Choosing certain rice varieties over others can be a simple way to improve your diet. Whole-grain varieties of rice can make a difference since they contain the bran and germ, providing more of specific nutrients like fiber, protein, antioxidants, and certain vitamins and minerals. Here Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, HealthLine.com, reflects on benefits and uses of black rice:
“Also called forbidden or purple rice, black rice is a type of rice that belongs to the Oryza sativa L. species (1Trusted Source).
Black rice gets its signature black-purple color from a pigment called anthocyanin, which has potent antioxidant properties (2Trusted Source).
In ancient China, it’s said that black rice was considered so unique and nutritious that it was forbidden for all but royalty (1Trusted Source).
Today, thanks to its mild, nutty flavor, chewy texture, and many nutritional benefits, black rice can be found in numerous cuisines around the world.
Here are 11 benefits and uses of black rice.
Good Source of Several Sources
It’s also a good source of iron — a mineral that’s essential for carrying oxygen throughout your body (7Trusted Source)
A 1/4 cup (45 grams) of uncooked black rice provides (3):
- Calories: 160
- Fat: 1.5 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Carbs: 34 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Iron: 6% of the Daily Value (DV)
Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that protect your cells against oxidative stress caused by molecules known as free radicals (9Trusted Source).
They’re important, as oxidative stress has been associated with an increased risk of several chronic conditions, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain forms of cancer (9Trusted Source).
Despite being less popular than other rice varieties, research shows that black rice has the highest overall antioxidant capacity and activity (10Trusted Source).
In fact, in addition to anthocyanin, black rice has been found to contain over 23 plant compounds with antioxidant properties, including several types of flavonoids and carotenoids (8Trusted Source).
Therefore, adding black rice to your diet can be an easy way to incorporate more disease-protecting antioxidants into your diet.
Contains the plant compound anthocyanin
Anthocyanins are a group of flavonoid plant pigments that are responsible for the purple color of black rice, as well as several other plant based foods like blueberries and purple sweet potatoes (2Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
Furthermore, animal, test-tube, and population studies have shown that eating foods high in anthocyanins may help protect against several chronic diseases, including heart disease, obesity, and some forms of cancer (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
May aid weight loss
Furthermore, early animal research suggests that anthocyanins like those found in black rice may help reduce body weight and body fat percentage (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).
One 12-week study found that giving mice with obesity on a high fat diet anthocyanins from black rice resulted in a 9.6% reduction in body weight. However, these results have not been replicated in humans (21Trusted Source).
While research on black rice’s role in weight loss in humans is limited, it has been found to help reduce weight when combined with brown rice.
In a 6-week study in 40 women with excess weight, those who ate a mix of brown and black rice up to 3 times per day on a calorie-restricted diet lost significantly more body weight and body fat than those eating white rice (31Trusted Source).
May boost heart health
Research on black rice’s effects on heart health is limited. However, many of its antioxidants have been shown to help protect against heart disease.
Additionally, early research in animals and humans suggests that anthocyanins may help improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels (13Trusted Source).
One study in 120 adults with high cholesterol levels found that taking two 80-mg anthocyanin capsules per day for 12 weeks resulted in significantly improved HDL (good) cholesterol levels and significantly reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (19Trusted Source).
Another study analyzing the effects of a high cholesterol diet on plaque accumulation in rabbits found that adding black rice to the high cholesterol diet resulted in 50% less plaque buildup, compared with diets containing white rice (20Trusted Source).
While this study suggests that eating black rice may protect against heart disease, these results have not been observed in humans.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/black-rice-benefits#4.-May-boost-heart-health
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