You’re plenty familiar with white rice. And maybe you occasionally indulge in brown rice. But have you heard of black rice? If not, there could be good reason to track some down for your next meal.
According to new research, anthocyanin antioxidants are found in black rice, which are also found in blackberries and blueberries. Black rice is also rich in iron and fiber.
“Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful or blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants,” says Zhimin Xu, PhD, of Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.
Anthocyanin and other antioxidants are invaluable for your health, because they are known to combat cancer, heart disease, and other health issues.
Xu suggests that food manufacturers could incorporate black rice into their products to boost the health value of cereals, beverages, and other foods.
The reason white rice is the least favored by health experts is that during the milling process, the bran is removed. Brown rice, with its bran intact, contains high levels of the vitamin E compound known as “gamma-tocotrienol” and “gamma-oryzanol” antioxidants.
Today, black rice is mainly used in Asia for food decoration, noodles, sushi, and pudding.
While rice’s origin is not definitively known, experts can date its cultivation as far back as 4000 BC in Southeast Asia.