"Forbidden" Black-rice ~ Super Grains
Scientists Hail Health Benefits
This grain, revered in ancient China but overlooked in the West, could be one of the greatest "superfoods", scientists believe.
Just a spoonful of the 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.
Also know as "forbidden rice", this is one type of rice, which turns to a deep purple when it's cooked.
Don't be alarmed though, the rich color of forbidden rice makes an impressive addition to any dish, and turns the water it's cooked in a dark purple.
The black color of uncooked, forbidden rice is due to its
outer coating of black bran.
This also gives the rice a rich nutty flavor when it's
cooked and adds to its nutrition, as the bran provides
important dietary fiber.
Forbidden rice, also known as Chinese black-rice, is
especially popular with vegans and vegetarians, but is
beginning to gain main-stream popularity.
Forbidden rice provides other nutrients, including the
amino acids common to most rice varietals.
It contains phytonutrients, or phytochemicals, which
provide antioxidants and other health benefits.
In addition, this rice provides many minerals important
for human health, including iron.
This super grain is a type of heirloom rice, meaning that
it is open-pollinated, was grown at earlier times in
history, and not grown on a large scale in modern agriculture.
Forbidden rice can be found at many health food stores
or organic food stores.
It can also sometimes be found in Asian markets.
Forbidden rice may have gotten its name because only
emperors in ancient China were allowed to eat it, due to
its rarity and high nutritional value.
Another thought for the origin of its name is the possibility that the Greeks banned the rice when they conquered the Middle East.
They may have done this believing that the rice somehow
helped their enemies in battle.
An analysis of black-rice bran from rice grown in the
southern United States revealed that it may be healthier
than brown rice.
Forbidden rice has much higher levels of nutrients and amino
acids than regular rice varieties.
In addition, this rice has minerals, iron, fiber and a
nutritional profile somewhat similar to brown rice.
Moreover, it is especially rich in anthocyanins, which
give this variety an edge over brown rice.
Forbidden rice, with its pleasing, nutty flavor, is a tasty
alternative to less nutritious white rice and provides
another healthy alternative to brown rice.
It’s more difficult to find than other types of rice,
but many health food stores and Oriental markets now
Expect to pay a little more for it than you pay for
brown rice, but the extra cost may be worth it.
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