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Black Rice: Once Forbidden by the Emperors; Why is it Trending Now?

KJ Staff
KJ Staff
Black Rice

India can be considered as the second greatest producer of rice in the world. In 2020 itself India produced 119 million metric tonnes of rice (approximately) just behind china’s 146.73 million metric tonnes of rice. Making rice a humble food that is consumed by people from all walks of life.

So how did such a humble and common grain turn into something forbidden by the emperors or eaten only once a month by the upper class in China?

Black rice is a type of rice of the species Oryza sativa which occurred basically as a mutation but was later cross bred and turned into a food source that could be produced easily.

It is indigenous to northeast India and is extensively grown in West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand. It is commonly eaten in Manipur because of its medicinal value and is called Chak hao which generally translates into rice that is delicious.

It costs around 160rs/Kg but does come with a lot of nutritional benefits that do justify its rarity and its price.

Listed below are some of the nutritional benefits:

Rich in antioxidants

The black pigmentation of the black rice which generally turns purple when cooked indicates the presence of anthocyanins, a pigment with especially powerful antioxidant properties which generally help in scavenging free radicals from the body cells and help in damage caused by oxidation on bodily tissues.

Aids weight loss

Foods high in proteins are crucial to help reduce weight as they increase metabolism and helps make one feel full and satisfied hence preventing a persons need to overeat. Black rice has a high content of protein with almost 1 gram of protein per 11.25 gram of uncooked black rice.

Aids in preventing type 2 diabetes and lowers cholesterol.

Black rice is a food rich in fibre especially soluble fibre which helps in decreasing the absorption of sugar and helps maintain high blood sugar levels while also decreasing cholesterol levels which helps in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

Reduces allergies

The bran or outer Husk of the black rice helps to restrict the release of histamine. Histamines are chemicals that are released by white blood cells into the bloodstream when they are defending against a potential allergen. These chemical releases sometimes result in an allergic reaction.

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