Rice isn’t known for being a particularly eye-catching ingredient, but black rice (also known as forbidden rice) is in a league of its own. The purple-black grains are mesmerizing, especially when they’re paired with brightly colored foods like mango or watermelon radish, and there’s a good chance they’ve caught your eye on.
Despite the name, there’s nothing scary or mystical about forbidden rice. It’s just a type of rice with a black or brown outermost layer instead of the usual tan or brown. The color comes from anthocyanins—the same family of antioxidants found in other foods with a similar hue like blueberries and blackberries. And like brown rice, forbidden rice is a whole grain.
Not only is it the type of rice that is richest in powerful disease-fighting antioxidants, but it also contains dietary fiber, anti-inflammatory properties, and has the ability to help stop the development of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and even weight gain.
What are the benefits of this forbidden rice.
1. It detoxify the body.
The phytonutrients found in black rice help the body to reduce inflammation and to cleanse the body of harmful substances that can contribute to a wide range of conditions.
2. It serves as a good source of fiber.
Black rice and other whole grain rice varieties- like wild, red, or brown rices- have a similar amount of fiber, with about 2-3 grams per half cup serving. The fiber in black rice helps to prevent constipation, bloating, and other unwanted digestive symptoms. Fiber binds to waste and toxins within the digestive tract, helping to pull them out and to contribute to regular bowel function.
3. It maintains a healthy heart function.
The specific anthocyanins phytochemicals found in black rice help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels by reducing total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, and total triacylglycerol concentrations. These are 3 factors commonly involved in cardiovascular disease.
4. Its a natural gluten free product.
Unlike other rice varieties, black rice naturally contains no gluten.
Consuming black rice in place of not only refined grains and processed flour products, but also all wheat, barley, and rye containing foods- even those that are whole grain- can help eliminate digestive problems associated with eating gluten for many people.
5.It helps the absorbing of blood sugar in the bod there by eliminating Diabetes.
Compared to eating processed carbohydrates which are stripped of their fiber, 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 fiber is stored, and fiber is able to help glucose (sugar) from the grain to be absorbed by the body over a longer period of time.
6. Good for weight management.
Although there are 160 calories in a 1/2 cup serving of this rice, it is also chock full of fiber, which is very filling and can prevent overeating and the habit of snacking between meals.Furthermore, many of the minerals and active compounds in this rice will speed the metabolism, helping to passively burn calories and fat.
7. Good source of energy.
As a rich source of carbohydrates, black rice is an excellent way to provide a quick burst of energy. There is a reason that rice is such a staple food in many Asian countries; it is a dense and easy-to-eat source of carbs and bioavailable energy; black rice is no exception!
Method of preparing black rice.
To prepare this nutrient-dense rice variety at home, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.
Step 1 – Before cooking, be sure to thoroughly rinse the rice in a bowl with cold running water.
Step 2 – Add 2 cups of this rice and 4 cups of water to a pot.
Step 3 – Add 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and salt, then bring the mixture to a boil.
Step 4 – Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 30-40 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
Step 5 – Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Another method of cooking black rice .
Because it is unrefined and denser than white rice, black rice takes longer to cook. The best results can be achieved by first soaking your black rice for at least one hour before cooking it, but preferably for several hours.
If you can plan ahead of time and soak your rice, you will cut down on the amount of cooking time required and also make the nutrients in the rice more absorbable.
After soaking your rice, rinse the rice clean and then place it on the stove top with two cups of water for every one cup of rice. Boil the rice for at least one half hour if you did soak the rice, and for one hour if you didn’t.
Check the texture of the rice after this time to see if it is chewy and cooked through; if not, keep boiling until it reaches the texture you’re looking for.
Written By: Anna Dosu, a health ambassador and the CEO of Oasis of Living Food Venture.