When it comes to eating healthy, green tends to be the color that first comes to mind. However, we must stop and remind ourselves that a healthy plate implies a colorful plate! In fact, I’ll go out on a limb here and assume you didn’t give consideration to the color black when contemplating the colors of a nutritious meal. Nevertheless, I’m here to tell you why black rice ought to become your latest pantry staple.
Interestingly enough, black rice was once such a rarity in China that only emperors enjoyed the privilege of eating it, hence the nickname “forbidden rice”. Nowadays, it is sold in most specialty food stores and supermarkets. With that being said, it is not commonly found on most restaurant menus, so keep your eyes peeled for the emperor’s exclusive grain next time you’re walking down the grains aisle.
From a nutritional standpoint, black rice is packed with antioxidants and rich in vitamin E. Just the outer hull alone has one of the highest amounts of anthocyanins found in foods around the world. In fact, black rice contains more anthocyanin antioxidants than blueberries, according to a study from the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. In addition, it contains iron, which can provide vegans and vegetarians with yet another way to ensure they’re consuming adequate amounts of the mineral.
While brown rice continues to be a smart carbohydrate option, black rice should not be overlooked since it is practically bursting at the seams with antioxidants. White rice, on the other hand, happens to be processed, meaning the grain’s fiber-rich hull has been removed. A general rule of thumb is to make more than half of your grains whole, so why not practice this tip by experimenting with black rice? Think of it this way: black is the new brown!
In fact, you can test the waters in the comfort of your own kitchen with these recipes.