Black Rice And All Its Benefits

This is a round and pearly grain rice of the Japonica family it’s whole grain rice with a natural ebony colour. Traditionally cultivated in China, it was known as “forbidden rice” because in antiquity it only was allowed for the family of the Emperor. It has a special odour and it’s very rich in fibre and mineral elements, especially iron and selenium. Once cooked it presents a crunchy texture similar to pine nuts. It withstands freezing and pasteurisation maintaining an optimal condition.

The health benefits of black rice

Black rice is the most nutritious rice available, so nutritious that originally in China it was only allowed to be consumed by royalty because of all the nutrients. Per 3.5 ounces (100 grams), black rice contains an amazing 9 grams of protein, compared with 7 grams of brown rice. You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women as well as playing a critical part in the processes that will fuel your energy and carry oxygen throughout your body in your blood.Black Rice And All Its Benefits

It’s also a good source of iron — a mineral that’s essential for carrying oxygen throughout your body as it carries red blood cells and a lack of it can lead to anaemia paired with iron deficiency. In addition to being a good source of protein, fibre, and iron, black rice is especially high in several antioxidants which are substances that may protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases produced when your body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation. Research shows that black rice has the highest overall antioxidant capacity and activity. In fact, black rice has been found to contain over 23 plant compounds with antioxidant properties, including several types of flavonoids and carotenoids.

Almost all naturally purple-coloured foods contain a certain antioxidant called anthocyanin. These are beneficial plant pigments that give fruit and veg their deep red, purple or blue hues. They offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits! In herbal medicine, anthocyanin-rich substances have long been used to treat a number of conditions involving blood vessel health, including chronic venous insufficiency, high blood pressure, and diabetic retinopathy. They have also been used to treat a number of other conditions, including colds and urinary tract infections.

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 and higher intake of anthocyanin-rich foods was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.

Research shows that black rice contains high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin — two types of carotenoids that are associated with eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin can help protect your eyes from harmful high-energy light waves like ultraviolet rays in sunlight. Studies suggest that a high level of both in eye tissue is linked with better vision, especially in dim light or where glare is a problem.

Black rice is naturally gluten-free for those with a gluten allergy or just avoiding gluten for a while. People with celiac disease need to avoid gluten, as it triggers an immune response in the body that damages the small intestine. Gluten can also cause negative gastrointestinal side effects, such as bloating and abdominal pain, in individuals with gluten sensitivity. If gluten is causing problems for you then you may experience side effects that can range from mild (fatigue, bloating, alternating constipation and diarrhoea) to severe (unintentional weight loss, malnutrition, intestinal damage) as seen in the autoimmune disorder celiac disease.

While more research is needed, black rice may help lower blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of NAFLD. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the term for a range of conditions caused by a build-up of fat in the liver.

The uses of black rice

To prepare it, simply combine rice and water or stock in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once boiling, cover it and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the rice for 30–35 minutes, or until it’s tender, chewy, and all the liquid has been absorbed.

Black rice can be used in endless amounts of dishes and can even just be eaten alone, but we recommend pairing something with it to help the flavours come through so here are our universal suggestions:

  • When you make a rice bowl or some sushi, consider swapping out the usual white rice for black rice, it’s much more nutritious and healthy than white rice!
  • Black Rice Pudding With Coconut and Mango – Coconut milk and a dash of coconut sugar give this bowl just the right amount of sweetness. It’s perfect for a weekend breakfast or when you’re craving a light dessert.
  • Black fried rice topped with your favourite veggies, some meat of choice and egg for a tasty fried rice dish.
  • Black Rice and Spinach Salad for a simple and refreshing dinner time dish that you can easily pop in a bowl and take on the go with you.
  • Pop it into a wrap with your favourite veggies and even meats to have a tasty and unique wrap, or even take it to the next level and add it to a burrito!

Now for some Spanish suggestions:

  • Black Rice and Arborio Risotto With Artichokes for a tasty and healthy risotto straight from your kitchen.
  • Black Rice Salad With Chickpeas Feta and Pistachios for the perfect addition to your tapa or just a nice, refreshing Spanish dinner. One bite of the nutty black rice with crunchy pistachios and salty feta and you will be in gastronomic bliss.
  • A classic paella made with black rice to make it even more nutritious and add a little twist to the traditional dish loved by Spanish locals.
  • Arroz negro – the most popular black rice dish in Spain! Made with black rice and squid ink this dish is unique, interesting and tasty. There’s a large debate whether or not this food should be considered a paella, but either way, it’s yummy and loved by many.
  • Black rice paella with artichokes, peppers and spinach for another fun and tasty paella.
  • Spanish black seafood rice is amazingly jam-packed with seafood and strong ocean flavours.
  • Basically, any Spanish dish that contains any form of rice can be swapped out with black rice to give you more nutrients, less gluten, an aesthetically pleasing dish and some yummy food!

Our black rice is available in different sizes here: you can create endless amazing dishes and fill yourself up with amazing nutrients whilst experiencing them. It ranges from £6.25 – £7.25. We also have other rice available if you don’t think black rice is right for you and your cooking style. Check out all our other organic ingredients to pair with your black rice to make the perfect, yummy Spanish dish. We hope you enjoy creating your black rice dishes from home!