I ever read an interesting article on CNN.com that sparked my enthusiasm to create a post! I am officially less than a day away from vacationing in California, but I thought I would leave you with this post for the weekend. Don’t forget about Operation Beautiful Week starting this coming Monday! Caitlin from The Healthy Tipping Point will be guest posting!
Okay, so back to my question: Is black the NEW! brown? You may be wondering what I’m referring to; shoes? clothes? hair? Think more along the lines of food though and what might be a main staple in most health minded people’s diets.
If you guessed brown rice, you are correct. Brown rice is a wonderful grain containing lots of fiber and iron, making it superior to traditional white rice. But what if I told you there was a grain that was even MORE superior?
Has anyone ever heard of BLACK rice?
Apparently, the Chinese cherish this rare and tasty grain so much so, that way back when, only Chinese emperors could get their hands on it! Where is it available today? While I have never seen it (nor have I looked for it) in our every day grocery stores, black rice can be found at health food supermarkets like Whole Foods.
Black rice is cultivated in Asia and appears black when in its raw form and turns a deep purple color once cooked. While black rice has similar health benefits as brown rice for fiber and iron content, black rice differs in that it contains the antioxidant: anthocyanins. These anthocyanins are the same pigments that provide berries with their dark red and purple hues and multiple health benefits! Anthocyanins are currently being studied for their role in the prevention of chronic diseases, due to their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties! Think: heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease prevention!!!
Back in 2008, the Journal of Nutrition published a study that demonstrated how an extract from black rice helped lower levels of triglycerides and prevented the build up of plaque in the main arteries of mice. According to Kristie Leong M.D., in an article for HealthMad.com, black rice extract was also found to be as powerful as the prescription drug Simvastatin, in lowering cholesterol levels! That is pretty impressive! Talk about a way to help fend off heart attacks in a natural way!!
Given that I had never heard of this food before, I’m curious how many others have and are using black rice on a day to day basis?