Black Rice Health benefits outweighs any other grain in its category. Lets see how..
Rice is a staple food for more than 3.5 billion people of this world and it provides 20% or more of the daily calorie intake. With so many people eating this nutrient grain, have you ever wondered what is so rich about this? Let’s dissect it.
Black Rice – Karuppu Kavuni rice (Tamil name)
Black rice (Zizania aquatica) or “forbidden rice” is a rice variety with amazing health benefits derived from its rich content of antioxidants, iron, and vitamin E. The presence of anthocyanin pigment in the outermost layer of the rice kernel gives it its attractive black color. The traits in black rice are caused due to rearrangement of the Kala4 gene, which activates the production of anthocyanins. Black rice has higher levels of protein, fiber, vitamin B (thiamin and riboflavin), folic acid, and minerals (iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorous, and selenium) than white rice. Lysine and tryptophan are the major essential amino acids present in black rice. It is a rich source of tocopherols (vitamin E), iron, and antioxidants which help in improving health and increasing life span.
Forbidden Rice / Karuppu Kavuni
Black rice was a popular rice variety in China. It is also called Forbidden rice/Emperor rice as it was a staple food of Royalty. Black rice is rich in antioxidants, it improves health and longevity and was forbidden to common people. Black rice becomes purple when cooked, so some countries also called it purple rice. And now, we are lucky enough to taste this superfood without being an emperor or belonging to a royal family.
What is Anthocyanin?
Anthocyanins are colored water-soluble pigments belonging to the phenolic group. Anthocyanins responsible for the colors, red, purple, and blue, are in fruits and vegetables. Berries, currants, grapes, and some tropical fruits have high anthocyanin content. Red to purplish blue-colored leafy vegetables, grains, roots, and tubers are edible vegetables that contain a high level of anthocyanins. As it acts as an antioxidant, it helps in fighting free radicals.
And What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are toxic by-products of oxygen metabolism which can cause significant damage to living cells and tissues. So antioxidant-rich food is necessary to fight the free radicals (oxidative stress). Anthocyanin also has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous, and anti-viral properties.
1. Weight loss/prevents obesity:
Obesity is one of the most common illnesses in the current times, which is taken for granted and not given much importance. The truth is obesity leads to many other diseases.
Black rice is rich in protein and fiber, which makes us feel full and reduces our appetite. This naturally aids in promoting weight loss. Further studies and research on animals have proved that anthocyanin greatly aids in the reduction of body weight.
Consuming Black rice along with brown/red rice and a calorie-restricted diet will help in the reduction of body fat when compared to consuming white rice.
2. Rich in Antioxidants:
Although black rice is not commonly used, it is high in several antioxidants when compared to all other rice varieties. Higher the amount of antioxidants, the higher the health benefits. It protects our cells and tissues from damage.
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.
3. Helps to Fight Cancer:
Oxidative stress can build up in our body, due to several imbalances in our day-to-day activities and habits. It leads to various health issues including cancer. Since Black rice is rich in antioxidants, studies and research are being done to prove that Black rice cures many types of cancer.
A review of population-based studies found that a higher intake of anthocyanin-rich foods was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
Furthermore, a test-tube study found that anthocyanins from black rice reduced the number of human breast cancer cells, as well as slowed their growth and ability to spread.
4. Prevents risk of diabetes:
Black rice is rich in dietary fiber, which takes longer to digest, and sugar is released slowly and for a longer period. This prevents the sudden boost of blood sugar levels when compared to white rice. So Black Rice prevents the spiking of insulin levels and makes it suitable for diabetic patients and prevents Type-2 diabetes.
5. Improves and protects heart health:
Studies conducted on animals have proved that Black rice protects from various types of heart diseases.Anthocyanin aids in reducing cholesterol levels. Black rice reduces LDL and triglycerides. Plaque build-up clogs the arteries and leads to problems like stroke, coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, kidney problems. Consuming black rice regularly has proven to reduce atherosclerotic plaque build-up.
Keep your heart healthy by consuming Black rice.
6. Natural liver Detoxifier:
Black rice is a natural detoxifier. The phytonutrients present in the black rice help the liver to eliminate unwanted toxins from our bodies.
The antioxidants in black rice regulate the metabolism of fatty acids and reduce bad cholesterol which in turn cures the fatty liver disease.
7. Cures Asthma & Reduces Inflammation:
Studies show that the black rice extract has proven to reduce chronic inflammation, edema and works wonders in suppressing allergies. Anthocyanin has proved to prevent and reduce asthmatic attacks. As black rice has anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces the inflammation of the airways and mucus hypersecretion associated with respiratory diseases.
8. Protects from hypertension (BP):
The dietary fiber present in Black rice reduces lipid levels and maintains blood pressure to be normal.
9. Improves Eye Health:
Overall eye health is improved by using Black Rice, studies prove that anthocyanins are highly effective in preventing and reducing retinal damage.
10. Aids in healthy brain function:
Studies have proved that long-term use of anthocyanin-rich food improves cognitive ability by reducing oxidative stress thereby maintaining healthy brain functioning.
Research is still being conducted to prove that Black rice can also prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
11. High fiber – Gluten-Free – improves digestive health:
As whole grain rice, Black rice is rich in dietary fiber that naturally improves the digestive health of our gut.
12. Rich in Protein Content
Forbidden rice is rich in protein content when compared to all other types of rice. This adds extra benefit to vegetarians, as black rice becomes a good source of protein to our diet. Protein becomes an important part of our diet to build and repair tissues.
13. Fights Inflammation
Studies have reported that anthocyanin compounds have an anti-inflammatory effect. It reduces the induction of pro-inflammatory compounds and increases the production of anti-inflammatory compounds. This indicates that black rice has an amazing potential to treat diseases associated with chronic inflammation.
14. Improves Lipid Profile
Black rice can reduce high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. The presence of tocopherols and tocotrienols exhibit a protective action on the blood lipid profile. Tocotrienols present in black rice suppress the action of an enzyme involved in the production of cholesterol.
Black Rice – Let’sLive Products
Let’sLive procures black rice from its farmers directly. The produce is carefully stored after harvest and sent to our customers after due testing. No preservatives are used for storage purposes. As and when orders are received, the product is cleaned and sent to customers directly. Our technically qualified team coaches and transfer advanced technology to our farmers to better utilize resources and save the environment from unnecessary wastages.
Click on the left image to buy Black rice
Click on the right image to know how to use Black Rice
Let’sLive is a social empowerment enterprise committed to enhancing and improving the livelihoods of tribal and farming communities. We work directly with small-scale farmers so that our customers can get access to products that are natural, pristine, and picked from the lap of nature. We encourage and provide advice for practicing ethical farming and eco-friendly methods to all those who partner with us.
At Let’sLive we are passionate about bringing in 100% all-natural and healthy products directly from the farming and tribal communities to your doorstep like Pure Raw Honey, Traditional varieties of rice, etc. We want our consumers to enjoy and have direct access to the products that are pristine and picked directly from the lap of nature. The mandates by which we operate are:
* Value every life around us by encouraging ethical farming
* Leverage local knowledge and promote legacy harvesting practices with high hygienic standards
* No preservatives or artificial processing on any of our products
* Each product can be traced back to its origins and the people involved in its making
* Educate consumers on the importance of consuming rich and natural local produce
Aditya Soman is a technology turned agriculturist whose interest in native products, native seeds and natural farming spans over a decade providing insights to readers with facts about various produce and their relationship with human health.