Black rice – or forbidden rice – named because only Chinese emperors and nobles were allowed to eat in ancient times has six times the antioxidants then brown or white rice.
According to Dr. Zhimin Xu, a Professor at the Department of Food Science at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center in Baton Rouge, La, Black rice is rich in anthocyanin antioxidants, a substance that has shown promise for fighting heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
“Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants,” said Xu.
Black rice also contains higher levels of gamma-tocotrienol and gamma-oryzanol antioxidants then white or brown rice. Studies showed that these types of antioxidants may help fight heart disease.
The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has also published research on black rice suggesting it might also suppress the release of histamine, which causes inflammation.
In that study, they also tested the effects of black rice extract on skin inflammation in laboratory mice. When they injected the extract into the mice, it reduced skin inflammation and when the scientists fed the mice a diet containing 10 percent black rice bran, it reduced swelling associated with allergic contact dermatitis, a common type of skin irritation.
The findings “further demonstrate the potential value of black rice bran as an anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic food ingredient and possibly also as a therapeutic agent for the treatment and prevention of diseases associated with chronic inflammation,” the article states.
Far from its “Forbidden” origins, you can find black rice at most health food stores