The amazing health benefits of purple rice make it a very popular grain to include in meals and use as a health supplement. Purple rice (also called as black rice) was admired by the early Chinese for its healing power & nutritional conditions. In fact, as the purple rice was held for the emperor & his family, it was called “forbidden rice”. Read more about Incredible Health Benefits of Purple Rice
Compared to other types of “traditional” rice such as white rice and brown rice, purple rice has many more health promoting properties. This type of rice is a rich source of dietary fiber and contains many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This is why many people include purple rice in their diet to help improve their digestive health, maintain a healthy heart, lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels, and stimulate cognitive function.
In this article, you will discover the many health benefits of purple rice and why it is much better for you than its white or brown counterparts. You will also learn to cook purple rice and incorporate more of it into your meals.
Health Benefits of Purple Rice
One of the reasons why black rice is very beneficial for your health is that it comprises anthocyanin pigments. These are dark pigments that give black and purple rice its unique color and are found in various fruits & berries. The Journal of the Biomedicine & Biotechnology suggested that anthocyanin pigments are potent antioxidants that have medicinal benefits and can help rid the body of free radicals.
Let’s look at the amazing benefits for your health that purple rice “forbidden” can provide you.
One of the biggest health benefits of black rice contains the rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential to protect cells in your body of harm induced by harmful free radical movement. Antioxidant composites assist in preventing or decreasing the risk of developing several diseases, comprising cancer and heart disease.
It may surprise you, but purple rice actually contains more antioxidants than blueberries. The American Chemical Society has published information showing that, as for the like, the purple rice bran has more anthocyanin antioxidants than blueberries. However, the sound of purple rice has, yet further, health benefits. It includes extra fiber & vitamin E (another vital antioxidant) & limited sugar than the blueberries. It is further the cheaper source of antioxidants that combat diseases than blueberries.
Another great health benefit of purple rice is its ability to reduce inflammatory responses in the body. Inflammation is the natural response of the body to protect us from bacterial and viral infections.
Research conducted on the anti-inflammatory effects of pigmented rice revealed that it contains a number of compounds that help to reduce inflammation.
Other researchers have found that a diet containing purple rice bran has helped to suppress inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis. They concluded by saying that the purple rice bran is anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic and can be used to treat and prevent diseases associated with chronic inflammation.
This study also showed that brown rice had no effect on the reduction of inflammation in the body. So, this is another reason why purple rice is superior to brown rice.
3. Cardiovascular (heart) health
Including more purple rice in your diet could help improve your heart’s health and lower blood pressure.
Research published in The Journal of Nutrition found that purple rice helps to raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) 8 cholesterol. It is the type of “good” cholesterol that a healthy cardiovascular system must function properly. The study showed that purple rice also helps prevent the hardening of the arteries that can lead to heart failure.
Of course, maintaining a healthy heart is a lifestyle choice and requires enjoying the healthy diet, exercising daily & avoiding practices like over consuming and smoking. Though, having extra purple rice in the diet will aid you considerably increase your cardiovascular system & let you enjoy excellent overall health.
4. Improves digestive health
Purple rice is a rich source of dietary fiber that is important for maintaining your digestive system functioning correctly. The decent amount of fiber in the diet aids to prevent from constipation & other digestive problems. Though, dietary fiber has further been associated with the prevention of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, & high blood sugar levels.
Purple rice can also help you lose weight. Researchers in South Korea found that women who replaced white rice with a mixture of brown and purple rice saw a significant reduction in body fat and weight. The group that had purple rice also showed higher levels of “good cholesterol.”
By replacing white rice in your diet with purple rice, you may find that it is easier to lose weight and cholesterol at the same time.
The antioxidant properties of purple rice can also help detoxify your liver and improve liver function. A healthy liver is needed to filter out the toxins from your blood and break down the fats from the food. The liver also plays an important role in regulating blood glucose levels.
The journal Nutrition & Metabolism published a study showing that black (or purple) rice increased the metabolism of fatty acids and helped reduce the risk of high blood sugar and high cholesterol levels. There was also a lower risk of developing liver disease through the antioxidant effect of purple rice on the liver.
Other studies have also shown that the therapeutic properties of purple rice can also help restore the function of livers that had been damaged by alcohol.
6. Regulates blood sugar levels
Purple or black rice aids to regulate the blood sugar levels & can apply as an essential food to aid the control diabetes.
In fact, substituting white rice for purple rice in your diet could help you prevent type 2 diabetes. White rice is classified as a simple carbohydrate, which means it quickly increases sugar levels. However, dietary fiber in whole grain rice (eg, purple rice) can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by nearly 40%.
7. Anti-cancer effect
The antioxidants anthocyanins in purple rice also help protect against cellular damage in the body that can cause cancer. In fact, violet rice extracts have been demonstrated to have an anti-cancer effect and to prevent the growth and spread of tumors.
The researchers found that, under laboratory conditions, dark pigments called anthocyanins in violet rice prevented cancer cells from spreading (tumor metastasis). Other studies have shown positive results in the use of anti-metastasis ability of anthocyanins in the prevention of breast cancer cells to spread.
Of course, more research needs to be done to see how the antioxidant properties of pigmented rice such as purple rice can be used in the treatment of cancer.
8. Improves brain function
The antioxidant effect of anthocyanins also has a beneficial effect on the improvement of brain function. This means that purple rice can help improve your memory deficiency and prevent or reduce the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer‘s disease, dementia, and depression.
Various studies on the effects of anthocyanins have shown that foods containing these compounds have a beneficial effect on cognitive function. For example, a 6-year study published in Annals of Neurology showed that foods rich in anthocyanin (such as purple rice) may help slow down rates of cognitive decline. In fact, researchers found that average cognitive aging was delayed by 2 ½ years.
Clinical studies have also shown that anthocyanins have helped improve learning ability and reduce symptoms of depression.
By adding more purple rice to your diet or taking purple rice supplements, you could help boost your memory and prevent premature cognitive aging.