Black Rice: Why Is It Considered A Superfood?

Also called purple rice, black rice belongs to the Oryza sativa L. species.


As per traditional lore, black rice, aka purple rice or forbidden rice, is considered a superfood with highly beneficial attributes.

Black rice is also known as emperor’s rice or longevity rice, which comes in a dark purple grain, cultivated across Asia. In ancient China, this type of rice was considered so nutritious and unique that it was not for all except for royalty, which is why it is also forbidden rice.

The signature black-purple color of this kind of rice is from pigments known as anthocyanins, which are also found in purple berries, blueberries, and black berries.

Anthocyanins are a powerful antioxidant so they reduces cell aging and inflammation, and improve eyesight, cardiovascular health, and brain function. These antioxidants are also effective at stabilizing blood sugar. Like cranberry, pomegranate, and many other purple foods, black rice is concentrated with anthocyanins.

When compared with other types of rice, black rice has been found to have the highest amount of protein. It is also rich in iron, an essential mineral that carries oxygen across the body.

Black rice is also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two kinds of carotenoids that promote eye health. It is gluten-free so you can include black rice in your diet if you want to avoid gluten-based foods.

At the same time, purple rice satisfies the palate with its delicacy and nutty aroma and offers you satisfying and complex flavor. The grain is rich in dietary fiber, vitamin E, B vitamins, and essential minerals.

The three big benefits of eating black rice include improved anti-oxidation, anti-inflammatory activity, and appetite, with effective fat-controlling properties.

In particular, its fat-controlling properties have attracted many nutritionists and health researchers. Cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G) is among a variety of anthocyanins in black rice, which is known to have an appetite-satisfying effect because it works on certain hormones that regulate appetite, making it a satiety food. Japanese researchers have also found that C3G helps the body to use up stored fat, promoting healthier body weight.