Widely famous as “purple rice”, “emperor’s rice” or “forbidden rice”, black rice is a rice variety heavily enriched with the anthocyanin pigment, the same antioxidant pigment that causes eggplants and black wheat to have a deep color. It is nearly always sold as a whole grain, with the outermost layer of bran unremoved, thus technically speaking, making black rice a kind of brown, or unrefined, rice. Nutritionally, it is comprised of protein, fiber, iron, and vitamin E, to name some. Furthermore, rice is lower in calories, higher in protein, and lower in carbs.
A powerful grain that is packed with many beneficial nutrients, the resulting health benefits far exceed those provided by other kinds of daily-consumption grains.
Antioxidants are beneficial compounds that safeguard body cells against oxidative stress caused by harmful molecules termed free radicals. As oxidative stress has been linked to a heightened risk of numerous chronic conditions, not excluding heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and some forms of cancer, these compounds are crucial for a healthy body, and black rice is loaded with them.
The outer layer of black rice, made up of bran and hull, is of a black-purple color, owing to the presence of a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin. In comparison to red rice, red quinoa, brown rice, or other colored, whole grain lines, black rice contains it in the highest amounts. Thus, it has strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer effects on the body, keeping it healthy. Research has also demonstrated that anthocyanin defends against many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, obesity, and some types of cancer.
Apart from anthocyanin, inclusive of several kinds of carotenoids and flavonoids, black rice carries within it more than 23 plant compounds with antioxidant properties.
All in all, research has demonstrated that on the overall, black rice has the highest antioxidant capacity and activity!
Research has demonstrated that the phytochemicals present in black rice help in bringing down the LDL cholesterol, (that is, “bad” cholesterol) which is a common factor underlying cardiovascular diseases, apart from also reducing overall cholesterol.
The anthocyanin contained in black rice is a major reason underlying the cancer-fighting capacity of this powerful grain.
Various researches conducted across the world have produced a number of such results. This pigment has the potential of suppressing tumor growth, apart from reducing the number, growth and spread of breast cancer cells. It could also minimize, upon its regular intake, the chances of colorectal cancer.
As already mentioned, black rice is packed with a large number of various types of antioxidants, all of which help fight against any inflammatory issues in the body. Black rice can potentially contribute in reducing edema and skin allergies- basically referring to diseases that are linked to chronic inflammation.
Aids in Healthy Weight Management
Since black rice is lower in calories and carbohydrates, and higher in protein and fiber than white or brown rice, it is a low-calorie superfood.
It is a rich source of protein and fiber, both of which can contribute to weight loss by controlling appetite and making the stomach feel fuller. Furthermore, it is likely that anthocyanins may aid in bringing down body weight and body fat percentage.
Boosts Brain Function
According to some preliminary research, anthocyanins present in black rice can help boost memory functioning and learning ability.
Improve Heart Functioning
Several antioxidants present in black rice have been demonstrated to fight off heart disease. Particularly, flavonoids like those found in it have been linked with a reduced chance of developing and dying from heart disease. Added to this, anthocyanins may help raise “good” (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and reduce “bad” (LDL) cholesterol.
Promotes Eye Health
Black rice carries high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin — two types of carotenoids that are linked with eye health. These compounds function as antioxidants to safeguard the eyes from potentially harmful free radicals.
In particular, these have also been demonstrated to protect the retina by filtering out the damaging blue light waves.
Additionally, research indicates that these antioxidants may play a crucial function in reducing the chances of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness globally. They may also lower the chances of diabetic retinopathy and cataracts.
Found in cereal grains, such as barley, rye, and wheat, gluten is a kind of protein. But it can be unsuitable for some individuals who are allergic to it, causing gastrointestinal issues such as bloating and abdominal pain. Surprisingly, black rice is a healthy, naturally gluten-free alternative which also boosts digestive well-being, being rich in fiber apart from other beneficial nutrients.
All in all, black rice is a wholesome super-grain, which can provide a host of long-term health benefits on regular consumption!