Black rice is more nutrient dense than brown or red rice. It is rich in fibre and packed full of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamin E, protein and iron. There are many reasons to switch from regular white or brown rice to black or red rice.
White rice with the exception of basmati or doongara rice is a high GI food. Foods that rate high on the glycemic index can cause problems with individuals who are pre-diabetic, diabetic, overweight, struggling with adrenal issues (as people with M.E can often be) or certain other people who have any type of inflammation going on in their bodies, as high glycemic foods have an impact on that inflammation. The GI index basically assesses how a carbohydrate containing food influences blood glucose levels, it is a numerical system that measures how much of a rise in circulating blood sugar there is in response to foods. Eating complex carbs is better than eating simple carbs. More about this in another post!
Black rice is a natural detoxifyer as the phytonutrients present help to cleanse the body of toxins caused by free radicals. It helps the liver eliminate unwanted substances through the antioxidant activity. Because it helps keep you fuller for longer it can aid with weight issues. And of course the high fibre content helps with regulating bowel movements which can prevent bloating, constipation and toxicity. Black rice phytochemicals are good for heart health as it helps to bring down cholesterol, levels a common contributor to cardiovascular disease. The anthocyanin content has anti-cancerous characteristics. It helps reduce inflammation. And because it helps with oxidative stress again due to the antioxidant anthocyanin content, research published in 2009 done by the medical university of Bulgaria confirms that it can help improve memory. A study in Korea found that anthocyanin can help with symptoms of asthma by reducing the inflammation in the airways. It is higher in protein than other rices too.
Black rice from China used to be considered a 'forbidden rice' and only reserved for 'Chinese royalty.' So here's what I suggest...Go put your crown on and serve yourself up some delicious black rice!
Thai green curry with black rice
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
20-24 king prawns
Large red onion
Cup of broccoli
Cup of green beans, sugar snap peas or mangetout
250 mls of biona organic coconut milk (best to get pure coconut milk without additives, this one doesn't contain anything other than coconut milk)
Few tablespoons of sliced dried crispy nori sheets or some anchovy fillets (substitute for fish sauce which has sugar in it)
6 spring onions
4 garlic cloves
Juice and zest of one lime
Thumb of fresh ginger
Half a small green chilli or more if you like it hotter!
Stick of lemongrass
Big handful of coriander
Big handful of basil
Tbsp of coconut oil
Four pinches of Himalayan salt and a few pinches of black pepper
Around 250 grams of black rice (soaked overnight preferably)
Cook rice for half an hour in filtered water with a pinch of salt. In the meantime prepare the veg. Put the coconut milk most of the coriander (leave some for garnish), basil, ginger, chopped onion, lime and chopped chilli your nutri-bullet if you have one or whizz it some other way. Then cook the concoction in coconut oil with the crushed lemon grass, in a ceramic or cast iron pan for the last ten minutes of the rices cooking time, five minutes before the end add your broccoli, prawns, seasoning and the rest of your veg, except the spring onion and noni which you just add for the last minute of cooking time. Plate it up and put some coriander on top to garnish.
Than hi xrxy (That's supposed to mean 'enjoy your meal' in Thai language) Ha ha doesn't look exactly right though! Heres the wee video...
Effects of anthocyanins on learning and memory - www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19002018
Anthocyanins inhibit airways inflammation and hyper responsiveness in murine asthma model - www.sciencedirect.com