Except for some states, most of India is a rice eater. We all have been used to white rice but considering our lifestyles one can always give healthier alternatives a try. This would include brown rice, red rice and quinoa. But did you know that there is a variety in black as well? Black rice is something many of us may not know about. It is a new fad which many nutritionists have also started recommending. It is also known as forbidden rice with many health benefits. Why "forbidden"? Here is why:
The story behind this name is that in Ancient China, it had become something that only royals could access and was forbidden to the masses. But now it is no longer forbidden but it is definitely cultivated in small amounts. This variety has been there in India for centuries but cultivated mostly in North-Eastern India. It has a number of health benefits and falls under the category of superfoods.
Black rice is loaded with antioxidants which are great for those suffering from diabetes. It also helps heart patients, and these major benefits are just the cherry on the cake.
Just like purple corns, the blackish purple hue of this rice is a marker that the food item is loaded with antioxidants. The outermost layer is what carries it all and in fact, it is higher than any other grain that you can think of. The presence of the antioxidant-anthocyanin, in particular, is great for helping in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. It restricts the movements of free radicals which can cause diabetes and even cancer. It is also great for brain functioning and reducing inflammation.
Black rice is high on phytonutrients which help in cleansing the body of disease-causing toxins. It helps in cleansing our liver of unwanted substances.
The forbidden rice has approximately 3 grams of fiber per half-cup. This helps in regulating bowel movements, helps in preventing diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. Due to the fiber, one also feels full for longer which indirectly helps in weight loss as it prevents us from snacking.
We are asked to consume whole grains and ditch refined carbs to prevent diabetes and obesity. The fiber in black rice helps the glucose in the grain to get absorbed by the body which helps in maintaining balanced sugar levels. But it is best to consult your doctor as each body reacts differently.
Black rice can have a very positive effect on our cholesterol levels. The presence of anthocyanins phytochemicals in black rice help in reducing the Low Density Lipo-protein (LDL) cholesterol which is in short bad cholesterol. It mostly is responsible for causing cardiovascular diseases. This can also bring down total cholesterol levels.
So stay healthy, consume healthily but consult your doctor before making any food a regular part of your diet especially when you have less knowledge about it.
Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more such healthy food options.