The first time I ever saw, heard, or knew about black rice was walking down one of the aisles of Costco with my grandmother. We went to get some brown rice and there it was. A very attractive black bag of black rice. Naturally, we were curious and picked one up to try it. Well, why not? We are both the curious types. Especially when it comes to trying out new things in the kitchen. Needless to say, the rice was an immediate success. I sad good riddance to brown rice and put black rice in my best friends forever group.
Upon researching, I noticed the pretty bag said that black rice was very rich in antioxidants and was also known as ‘forbidden’ rice. Umm, ok? Well, here is what my meddling found.
Black Rice and its OTHER name…Forbidden Rice
Black rice originally comes from the same family as the better known brown and white rice. And all three come fro the Chinese area. Stories go that black rice received its other name, forbidden rice, due to the fact that only the Chinese emperor and royal family were allowed to eat it. It was forbidden for others to eat the rice without the emperor’s approval. Although first recorded in china, black rice is also found as Thai jasmine black rice and Indonesia.
Nutritional and Health Values
Like brown rice, black rice is antioxidant-rich. But unlike brown rice, black rice has a very high anthocyanin content which is what gives the rice the black to dark purple appearance. Anthocyanin is also what makes blueberries, grapes, blackberries, and acai berries that rich purple color. Black rice is also a good source of iron, fiber, and vitamin E.
A study published by the Journal of International Immunopharmacology reported that the main constituent of black rice was highly effective in suppressing inflammation in the body.
Anthocyanin antioxidants are associated with memory improvement, improving in learning, decreased risk of heart disease, reduced blood levels of “bad” cholesterol, and cancer. According to a 2010 study presented at the 240th National Meeting of American Chemical Society, one spoonful of black rice bran has the same or more amount of anthocyanin than a spoonful of blueberries.
In short, anthocyanin antioxidants, and antioxidants in general, are so so so good for you. I strongly believe that an antioxidant rich diet is what helped my face acne finally clear up.
As for black rice itself, I’m a huge fan of it. Ever since discovering it, it’s the only rice I want to eat. Although I do still eat my brown and white rice on occasion. I have attached links in case you want read further into the great qualities of black rice.
If you have any personal stories, questions, or comments in regards to the rice, leave a comment!