Black or Forbidden Rice: Origin, Popularity & Health Benefits

Forbidden things always taste better. And if they come loaded with health benefits, it helps erase all the guilt that gorging on them causes. We are talking about "Forbidden Rice" also known as "Black Rice" that is climbing the popularity charts across gourmet stores, restaurants and food sites. Lets know more about it's origin, popularity & health benefits.

What is black rice?

Nutty in flavour with a deep purple color, black rice is gaining recognition around the world & is already popular among chefs & foodies. In addition, research indicates that it possesses many health benefits & is one of the healthiest rice available right now. Black rice can be used to make porridge, bread, noodles & select desserts. The slightly chewy flavor of black rice can also be paired with meats & seafood to make salads, risotto & pilafs.

Where did black rice come from?

Black rice was reserved for royalty across China & other Asian regions according to a few. Hence it came to be also known as "Emperor rice". The Emperor guarded the black rice reserves carefully & stealing could result in fatal consequences. In fact, one required prior approvals from higher authorities to consume this "Forbidden rice" variety. Emperors believed consuming black rice helped extend life span & did not let common people anywhere near their prize crop.

Why eat black rice?

A nutritional powerhouse, black rice is a great gluten-free food. Above all, it contains very high amount of antioxidants like anthocyanin that is responsible for its deep purple color. A great source of nutrients & minerals like Vitamin E, thiamine (B1), B2, zinc, calcium, manganese & folic acid, black rice  is a great addition to our daily diet.

Similarly, research indicates, regular consumption of black rice helps detoxify the body & protect heart health. The high antioxidant content helps in fighting disease & boosting immunity.  Black rice helps fight inflammation & also aids in weight management? HOW? Black rice is an excellent source of dietary fiber & that helps us feel full longer & keeps those hunger pangs at bay.

Eating anthocyanin rich foods like blueberries & black rice may help counter memory impairment & maintain liver health. Similarly, the anthocyanin present in black rice also helps protect our bodies against the damage caused by free radicals that lead to cancer.

In conclusion, black rice is a great inclusion in our daily diet. Do check with your doctor/dietician before consumption. Stay healthy, stay happy.