.
Fibers in black rice contribute to proper bowel function. They also prevent diarrhea and improves existing cases. Why is this so? They help to add bulk to stool.
Aside from these, dietary fibers promote full-feeling. This enhances satisfaction and prevents unnecessary snacking. Fiber also has positive effects on insulin resistance. These, in turn, aid weight loss.
5. Gluten-free benefits
Black rice has many similarities with other varieties of rice. It is naturally free of gluten. So you can eat black rice if you have gluten sensitivity or intolerance, or if you suffer from celiac disease.
Many of the benefits that black rice offers are from the value of its brand. As such, you will only reap the full benefit if you buy 100% whole-grain black rice. Any other variety will not give you the full range of benefits.
There are different types of black rice. For instance, we have the Indonesian and Thai jasmine varieties, among many others. However, they all have similar nutritional and health benefits. More so, their tastes are similar as well.
The black rice nutrition profile is very great. It may not be the best food in the world. But then, it is the best rice in terms of nutrient profile and health benefits. You should add it to your meals.