Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The Type of Rice That’s Better Than Brown

We’d all love to load up on antioxidants, but it can be cringe-inducing to shell out $10 for a paltry quantity of organic berries. As you probably know, blueberries and blackberries are rich in incredible, health-boosting antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Unfortunately, not all of us have elastic wallets that permit us to include these foods in our regular diets. Luckily, there is a more affordable way to get your antioxidant fix—black rice.
According to the American Chemical Society, a spoonful of black rice bran contains more anthocyanins, more fiber and more vitamin E than a spoonful of blueberries.
Anthocyanins have been shown to potentially fight heart disease and cancer, among many other diseases. High levels of fiber and vitamin E antioxidants—found in rice bran— can reduce LDL cholesterol levels. This combination makes black rice a veritable nutrition powerhouse. 
Yes, rice is generally considered a healthy grain, but not all rice is created equal. Black rice, often known as forbidden rice, has more protein and fiber than any other rice variety with 8.5 grams of protein and 4.9 grams of fiber per 100 grams. Black rice is also a good source of iron, B vitamins and magnesium. It’s also lower on the glycemic index than white or brown, making it a smart choice for those conscious about their blood sugar. With a low GI rating of 42.3, black rice easily beats out brown and white, which are 50 and 89 respectively.
Black, purple and red rice offer significantly higher antioxidant counts than brown or white varieties. The pigments in these grains have been shown to protect against chronic diseases, perhaps due to phytochemicals reducing inflammation and combating free radicals in the body. Black rice bran may also improve the health of gut flora.
Berries are great for your health, so if you can afford to stock up on organic blueberries, by all means go ahead. But, if you have a tight budget or just want to fit more colors into your diet, black rice is a great source of antioxidants that won’t break the bank. You can use it in the same way you would use brown rice. Here’s a tasty recipe from my kitchen to help you get started:
Black Rice Pudding (dairy-free, gluten-free, no refined sugar)
1 cup black rice2 cups water
1 can coconut milk
3-4 Meejol dates, pitted and chopped
pinch of pink salt
In a medium saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low. Add dates and half the coconut milk, reserving some of the cream. Simmer for 45 minutes, until rice is tender and a small amount of thickened liquid remains. Stir in remaining coconut milk and salt. Let sit to cool. Store airtight in the fridge. Enjoy as a sweet breakfast pudding or a healthy dessert! 

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