Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, is an ancient grain with numerous health benefits. For centuries, black rice was reserved only for Chinese royalty. It had a reputation for being beneficial for the kidneys, stomach and liver.
Today, it’s more popular in Australia, Europe and the United States, where it was only recently introduced. While black rice isn’t as popular as brown rice or wild rice, it boasts some pretty impressive health benefits.
The powerful antioxidants it contains help keep the body healthy and the immune system strong. Black rice health benefits include improved heart health, improved digestive health and diabetes prevention.
A 1/4 cup serving of steamed organic black rice contains approximately:
- 156 calories
- 32 grams carbohydrates
- 4 grams protein
- 1.5 grams fat
- 2.3 grams fiber
- 0.7 milligram iron (4 percent DV)
Researchers tested black rice bran and found it was a “useful therapeutic agent for the treatment and prevention of diseases associated with chronic inflammation.”
Black Rice Health Benefits
1. Strengthens the Immune System
Black rice health benefits include a strengthened immune system. Forbidden rice is loaded with antioxidants that that help the body fight off free radical damage, improve brain function, reduce inflammation and even help protect against cancer.
2. Protects the Heart
Studies have shown that black rice health benefits include improved heart health. Black rice reduces plaque formation in the arteries to help prevent heart attacks and stroke. Forbidden rice also contains phytochemicals that work to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
3. Detoxifies the Body
Black rice health benefits include the ability to help the body detox. Studies have shown that eating forbidden rice can help cleanse the body of toxic build-up. The antioxidants in black rice work to reduce oxidative stress and naturally detox the liver and arteries.
4. Improves Digestive Health
Black rice health benefits include improved digestive health. The fiber that forbidden rice contains helps prevent constipation, bloating and other digestive problems. Studies have shown that black rice health benefits also include protection against obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other digestive orders, including irritable bowel syndrome.
5. Is Gluten Free
Black rice health benefits include providing the body with a gluten-free grain. Black rice is a healthy alternative for wheat, rye and barley for those who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten. Symptoms of a gluten sensitivity include bloating, constipation, diarrhea and nutrient deficiencies.
6. Helps Prevent Diabetes
Black rice health benefits include the ability to help prevent diabetes. Studies have shown that consuming how grains, such as black rice, is much more beneficial in diabetes prevention than consuming refined carbohydrates. Black rice helps slow down the absorption of sugar in the blood to help reduce the risk of diabetes and properly maintain blood sugar levels.
7. Helps Prevent Obesity
Black rice health benefits include obesity prevention. For those who diabetes or pre-diabetes, it is important to consume 100% whole grains, instead of white grains that do not provide the body with fiber. Research has shown that whole grain rice varieties, like black rice, can help prevent insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is linked to an increased risk for obesity.