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Delicious and Nutritious: Unravelling the Benefits of Black Rice

by Nisha Garg
Benefits of Black Rice

Rice is the primary staple diet of most places in India. When we think of rice, the image that often comes to mind is that of the common white or brown varieties. However, there’s another type of rice that has been captivating food enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals alike – the enigmatic and alluring black rice. Most of us have not even heard of Black rice. Black rice is a treasure of health benefits. There are several varieties of rice available in the market. Let’s explore more about Benefits of Black Rice

What is Black Rice?

The name of the Black rice species is Oryza sativa. These rice are produced in many countries like China, Sri Lanka, and India. The dark colour of the rice is the result of the presence of a pigment called anthocyanin. This pigment makes the rice rich in antioxidants. It contains many nutrients like protein, vitamins, and iron. Black rice is gluten-free and consumed primarily because of its medicinal and nutrient-rich properties.

Origin of Black Rice

Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. In ancient China, black rice was so prized and revered that it was reserved solely for the emperor and the royal court. Commoners were forbidden from consuming it, hence the name “forbidden rice.” This exclusivity made black rice an object of mystery and desire.

Nutritional Facts of Black rice (per 100 gm)

Name Amount Unit
Energy 356 kcal
Protein 8.89 g
Total lipid (fat) 3.33 g
Carbohydrate, by difference 75.56 g
Fiber, total dietary 2.2 g
Sugars, total including NLEA 0 g
Calcium, Ca 0 mg
Iron, Fe 2.4 mg
Sodium, Na 0 mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 0 mg
Vitamin A, IU 0 IU
Fatty acids, total saturated 0 g
Fatty acids, total trans 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg

How to Cook Black Rice?

Aside from its nutritional value, black rice delights the palate with its distinctive flavour and texture. When cooked, it transforms into a deep, purplish hue, making any dish visually striking. Its nutty and slightly sweet taste adds a unique dimension to various recipes.

One of the most popular uses of black rice is in hearty salads, whose chewy texture contrasts wonderfully with crisp vegetables and creamy dressings. Additionally, it can be served as a side dish alongside grilled or roasted meats, infusing a touch of elegance to any meal.

Black rice is readily available in the supermarket. To cook black rice, foremost, soak them overnight in water in a pot. If you’re in a hurry, you can soak an hour beforehand. Then wash the rice well, put it on the gas stove, and boil. Keep stirring the rice according to the given time, and when the rice is cooked, switch off the gas. And the rice is ready to be served with any gravy dish.

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Health Benefits of Black Rice

Health Benefits of Black Rice

What sets black rice apart from its white and brown counterparts is its striking dark colour, attributed to its high concentration of anthocyanins – powerful antioxidants also found in blueberries and purple grapes. These anthocyanins provide a range of health benefits, including fighting free radicals, reducing inflammation, and supporting heart health.

  • Black rice boasts an impressive nutrient profile. It is an excellent source of iron, essential for maintaining healthy blood cells and preventing anemia.
  • As a complex carbohydrate, black rice provides a steady energy supply, making it an excellent choice for those seeking sustained fuel for their busy days.
  • It helps in the reduction of inflammation and improves cardiovascular conditions. If you include black rice in your diet, it can improve your overall heart health.
  • They have a lower glycemic index, which makes them suitable for consumption even for a diabetic person.
  • It contains carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which promotes good eye health.

Benefits of Black Rice for Weight Loss

  • Black rice contains less sugar and more fibre. 
  • The fibres in the black rice give the feeling of fullness for a longer time and curb hunger. And thus helps in weight loss by reducing the calorie intake.
  • Black rice inhibits the function of enzymes responsible for cholesterol synthesis. It also aids in weight loss by decreasing cholesterol levels.

Benefits of Black Rice for Hair

  • Black rice has abundant antioxidants and is beneficial to your hair. 
  • It also contains vitamins and minerals that are necessary for good hair health.
  • It promotes hair growth and increases the volume
  • Black rice strengthens hair from the inside out & prevents split ends
  • It hydrates, nourishes the hair roots & adds shine to the hair

Benefits of Black Rice for Skin

  • According to research, antioxidant-rich black rice helps the skin by lowering oxidative cell damage. 
  • It prevents skin ageing. 
  • Black rice may also help treat eczema, hay fever, and skin allergies.

Benefits of Black rice for the digestive system

  • Black rice is rich in fibre, which is very good for your digestive system. 
  • If your stomach is upset, black rice can be included in the diet.

Benefits of Black Rice for Eyes

  • The anthocyanins in black rice enhance blood flow to the retinal cells, supporting better vision and reducing the risk of eye-related issues.
  • Black rice contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as natural filters against harmful blue light and help prevent eye strain and digital eye strain.
  • The anthocyanins in black rice enhance blood flow to the retinal cells, supporting better vision and reducing the risk of eye-related issues.

Benefits of Black Rice for brain

  • Regular consumption of black rice has been linked to improved cognitive function, memory, and learning abilities.
  • Black rice’s bioactive compounds may offer neuroprotective effects, guarding against brain cell damage and neurodegenerative diseases.

Precautions while eating Black Rice

While black rice is a nutritional powerhouse and gastronomic wonder, it is essential to ensure that the rice you purchase is reliable and reputable; like any food product, quality and safety standards matter. Always read the product labels and purchase from trusted suppliers to avoid contaminants or adulteration.

Remember that individual food responses can vary, and it’s always a good idea to moderate your intake of new food and pay attention to how your body reacts. Consult a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for personalized advice if you have any specific health concerns or conditions.

Also Read: Ginger Benefits for Your Skin

Possible Side Effects of Black Rice

While black rice is generally safe and nutritious for most people, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects, especially when consumed excessively. Here are some considerations:

  • Digestive Discomfort: Eating large quantities of black rice or suddenly introducing it into your diet may cause digestive discomfort, such as bloating, gas, or constipation, due to its high fibre content. It’s best to start with small portions and gradually increase intake to allow your digestive system to adjust.
  • Allergies: Some individuals may be allergic to rice or specific proteins found in black rice. If you experience allergic reactions like itching, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing after consuming black rice, discontinue its use immediately and seek medical attention.
  • Heavy Metal Contamination: Like other types of rice, black rice can absorb heavy metals, such as arsenic, from the soil. Prolonged consumption of rice with high arsenic levels may pose health risks. To minimize this risk, choose reputable brands and consider rinsing rice thoroughly before cooking or cooking it with excess water and draining it.
  • Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar: Black rice has a lower glycemic index than other rice varieties, but it still contains carbohydrates that can affect blood sugar levels. Individuals with diabetes or those seeking to manage blood sugar should consume black rice in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Some people with sensitive digestive systems or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may find that the fibre in black rice exacerbates their symptoms. In such cases, listening to your body and adjusting your diet is essential.
  • Medication Interactions: If you are taking medications, especially those affecting blood sugar levels or blood clotting, consult a healthcare professional before adding black rice to your diet, as it may interact with certain medications.


Black rice is a treasure trove of flavours and nutrients waiting to be explored. Its intriguing history, undeniable health benefits, and culinary delights make it a compelling addition to any food lover’s kitchen. So, why not embark on a journey of taste and nutrition by incorporating black rice into your next meal? Your taste buds and body will thank you for this delightful discovery!


How can I use black rice?

You can make several dishes with black rice. You can swap regular white rice with black rice in any dish.

Can We Eat Black Rice Every Day?

Yes, we can consume black rice daily. It has tremendous health advantages and is acceptable for celiac disease and gluten intolerance sufferers. To avoid excess calories, it is best to be cautious of the quantities of black rice. Regular consumption of black rice benefits the eyes, heart, and brain. It also helps with weight loss and protects against breast and colorectal cancer.

Is Black Rice the Most Healthful Rice?

Yes, black rice is the healthiest of all rice varieties. There is more protein, fibre, vitamin E, iron, and antioxidants in it. Black rice also has a lower glycemic index, which releases sugar slowly in the blood, reducing sugar surges. It also has a lot of fibre.

Is Black Rice the Most Healthful Rice?

Yes, black rice is the healthiest of all rice varieties. There is more protein, fibre, vitamin E, iron, and antioxidants in it. Black rice also has a lower glycemic index, which releases sugar slowly in the blood, reducing sugar surges. It is also high in fibre, roughly 4.7 grams per 100 grams, and has the most significant antioxidant levels of any rice variety.

Is it better to eat black or white rice?

Yes, black rice is superior to white rice. White rice offers 6.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while black rice has 9.1 grams. It has more antioxidants and fibres than white rice and protein.

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