Are you looking for a tasty alternative to brown rice? The sweet slightly nutty flavor of black rice will add interest to any meal. Plus it has some unique health benefits. To understand the health benefits of black rice
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Black rice is an heirloom rice is grown in Asia that were once cultivated as food for emperors !. . . True to its name it looks black when raw but when cooked it becomes a rich purple color which looks quite appealing when spooned on a dinner plate. But even if purple is not your favorite color you can not help but be impressed by the health properties this less common short-grain rice has to offer. What are the health benefits of black rice?
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Black rice gets its dark color from the presence of flavonoids pigments called anthocyanins plant based pigments with strong antioxidant properties. Anthocyanins are the same pigments that give many dark red and purple berries such as blackberries dark cherries raspberries and their rich color and health benefits. Anthyocyanins being investigated for its role in preventing a variety of chronic diseases including cancer diabetes heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Much of their benefit appears to derive from their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
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Prevention of Heart Attack?
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2008 showed that an extract from black rice in mice helped to prevent the development of atherosclerotic plaques on the main arteries of the heart-the kind that would eventually lead to a heart attack. It is also lowered lipid components including triglycerides. In fact pack black rice was found to be as powerful as the prescription drug simvastatin a drug used to lower cholesterol levels. This effect arises from the anthocyanins that are so rich in black rice. Because of the anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering properties of anthocyanins found in black rice this tasty grain help avert heart attack.
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Other Health Benefits
Black rice is a good source of minerals including iron and fiber and have a nutritional profile somewhat similar to brown rice. The presence of anthyocyanins give it a nutritional edge over brown rice.
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The Bottom Line
Black rice with its appealing nutty flavor is a tasty alternative to less nutritious white rice and provide another healthy alternative to brown rice. It is harder to find than other rice but many health food stores and oriental markets now offer it. Expect to pay a bit more to it than what you pay for brown rice but the extra cost may be worth it.