Is Black Rice The Next Superfood?

Do you know that black rice is high on disease-fighting antioxidents? If you want to keep your heart healthy or if you are gluten intolerant, black rice might be the answer to all these and more.

By Monali Bordoloi  • 7 min read

Is Black Rice The Next Superfood?

For Nisha Garg, rice is her comfort food. She loves eating this grain every day. Recently, Nisha has started to notice that her need to urinate has increased and she gets tired easily. When she visited the doctor, she found out that she had diabetes.

After being diagnosed with this condition, Nisha Garg is looking for an alternative to rice as her doctor advised her to stay away from it. Now, with black rice, she has a healthier option to white rice.

White is the colour we usually associate with rice. But do you know that rice could be black too? For the health conscious, black rice is proving to be a superfood with many benefits. Prevalent in South-East Asia since long, black rice has recently been gaining in popularity. In ancient China, it was a forbidden food for commoners and considered fit only for the emperors because of its high nutritional value.

Benefits of black rice:

1. Full of antioxidants:
The deep black and purple colour of the rice is an indication of its high antioxidants content. Black rice has a high percentage of an antioxidant named Anthocyanin, higher than any other grains like quinoa, brown rice, red rice and even other whole grain varieties.

Various studies on the benefits of the Anthocyanin antioxidants show that it is capable of preventing serious ailments like cardiovascular disease and cancer. Various antioxidants found in black rice are also known to improve brain function.

2. Good for diabetics:
The average Glycemic Index (GI) of white rice is 89 GI whereas black rice has only 42.3. Due to its low GI, black rice is considered fit for diabetics. Moreover, nutrients present in black rice slow down the absorption process of sugar in the bloodstream, making it ideal for diabetes management.

3. Detoxifies the liver:
Black rice helps in detoxifying the body as the antioxidant present in it reduce the levels of triglyceride and total cholesterol which in turn reduces the risk of fatty liver disease.

Black rice also helps in regular bowel movement due to its high fibre content thereby keeping the guts clear.

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4. Provides dietary fibre:
A single serving of black rice, that is a half cup of cooked black rice contains 160 calories and just 1.5 grams of fat, making it to the list of superfood for those watching calories. As it has a high fibre content, black rice keeps us full for a long time.

5. Keeps cardiovascular disease at bay:
Regular consumption of black rice will keep the arteries clog-free. The main cause of cardiovascular disease is clogged arteries due to plaque build-up. Arteries are clogged due to the accumulation of fat and calcium. The high anthocyanin content in black rice has proved to prevent plaque build-up on artery walls. 

6. Treats inflammation:
The many therapeutic agents present in black rice are believed to treat and prevent diseases associated with chronic inflammation.

The high level of natural antioxidants present in black rice helps the body to reduce inflammation and to cleanse the body of harmful substances.

7. A naturally gluten-free grain:
Black rice naturally contains no gluten which comes as a boon for those suffering from gluten sensitivity and other serious ailments like Celiac disease. It is said that many people suffer from the symptoms of gluten sensitivity without even knowing about it. The common symptoms of both gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease are bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and nutrition deficiencies. There is an increased risk of developing a serious condition like leaky gut syndrome if the symptoms become severe. Consumption of black rice over refined and even whole grains has been proven to improve the digestive system of the eater.

Available online in the range of Rs 180 to Rs 350 per kg, (organic varieties cost more), black rice can also be made into porridge and rice cakes and kheer.

  1. Wash thoroughly and soak overnight, alternatively soak it for 2-3 hours.
  2.  Pour enough water to cover the rice.
  3.  Pressure cook it on high flame for 4 whistles or for half an hour.
  4.  Simmer and let it cook for another 15-20 minutes.

About the author:

Written by Monali Bordoloi on 20 February 2018.

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