Black rice: how to prepare it so that you take advantage of all its benefits for your health

Black rice gets its color thanks to anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant.

Photo: Roc Zhang / Pixabay

Black rice is a type of rice that obtains its intense black-purple color thanks to pigments with powerful antioxidant properties called anthocyanins. It is rich in nutrients and offers various benefits for your health.

It is a rice that can be enjoyed in different sweet or savory dishes in which you would use brown rice.

Unlike refined white rice, the Harvard Nutrition Source notes that in black rice, nutritious bran and germ layers of black rice are intact, similar to brown rice.

Bran and fiber slow down the breakdown of starch into glucose, thus maintaining a constant blood sugar level instead of causing sharp spikes.

Higher protein content

In every 100 grams of black rice there are 9 g of protein, while brown rice provides 7g.

Rich in antioxidants

Black rice is the variety of rice with the highest antioxidant activity. In addition to anthocyanins, it contains more than 23 plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, including flavonoids and carotenoids.

The consumption of foods rich in antiocyanins such as strawberries and blackberries has been associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, as well as a lower risk of heart attack.

Black rice contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that help to protect eye cells and reduce the effects of ultraviolet radiation.

The phytochemicals in black rice can help by reducing the digestion of sugar in the small intestine, thus lowering blood sugar levels.

How to prepare black rice

Black rice is prepared in a similar way to other types of rice.

Rinse the black rice under cold water before cooking to remove some of the starch and prevent it from becoming rubbery and sticky.

Generally, 2 1/4 cups of water or broth are used for every cup of black rice. Unless package directions call for a different amount of liquid.

Place the rice and the water or broth in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it boils. Put the lid on and reduce the heat. Cook the rice for 30 to 35 minutes or until cooked. The texture of cooked rice is chewy but tender.

Once removed from the heat and let the rice rest for 10 minutes before removing the lid. It must be covered; then remove the lid and fluff the rice grains with a fork.

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