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Black Rice Health Benefits, Nutrition Value & Side Effects

Black rice also called forbidden rice which has been used in china as traditional medicine. Black rice has now become widely popular and is used worldwide. So, what’s the buzz all about? Some say black rice’s antioxidant potential is even more potent than blueberries. You can imagine how healthy it is. This rice has a nutty and slightly sweet taste and a beautiful black-blue hue and is now considered as a superfood among other rice varieties. It is so visually appealing and nutritious that it has become popular in exotic cuisines. This article will discuss black rice benefits, uses, and side effects.

Black Rice Health Benefits

The visually pleasing hue of black rice comes from a plant pigment called anthocyanins, which is a potent antioxidant pigment that protects the body cells from the damage caused by free radicals such as cell deterioration. The list of black rice benefits is long. We will discuss the benefits in detail, so keep scrolling!

black rice benefits

1. Allergen-free

unlike other varieties like instant or flavoured rice and whole grain products like wheat. It does not contain gluten which makes it widely available for celiac patients.

2. Improves Eye Health

Black rice contains carotenoids (a plant pigment) that help protect the eye cells, especially your retinas. Black rice contains two carotenoids, namely, lutein and zeaxanthin. Both these antioxidants help reduce the effects of harmful UV radiation and the growth of cancerous cells.3.

3. Helps in Diabetes Management

White rice can spike your blood glucose levels, but black rice does not. It has a low GI (Glycemic-index) score of 42.3 and high fibre content that does not cause insulin spikes and maintains the blood sugar level. Moreover, it has plant pigments like anthocyanins that can improve your body’s ability to react to glucose and sensitivity toward insulin.

4. Disease protection

Black rice health benefits are majorly due to its high anthocyanin content. This anthocyanin can help you protect from cardiovascular diseases, cancer protection etc.

5. High Nutritional Value

Black rice contains nutrients that help your body work properly, such as vitamin E, calcium and potassium. A bowl of black rice can boost your overall health.

6. May boost heart health

This is a potential black rice benefit due to the presence of anthocyanin in this rice which is found to be useful in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the human body.

7. May Help in Weight Loss

 Macronutrients like protein are fulling and increase satiety levels the most, compared to other nutrients. Animal research shows that an anthocyanin-rich diet is positively linked to decreased fat percentage. While research on black rice’s role in weight loss in humans is limited, it has been found to help reduce weight when eaten in combination with brown rice. Several trial experiments in humans have also shown positive effects.

8. May Reduce the Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Black rice is rich in anthocyanins which is also responsible for its colour. Studies have shown that an anthocyanin-rich diet can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. While this is promising, research is still needed to understand how it happens in humans.

9. Natural Detoxifier

Black rice is a rich source of phytonutrients that help the body   eliminate harmful toxins caused by the action of free radicals in the body.

10. Can Reduce the Risk of Obesity

Since this rice variety is packed with fibre (3 times more than white rice), it can keep you fuller for longer, helps prevent overeating, and improves insulin resistance, which further reduces the risk of obesity.

Black Rice Nutrition Facts

Now that we already know about black rice benefits, it’s time we dig into its nutritional composition. Black rice contains 18 amino acids with a mix of essential and non-essential amino acids. Furthermore, it is also rich in fatty acids, phenolic compounds, flavonoids etc. Black rice is also rich in the following nutrients: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, Iron, potassium, zinc, copper etc.

Black rice (Uncooked) nutrition facts Per 100 gram . 100g of black rice can give you a good amount of protein with instant energy from carbohydrates which are around 76g.

NutrientNutrition Value
Calories355 Kcal
Fat3.33 g
Protein9.88 g
Carbohydrates7.55 g
Fiber2.22 g

Side Effects of Black Rice

Side effects of black rice may not be that kind of drastic, but there are few to be aware of these includes

black rice side effect
  • It can absorb arsenic levels from the soil just like any other rice. Therefore, adequate cooking is required before consuming. 
  •  Excess consumption may cause bloating, gas or upset stomach. However, there are no serious documented side effects.


Black rice is still not as common as white rice but has amazing antioxidant potential and protein content, which is even more than brown rice. Incorporating it into your daily diet can help improve your eyesight and heart health. Black rice is easily available in markets and grocery stores. You can easily stock it in your kitchen for a healthy switch. It also has no drastic side effects and is totally safe to consume. Many scientific experiments are still going on to explore its full potential, and further research is still needed to explain its physiological benefits in humans.

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