If you’ve ever had black rice, you can appreciate its exotic purple-black colour, chewy texture, and nutty, slightly sweet flavour. But this special rice is more than just delicious; it’s also remarkably healthful, and it’s being hailed as a rice “superfood” in recent years.
According to a dietician, “Black rice has been slow to cross over to places outside of Asia, but we are finally starting to understand its benefits as a healthy, appetising and beautiful food.”
dietitian looks into the origins of black rice and the health benefits it offers.
What is forbidden rice?
A form of heirloom rice known as “forbidden black rice” has been a staple of the Asian cuisine for countless years. It is a member of the Oryza sativa species, which also includes the black rice types found in Thailand and Indonesia.
Long-, medium-, or short-grain black rice are all options. Black rice is typically grown on a smaller scale than other varieties of rice, such as white, brown, and red rice.
According to preliminary study, black rice has antioxidant benefits that are even more powerful than those of blueberries (if you can imagine that). Additionally, it might strengthen your defences and shield your body from diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and others.
What makes black rice known as “forbidden rice”?
Traditional Chinese medicine makes use of black rice, commonly referred to as prohibited black rice or emperor’s rice. To ensure their health and long lives, it was originally solely available to the powerful and wealthy. Nobody else was permitted to consume it.
Thankfully, that’s no longer the case, and black rice can be found easily at eateries, grocers, and online.
What gives black rice its dark color?
Comparing black rice to other varieties, black rice is notably abundant in nutrients. But anthocyanins, potent antioxidant pigments that shield the cells in your body from harm, are particularly abundant in it. This rice’s distinctive hue is a result of anthocyanins, which are also present in eggplant, açai berries, blueberries, and Concord grapes.
Benefits of forbidden rice for health
According to a review of the available data, forbidden rice has a number of positive health effects, including:
- help you maintain your weight
- improving eye health
- Defend against diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
- decrease inflammation
However, preliminary study on the nutritional value of black rice is encouraging, according to dietician.
You are aware that forbidden rice is rich in nutrients and anti-oxidants, which support our bodies’ ability to fend against sickness. In order to enhance our diets and maintain our health, it is necessary that foods be minimal in sugar, fat, and salt.
Black forbidden rice could be useful:
1. Boost dietary intake
Black rice has a higher concentration of minerals like vitamin E, calcium, and potassium that support healthy bodily function. It includes high quantities of: and has more protein, fibre, and iron than other forms of rice.
- Amino acids.
- Acids fatty.
For instance, cooked black rice has 2.4 mg of iron per cup (100 grammes), which is more than 10 times the amount in unenriched white rice. Additionally, compared to 6.94 grammes in white rice, it has 8.89 g of protein.
2. Support eye health
Carotenoids, a class of antioxidants, support the preservation of healthy cells in your eyes, particularly the retinas. Additionally, studies have indicated that carotenoids inhibit the development of cancerous cells and lessen the potentially hazardous effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The immune system, skin, and eyes are all protected by the vitamin E in anthocyanin.
3. Assist in managing diabetes
Your body’s sensitivity to insulin can be increased by antioxidants and plant-based compounds (phytochemicals). Your ability to use glucose is improved by this process. It reduces blood sugar levels and inhibits the rate of absorption of sugar by your body.
4. Defend against illness
Compared to other varieties of rice and many other meals, black rice grains have a higher concentration of the antioxidant anthocyanin in their outer layer. As a result of free radicals harming your cells, antioxidants guard against cancer, promote brain health, and help avoid cardiovascular disease.
Additionally, the black rice’s protein and fibre can:
- Boost the health of your digestive system.
- prevent obesity.
- encourage weight loss
5. Minimize inflammation
Black rice contains antioxidants and plant-based nutrients that aid your body’s edoema be lessened. Consuming black rice may lessen the signs and symptoms of inflammatory disorders including arthritis and dermatitis, though additional research is necessary, says dietician.
Does forbidden rice have gluten in it?
Gluten, a protein present in some varieties of rice (such as quick and flavoured rice) as well as whole-grain foods made with wheat, rye, and barley, is naturally absent from black rice. According to dietitian, eating black rice is safe for those who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease.
What dangers lurk in the forbidden rice?
While rice in general is harmless (and is no longer just for emperors), black rice does contain the heavy element arsenic. Rinse black rice while it’s still dry before cooking to lower your chance of consuming too much arsenic. As too much black rice may have gastrointestinal side effects including an upset stomach, bloating, or gas, it is also preferable to consume it in moderation.
Enjoy the delicious benefits of black rice
Unsure of how to prepare the forbidden rice? It’s advisable to pre-soak the rice for 30 to 60 minutes due to its chewy texture. Then cook the black rice by boiling, frying, steaming, or even under pressure, but it usually takes longer than other types to cook (typically 30 minutes to 60 minutes). Observe the instructions for both your dish and the specific type of rice.
Uncooked black rice can be kept for up to six months in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark location. For three to five days, cooked prohibited rice can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Use black rice in stir-fries, desserts, salads, and soups. Its nutty flavour, chewy texture, nutritional boost, and gorgeous presentation on your dish will quickly win you over.