When eating rice, the best varieties to choose are the wholegrains. I cannot recommend this enough. Rich in fibre, low GI carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, these varieties are a great option to enjoy as part of a balanced diet. When we think of wholegrain rice, we usually think of just brown rice. But other varieties are becoming increasingly available now. Red and black rice, which can be purchased at many supermarkets now, are a great option when getting a variety of nutrients from your carbohydrate sources. I absolutely love the taste of black rice. With a chewy texture and nutty taste, this beauty has an amazing aroma. I seriously think you should try it if you are getting sick of your plain boring brown rice.
Black rice, also referred to as ‘Forbidden Rice’, is such an abundant wholefood. An ancient wholegrain, black rice has a range of health benefits that are quite impressive.
Rich in Antioxidants
The bran (outermost layer) of this rice has a beautiful deep black/dark purple pigment thanks too it being rich in antioxidants. The prominent antioxidant present in black rice is anthocyanin, which provides this beautiful colour. Anthocyanins have been extensively researched and intake has been correlated with many health benefits such as:
Black rice has been correlated with providing protection against cardiovascular disease, which is the number one cause of death in Australians. Black rice’s antioxidant profile has been linked with the decrease of atherosclerotic plaque formation in the arteries, which causes stiffening of arterial walls and are a major cause of heart attacks and stroke. It has also been linked with decreasing LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglyceride levels, other contributors to cardiovascular disease.
The anthocyanin constituent of black rice helps protect the body against DNA damage as a result of free radicals, the major cause of cancer. Black rice is also high in Vitamin E, another fantastic oxidant which acts as a defender against free radical oxidation.
The liver is the integral organ for processing nutrients from our food which are used by our body to build materials. Over time, harmful toxins can build up in the liver, contributing to disease. The consumption of black rice is an important contributor to the body’s detoxification pathway, as its antioxidant content assists with the cleansing and elimination of wastes from the body. This also provides assistance with the prevention of fatty liver disease.
Wholegrains and Fibre Content
By choosing wholegrain varieties, we are ensuring that we get antioxidants, as well as minerals, fibre and vitamins, particularly because these are all contained within bran of the grain. Refined grains like white rice have had these outer layers removed, and therefore can lack many of these important nutrients.
A major benefit we can get from consuming wholegrains is improved bowel health thanks to the presence of fibre. Providing approximately 2-3 grams of fibre per a cup serving, black rice adds to the recommended 30 grams we should be having per a day.
Fibre assists with the prevention of constipation, which is a major contributor to lethargy, toxin build up and bloating. Binding to waste and toxins within the digestive tract, fibre also helps to eliminate these from the body, improving overall health. Black rice is also rich in insoluble fibre, providing bulk to the stool and therefore assisting with the regulation of bowel movements and prevention of diarrhoea.
Dietary fibre assists with the feeling of fullness, providing us with fuel that is slowly digested. Fibre is what makes wholegrains low GI, as it takes the body longer to break these down thanks to the tough cellulose bonds between the sugar molecules. This also provides a benefit for those with diabetes, obesity and other metabolic diseases, as the absorption of sugars into the blood stream is slowed, therefore slowing the release of insulin.
As you can see, I am an absolute fan of black rice and truly believe this is an amazing wholefood to add to you balanced diet. Add it to salads, serve with curries and stir-fries, or substitute it for oats in porridge, you will not be disappointed!
Please do not hesitate to ask many any questions by leaving a comment below, I would be more than willing to help.