Black Rice – A super food which is being consumed by millions in Asia over time immemorial
Rice is a staple for more than 3.5 billion people in the world and it constitutes about 20% or more of the daily calorie intake. With so many people consuming this rich nutrient, have you ever wondered what makes it so rich? Let’s dissect it.
Rice (Oryza Sativa), edible starchy cereal grain, belongs to the grass plant (family Poaceae) thru which it is produced. 95% of the crop harvested is consumed by human beings. Rice has become a mainstay in breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. With such huge consumption, it should be one of the best-known sources of food for humans right? It is true but in recent years, it has also been stated that rice directly aids in diabetic conditions.
Many cultures have evidence of early rice cultivation, including China, India, and the civilizations of Southeast Asia. However, the earliest archaeological evidence comes from central and eastern China and dates to 7000–5000 BCE. More than 90 percent of the world’s rice is grown in Asia, principally in China, India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, with smaller amounts grown in Japan, Pakistan, and various other Southeast Asian nations. Rice is also cultivated in parts of Europe, North and South America, and Australia.
India is one of the largest producers and consumers of rice in the world. Hundreds of different varieties of delicacies using rice are prepared in India. With a wide diversity of people and cultures associated with it, it is not a surprise to have that many recipes.
Rice is generally considered as a staple food high on energy and low on other nutrients compared to other staple grains. White rice became very popular over the years and still is. But lately due to various scientific studies that gave a thumbs down to white rice, the Indian population are on a hunt to rediscover its native rice varieties which are found in superfood category – ChakhaoAmubi, better known as Black Rice.
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 content. The presence of anthocyanin pigment on the outermost layer of the rice kernel gives its attractive black color. The traits in black rice are 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 helps in improving health and increasing life span.