Is Black Rice Healthy? – An overview of nutritional values, health benefits and delicious recipes!

There are more than 100,000 types of rice worldwide and the fine grains are the number one staple food for more than half of the population. We all know by now that brown rice is healthy and full of valuable complex carbohydrates. But recently there was a new superfood, namely black rice. In case you’re a foodie who loves to explore the latest culinary trends, you may have seen several recipes based on black rice. According to several scientific studies, black rice is said to have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce the risk of a variety of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol and Alzheimer’s. But what exactly makes it so special and does the grain really do justice to all the hype? Read on to find out more about the beneficial effects of black rice on our health and try the black rice recipes we have for you!

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Black rice is also still called "forbidden rice" known and originally from China, but is now also planted in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. According to legend, black rice was a rarity in ancient China and therefore only the emperor and his family were allowed to eat it. The poor people were forbidden to consume or even grow it – hence the name "forbidden rice". Nowadays it is no longer banned, but it is grown in relatively small quantities compared to the rest of the rice varieties. Thanks to its mild, nutty taste, chewy texture and numerous health benefits, it is becoming increasingly popular all over the world. Some European countries like Austria and Italy also started to cultivate the fine grain a few years ago. Whether as a side dish, for stir-fry dishes or black rice with coconut milk and fresh fruits as a dessert – the preparation options seem endless.

Black rice nutrition facts

Rice varieties comparison Black rice effect

Compared to the rest of the rice varieties, black rice has a higher protein content, which makes it an excellent vegan source of protein. Many people believe that consuming rice can lead to weight gain. But this is nothing more than a myth – it is easy to digest and the high-quality complex carbohydrates keep us full for a long time. So as long as you keep track of your servings and calorie intake, you won’t gain weight from rice. A 45 gram serving of black rice also provides 9% of your daily iron requirement and, as you know, iron deficiency can be very dangerous and lead to various diseases. Below are black rice calories and nutritional values ​​per 100 grams:

  • Calories – 354 
  • Carbohydrates – 72.9 grams, of which 4.5 grams of fiber and 0.9 grams of sugar
  • Protein – 8.5 grams. Just for comparison – brown rice contains 6.2 grams of protein per 100 grams.
  • Fat – 2.8 grams

The black rice is very rich in antioxidants

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In addition to being a great source of fiber, iron, and protein, black rice has antioxidant properties. As with eggplants, blueberries and blackberries, the deep black color of black rice indicates the high content of antioxidants. In fact, the outer shell of black rice has the highest concentration of anthocyanins of any food. In addition to anthocyanins, the grains were found to contain 23 other plant compounds and antioxidants, including many flavonoids and carotenoids. Antioxidants are compounds that protect the body’s cells from oxidative stress and help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, certain types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Anthocyanins can also improve brain functions and reduce inflammation.

Improves heart health

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Although more research is needed into the effects of black rice on heart health, some studies have already shown that the flavonoids it contains cleanse the liver and detoxify the body. In a recent study studied the antioxidant status of the liver and blood of rabbits fed either black or refined white rice. The results showed that the rabbits fed black rice had more antioxidants in their blood and better liver detoxification. Atherosclerosis is a cardiovascular disease in which the arteries become blocked with plaque build-up. This could lead to a number of other serious problems, such as stroke or kidney failure. However, the same study found that black rice reduced plaque build-up in rabbits by as much as 50%. High cholesterol is a leading cause of a number of cardiovascular diseases. However, several studies have found that the high levels of anthocyanins in black rice help lower LDL cholesterol.

Black rice is a good source of fiber

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Foods rich in fiber protect us from disease, regulate digestion, keep us full for a long time and keep blood sugar levels in check. Nevertheless, most of us consume far too little of it – according to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), adults should consume 30 grams of total fiber. However, at around 22 grams per day, Germans are well below the recommendation. Whole grain rice varieties such as brown, red, wild and black rice provide around 2-4 grams of fiber per 40 gram serving. Studies have shown that eating black rice protects us from indigestion and obesity, and prevents insulin resistance.

Can protect against some types of cancer

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The ability of anthocyanins to prevent a wide variety of diseases has been confirmed several times by various studies. One in China conducted study found that a higher intake of foods rich in anthocyanins significantly reduced the risk of colon cancer. In addition, the same study found that black rice slowed the growth and spread of breast cancer cells. While all of this sounds promising, more research is needed in this area.

Supports brain function

Oxidative stress can have a negative impact on our cognitive functions. Antioxidants such as anthocyanins can help reduce oxidative stress and thus maintain brain function. One from the Medical University in Bulgaria conducted study found that anthocyanins improve learning and memory performance. Another 6-year study of 16,000 adults found that long-term consumption of anthocyanin-rich foods can slow cognitive decline by up to 2.5 years.

Black rice for healthy skin

Black rice effect rice water healthy skin care tips

Not only for our general health, but also for our hair, black rice could be healthy. The antioxidant properties protect the skin from the sun, reduce the formation of wrinkles, dark spots and fine lines. It supplies the skin with full-fledged proteins that can restore the skin’s elasticity. Do a deep cleansing with the healthy rice water once a week to make the skin glow. To do this, boil 100 grams of black rice with 450 ml of water for 20 minutes. Sieve off the water and soak a fine cloth in it for 5 minutes. Place the towel on your face for 10-15 minutes and you’re done!

How to cook black rice?

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Just like brown rice, black rice takes a little longer to cook. For best results and to reduce cooking time, it is recommended that the rice be soaked for at least 1 hour or, preferably, overnight. To prevent it from becoming gummy when you cook it, after soaking it, discard the water and rinse it clean with cold water. Put the rice and water in a 1: 2 ratio in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat and after that "Swelling method" Simmer for 35-40 minutes. Once it’s done, you can use it to make any dish that you would normally use brown rice for.

Delicious black rice salad, Asian style

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Quick to prepare and with only 350 calories per serving, this black rice salad is the ultimate recipe for anyone looking to treat themselves to a healthy and tasty meal.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 250 grams of black rice
  • 180 grams edamame, peeled
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 clementines or 1 small orange, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 20 grams of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, low in sodium
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 20 ml of olive oil


  • Put the rice with edamame, paprika, clementines, spring onions and coriander in a large salad bowl and mix well.
  • Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing except for the olive oil in a bowl. Gradually add the olive oil and keep stirring.
  • Drizzle the salad with the dressing and mix well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, serve and enjoy!

Rice pudding with a difference – black rice with coconut milk and fresh fruit

Black rice with coconut milk rice pudding with banana recipe

Whether as a delicious, light dessert or a vegan breakfast – this rice pudding just always works.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 185 grams of black rice
  • 400 ml canned coconut milk, full fat
  • 360 ml of water
  • 1 tbsp coconut blossom sugar or another sugar alternative of your choice
  • a pinch of salt
  • Coconut chips, hemp seeds and fresh fruit for topping


  • Put the black rice, coconut milk, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer covered until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid. This takes about 50-60 minutes.
  • As soon as the rice is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the coconut blossom sugar. If you prefer it a little sweeter, you can add 1 tbsp.
  • Put the rice pudding in a bowl and top with coconut chips, hemp seeds and fruit. Enjoy!

Prepare black rice in the rice cooker. Salad recipes for weight loss