Black Rice: An Overview
In the current competitive world with the significant increase in stress at work with meeting deadlines and working hard to make ends meet financially, there has been a drastic increase in people falling prey to various medical conditions. These medical conditions come up due to poor eating habits, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle which adversely affects the immune system of the body and also these lead to many organ dysfunctions. Although people are now aware of the health hazards of overworking and lack of exercise and having an improper dietary habit, still a lot work needs to be done to get back on track in terms of overall health of people.
Talking about nutritious foods, there are a lot of foods which one can try which comes under the bracket of a balanced or nutritious diet. One such food is the Black Rice. Also known by the name of Forbidden Rice or Purple Rice, this food is extremely rich in fiber and holds a lot of nutritional value. Black Rice is the new form of rice that people are turning to for a nutritious diet. Black Rice is good for the digestive system along with the kidney and liver and overall promotes well-being and facilitates normal functioning of these organs. It is black in color which gives it its name but turnes to purple when cooked. The purple colour is due to the presence of a chemical called anthocyanin.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Black Rice?
Coming to the nutritional value of black rice, it is believed to be rich in fiber, contains a lot of iron, vitamin E, and contains antioxidants in abundance. It also contains essential amino acids like lysine and tryptophan along with vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, and folic acid. It also has dietary minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorous. Overall, it has all the ingredients to be called as an extremely nutritious food.
One should also note here that black rice needs to be cooked a little bit differently than the normal rice that we eat almost on a daily basis. Cooking Black Rice is easy and feels good to the taste buds, but for best use of Black Rice it needs to be soaked for at least half-an-hour prior to cooking as it reduces the cooking time. It should be noted here that Black Rice needs to be washed at least three times before cooking to get rid of any impurities present in them. When cooking Black Rice, a cup of Black Rice needs to be mixed with two cups of water and then cooked.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Black Rice?
Below mentioned are some of the health benefits of Black Rice
- Black Rice helps in improving the overall immune system of the body and thus makes your body stronger to fight off infections in the form of any bacteria or viral infections.
- It also protects the cell from damage
- It has antioxidants in abundance and this it slows down the aging process of an individual. Thus, you can stay young for a longer period of time.
- Black Rice is rich in fiber and thus helps digestion
- It also acts as an effective antiinflammatory
- It is also good for the eyes and skin.
- Black Rice is gluten free.
What Are The Medical Conditions That Black Rice Helps In Treating?
The above mentioned are only some health benefits of Black Rice, but it also helps in fighting many potentially serious medical conditions as well. Some of the medical conditions that Black Rice helps in treating are:
Cardiovascular Diseases: Researchers have proved that Black Rice prevents blockage of arteries and thus, prevent a lot of cardiovascular conditions that can be caused due to blocked arteries. This eating of Black Rice keeps conditions like stroke or myocardial infarction at bay. Anthocyanin which is a constituent of Black Rice helps in maintaining a decent level of HDL or the good cholesterol and reduces the level of LDL or bad cholesterol. Thus, it can be clearly said that Black Rice is good for the heart.
Diabetes: It has been proved that whole grain is best for people who are overweight or at risk for having diabetes mellitus. Here also Black Rice has been shown to be beneficial. Steamed Black Rice is extremely low in calorie count and rich in fiber and is an excellent option for such people. The outer layer of the grain of Black Rice helps the body in absorbing glucose from the grain for a longer period. Black Rice also has low insulin resistance. Thus, substituting Black Rice for the normal rice, bread, pasts and the like will go a long way in keeping diabetes mellitus at bay and keep you healthy.
Obesity: Obesity has become a menace as the number of people who come under the bracket of being overweight or obese is increasing exponentially exposing them to various medical conditions. Although, there is general awareness about obesity but there are only a few people who are actually adhering to a strict diet and taking care of their weight. Black Rice provides a solution to this problem too. People who are overweight or obese can try starting to eat Black Rice instead of the normal rice and fast food as Black Rice is rich in fiber and fiber promotes satiety and prevents overeating. It also prevents insulin resistance and helps keeping the weight in check.
Detoxification: As stated above, Black Rice has abundance of antioxidants. These antioxidants help in purifying the body and get rid of any toxic substances that may be accumulated in the liver or kidneys. It also prevents cell damage and helps the arteries stay clean of any development of plaques. Black Rice also is very effective in reducing any inflammation if present due to its antiinflammatory properties and overall keeps the inside of the body clean and healthy.
Improves Digestion: As Black Rice has high amount of fiber in it, it helps in digestion and prevents constipation. It is also helpful in stopping diarrhea and improve overall health of the gastrointestinal system. Due to the high fiber content, it flushes out toxins from the body and promotes good health and helps fighting infections like irritable bowel syndrome.
How Can Black Rice Be Consumed?
One might ask a question as to how to substitute Black Rice without compromising on the taste. The answer to this is that Black Rice can be used as a substitute for various tasty, but dangerous foods without compromising on the taste of the food. In fact, it may make the food tastier. Below mentioned are some of the ways that Black Rice can be consumed:
- Black Rice can be used as a cold salad. One can substitute noodles or white rice with Black Rice. The cold pasta salad can have Black Rice instead of pasta along with vegetables to make a delicious salad which is good for the health.
- It can also be consumed as a stuffed food. Instead of stuffing food with cheese, potato, or peas, cooked Black Rice can be stuffed in and one can also add flavours like herbs and spices to make the stuffing more delicious.
- It can be cooked with vegetables, chicken and the like having the same flavour as that of plain rice.
- Black Rice can be consumed with concoctions or gravy of meat, fish, and chicken.
- It can be used to cook desserts as well. The rice pudding can be replaced with Black Rice adding sugar, cinnamon, and cream.
- Stuffed tomatoes and capsicum can be made with Black Rice. The rice can be cooked, mashed, and added with spices and herbs along with a pinch of salt for added flavour.
To summarize, Black Rice is an extremely healthy food which not only cleanses the body of toxins, but also helps in preventing certain serious medical conditions like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. It also promotes digestion and promotes a healthy body. Thus, to get an overall sense of well being and keeping diseases and infections at bay it is recommended to resort to consumption of Black Rice.
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