Phenomenal Black Rice (Forbidden Rice) Benefits | Method Of Preparation
Gluten-free in nature and full of nutrition, black rice can be a helping hand in your diet. In addition to that, it is easy to prepare, and its nutty taste and texture complement both meats or vegetables, further enhancing its flavor along with its nutritional value.
Rice is a naturally gluten-free grain that is consumed all across the world; hence it is commonly taken into consideration when it comes to a healthy and fit lifestyle. Though other variants such as white rice and brown rice are quite commonly connected with a rich-carb diet, another lesser-known variant referred to as ‘black rice’ has also come focus, but due to its limited cultivation and consumption, it is not as popular as you might think. Black rice has a historic significance when it comes to Chinese culture, and it has been linked with the eating habits of the elite classes, thus named ‘forbidden rice,’ as the common folks were not allowed to cultivate it during ancient times. Since then, there have been many black rice-based dished and desserts that have become popular throughout the Eastern and Southern regions of Asia.
Though black rice is still less-popular as compared to other variants of rice and is cultivated only in some selected regions, its consumption is open or accessible to all. However, black rice has now become a widely cultivated variant of rice in the North-eastern part of India, where it is also known as Chak Hao.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of Black Rice:
1. Detoxifies Body
Black rice is often considered to be the best rice variant when it comes to its phytochemical content. Anthocyanins and oligomeric are two common chemicals, which has also known as plant-based nutrients, found in forbidden rice, and each of them plays a significant role when it comes to fighting off intruder such external pathogens, and it strengthens your immune system too.
2. Black Rice Has Powerful Antioxidants
Black rice is the best-known source of anthocyanin (the same chemical that gives it its black color), which is a powerful antioxidant, thus making black rice a strong free-radical scavenger. Free radicals, or free oxygen atoms, often tend to combine with healthy cells in the body and further exert oxidative stress over the cell walls, thus damaging them. However, an antioxidant-rich diet can adequately reduce the concentration of these free radicals in your bloodstream, which further lower the risk of free radical damages.
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3. Helps In Maintaining Healthy Sugar Levels
Whole grains are quite beneficial when it comes to the prevention of the spiking of glucose level in the bloodstream, and with its bran and germ layer still intact, black rice is a whole grain that you could consider. And since those two layers are the ones in which sufficient dietary-fiber is present, black rice would present itself as something more than just a refined carbohydrate.
Fiber-rich foods are responsible for slowing down your digestive processes, which means that it also slows down the rate at which your blood absorbs sugar. This gives the pancreas enough time for the secretion of insulin, a hormone that is used for the breaking down of sugar molecules into energy.
4. Improves Digestion And Metabolism
Fibers are the non-digestible part of the food, thus it requires your stomach to do an extra amount of work while digesting it. Thus, the consumption of fiber-filled food item slows down your digestion while also burning a few calories, hence boosting your metabolism. This property of black rice makes it a great addition to your weight loss diet, as it reduces the risk of obesity. Apart from that, the other important benefit of dietary-fiber is its ability to tackle any digestive issue; fiber can add up to the bulk of the stool and stimulate proper bowel movement.
5. Black Rice Promotes Cardiovascular Health
The powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals found in black rice have other benefits apart from detoxifying your body and lower the free-radical concentration. These nutrients are also responsible for lowering the concentration of low-density Lipo-protein (LDL), which is also known as bad cholesterol that blocks the veins and arteries. By removing these chemicals and stabilizing your cholesterol level, black rice consumption can ensure proper circulation of blood to the heart, thus promoting your cardiovascular health.
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6. Maintains Healthy Blood Pressure
Not only fiber and carbs, but minerals are also present in this forbidden rice in significant amounts. Minerals such as iron and copper are beneficial for the maintenance of proper blood pressure. As these two minerals exert a dilating effect on the inner lining of the blood vessels, they prevent them from constricting and reduce the chances of high blood pressure.
7. A Great Gluten-Free Alternative
Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, fibers, carbohydrates, and proteins, the addition of black rice into your gluten-free diet chart can never be considered wrong. People whose body is intolerant to gluten (proteins found in grains such as wheat and barley), can consume this naturally occurring gluten-free grain and prevent symptoms like constipation, bloating, and diarrhea.
Also Read: Gluten-Free Diet: What To Eat & Avoid In A Gluten-Free Diet| 14 Gluten-Free Recipes
Cooking Black Rice | How To Cook Black Rice
The method of cooking black rice is somewhat similar to the one followed for brown rice. However, the little difference between the two occurs due to the denser quality of black rice as compared to its brown counterpart. The steps you need to follow to perfectly cook black rice and enjoy its maximum benefits are:
- It must be soaked over-night, or at least 3-4 hours before cooking, as it will reduce the overall cooking time and make it fluffier.
- The rice must be thoroughly cleaned after soaking.
- Everyone’s cup of black rice requires approximately two cups of water.
- The total cooking time for soaked black rice is a half-hour, and for black rice when not soaked, then it would take one whole hour to cook.
- After you have finished, make sure that you check the texture of the grains before taking it out of the cooker.
There could be no other way of enjoying black rice and benefiting from its nutritiously dense nature apart from cooking it correctly. The other thing of importance, before you start cooking, is the choice of your grains. Since black rice isn’t as popular, many people don’t have adequate knowledge of picking the best option.
The first thing that you should consider, while choosing black rice, is to pick up the one that is a 100% whole grain variant. Whether you want a long-grain or a medium grain variant is up to you. However, if you like your rice to be fluffy and light in texture, the long-grain rice is the ideal choice for you.
The Final Takeaway
Gluten-free in nature and full of nutrition, black rice can be a helping hand in your diet. In addition to that, it is easy to prepare, and its nutty taste and texture complement meats or vegetables, further enhancing its taste along with its nutritional value. Also, take note of the fact that uncooked black rice can last in an airtight container for up to 3 months, so make sure that you consume it as per your requirement and as per its shelf life.
- What does Black Rice taste like?
Black rice has a mild, nutty taste with an earthy aroma and absorbs any flavor pretty well. The texture is a bit dense to bite, almost like brown rice but stickier.
- What are some of the popular dishes you can make with Black Rice?
Just like white rice, Black rice can be served with hearty dishes as well as with desserts. Here are some suggestions that you could try-
Black Rice Risotto
Black Rice Pudding
Mnay varieties of salads
Tofu curry with Black Rice
Chinese Fried Rice (with Black Rice)
Black Rice Halwa
Reference 1- https://www.yummly.com/recipes?q=black%20rice%20indian&excludedIngredient=meat&gs=e8d4f6
Reference 2- https://www.archanaskitchen.com/tag/black-rice-recipes
- Is Black Rice starchy?
Yes, Black Rice is starchier than white or brown rice. To get rid of the extra starch and to avoid it from becoming gummy when cooking, it is recommended to rinse the rice under cool water several times before cooking.
- Who should avoid eating Black Rice?
There are no proven side effects of black rice so far, it is definitely a healthier alternative to white rice due to so many nutritional benefits. However, as with any food, excessive consumption is not recommended.
- Is Black Rice easy to digest?
Black rice has a high fibre content than white rice, which means it is digested slower and adds more soluble fiber to the diet. This is good because it lowers cholesterol and keep us fuller for longer, preventing hunger and cravings further aiding in maintaining a healthy weight.