The Forbidden Rice

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This rice even though it is less popular than brown or wild rice and for hundreds of years was known as the forbidden rice (more on this later in the article) it is actually an ancient gluten free grain that has more health benefits than the more popular rice types. 

This rice is called…

Black Rice…

Black rice has been eaten in Asia for hundreds if not thousands of years and for much of that time it was reserved only for Chinese royalty.  Today it is becoming more popular in health food stores because of its amazing health benefits when compared to the more popular brown and wild rice.

A 1/2 cup cooked serving of black rice contains 5 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and only 160 calories. 

Now it does contain carbs just like rice does so as standard it should be worked into a flexible carb cycling program like any other carb. 

When compared to other rice types though in an equal gram serving it contains about 1.5x more fiber than brown rice as well as more protein.  It also has the highest antioxidant  level of any rice type. 

3 Reasons Why You Should Include Black Rice Into Your Diet

1.  Antioxidant Power

AntioxidantsBlack rice contains one of the highest levels of anthocyanin found in any known food.  It is also higher than red quinoa which many consider a superfood. 

The antioxidant anthocyanin has the ability to help prevent many common illnesses as well as protect against cancer and reduce internal disease-causing inflammation. 

Black rice also contains Vitamin E which has been shown to be helpful in eye health, skin health, and your immune system. 

2.  Detoxify

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Because black rice has such a high level of antioxidants it can help to detox your body and cleanse your liver of harmful toxic chemicals. 

The phytonutrients found in black rice help your body reduce harmful internal inflammation and cleanse your body of harmful toxins.  

This is especially important as it helps cleanse your liver from the build up of toxins that can accumulate and eventually can lead to various diseases and internal inflammation.  

3.  Slow Down The Absorption Of Sugar In Your Blood

Black rice contains the full bran hull of the rice and this is where the fiber is stored.  The high fiber level in black rice slows down the carbohydrate from the rice and its absorption rate by the body.  The high level of protein also helps to slow this process down. 

In the end, you have a slower insulin response and the body utilizes those carbs more for energy instead of storing them as fat. 

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This makes black rice perfect for a flexible carb cycling style of eating because what you are achieving with the carb cycling is what black rice also does by slowing down carb absorption.  It also slows down the insulin response that would normally store those sugars as fat. 

Where Can You Buy This Forbidden Black Rice? 

Well, thankfully it is not forbidden anymore, but the name has stuck.  How it got the title Forbidden is interesting.  Thousands of years ago black rice was banned from consumption unless you were royalty or very wealthy. 

It was grown in limited quantities, closely monitored and the common Chinese people were not allowed to grow or consume this rice.  It was only introduced into the United States 20 some years ago in the 1990’s. 

You can find Black Rice in most health food stores and Asian markets.  Make sure you look for 100% whole grain black rice to ensure you are getting the full bran hull and all the anthocyanin, antioxidants, and fiber benefit. 

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How To Cook Black Rice

Since black rice is an unrefined rice and is also denser it does take longer to cook.  You will achieve the best results with it when you first soak the black rice for at least 1 hour or longer.  Ideally soak it overnight or during the day while you are working.

This will shorten the cooking time and you will also be able to taken advantage of more nutrients as they become more absorbable when the rice is soaked before cooking. 

Once the rice has been soaked cook it in a saucepan with 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of soaked rice. 

Bring it to a slow boil or a simmer for 40 minutes.  Check to see if it is cooked through.  If not continue to cook until the rice is chewy and cooked all the way through. 

Now you can consume black rice in all the conventional ways you normally consume rice.  As a side dish, mixed with chicken or beef, as a stir fry, but I have a wonderful rice recipe for you to try that I think you will love. 

It is called Black Rice Fruit Salad

It fits perfectly into the high carb days as a carb cycling recipe or as a healthy dessert recipe.   

Black Rice Fruit Salad Ingredients

3/4 cup black rice
1 cubed mango
2 cups strawberries, sliced or quartered
2 sliced bananas
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup roasted cashews
Juice of 1 lime
2 cups greek yogurt, (plain or vanilla flavored)
1 tbsp honey

1.  Soak rice overnight and then cook in 2 cups of water for 40 minutes or until rice is tender and cooked through.

2.  In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients.  Once the rice has set off the heat for 5 minutes fluff with a fork and then mix into the bowl with the remaining ingredients. 

Mix together and enjoy!

Once you try this recipe let me know what you think of it by leaving a comment below.  Or if you have tried black rice already let me know how you consume it and I would love to include your recipe here in this article for others to enjoy. 

Here is a fun meal planning assessment that provides a personalized meal plan score along with some powerful healthy meal planning tips. 

 

 

 

Resources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11340093

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