The History of Purple Rice & It's Benefits30.08.2016
The History of Purple Rice
Purple rice has an interesting name called “Forbidden Rice”. In the past when China was ruled by an emperor, purple rice was cultivated in very small amounts and offered to the royal court as tribute for the emperor's consumption. The common Chinese people were not allowed to grow or consume this black forbidden rice, which led to its unique name that it still carries with it today.
Benefits of Purple Rice
1. Large Amount of Antioxidants
The bran hull of purple rice, which is the outermost layer of the rice grain, contains one of the highest levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin found in any known food.
This can be observed through its deep purple colour which indicates the high antioxidant properties, similarly to other deeply coloured antioxidant fruits such as blueberries, raspberries and cranberries.
According to numerous studies, Anthocryanin has the ability to help preventing cardiovascular disease, protecting against cancer that can be caused by free radical damage, improving brain function and reducing inflammation.
2. Protects the Heart
Studies have shown that purple rice decreases dangerous atherosclerotic plaque formation in the arteries, which is very important for keeping arteries clear and preventing heart attacks and stroke.
The specific anthocyanins phytochemicals found in purple rice help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels by reducing total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, and total triacylglycerol concentrations.
These are 3 factors commonly involved in cardiovascular disease.
Considering how common heart disease is in almost every developed nation today, this is one reason why consuming healing foods like purple rice is so important.
3. Can Help Detoxify the Body
Studies have demonstrated that consuming purple rice can help to detox the body and cleanse the liver of harmful toxic build-up thanks to the rice’s high antioxidant content.
In a recent animal study, the antioxidant status of blood, the liver, one of the main arteries and the aorta were evaluated in rabbits that were either fed refined white rice or purple rice.
Results showed that the rabbits fed purple rice experienced less oxidative stress (also called free radical damage), contained more antioxidants in their blood, experienced detoxification in the liver, and also had reduced plaque build-up in the arteries.
The phytonutrients found in purple rice help the body to reduce inflammation and to cleanse the body of harmful substances that can contribute to a wide range of conditions.
4. Good Source of Fiber Which Improves Digestive Health
Similar to other whole grains such as brown rice and red rice, the fibre in bran helps to prevent constipation, bloating, and other unwanted digestive symptoms. Fibre binds to waste and toxins within the digestive tract, helping to pull them out and to contribute to regular bowel function.
The dietary fibre found in purple rice can also importantly help you to feel full after eating and to stay satisfied for a longer period of time between meals, potentially aiding in weight loss.
Studies have found that a diet high in dietary fibre from whole grain rice varieties is protective against obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is because fibre has the important job of clearing the body of toxins, helping to reduce inflammation and to clear the arteries as it removes waste and plague from the body. Purple rice can also help prevent or cure cases of diarrhea, since fibre adds bulk to your stool.
5. A Naturally Gluten Free Grain
Like other rice varieties, purple rice naturally contains no gluten, the protein found in all wheat, rye, and barley products. It’s estimated that 1 in 7 people are sensitive to gluten- whether they are aware of it or not- but still test negative for Celiac Disease.
After eating something with gluten in it, those with a gluten sensitivity suffer many of the same symptoms as those with Celiac Disease (a confirmed allergy to gluten), including bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nutrient deficiencies, and an increased risk for developing leaky gut syndrome. Consuming purple rice in place of not only refined grains and processed flour products, but also all wheat, barley, and rye containing foods- even those that are whole grain- can help eliminate digestive problems associated with eating gluten for many people.
6. Helps Slow Down Absorption of Sugar in the Blood, Helping to Prevent Diabetes
Studies have shown that when it comes to the risk of developing diabetes and even obesity, consuming whole grains is much more beneficial and preventative than consuming refined carbohydrates .
Compared to eating processed carbohydrates which are stripped of their fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients that help to slow down the absorption of sugar in the blood stream, purple rice is a much healthier option.
Purple rice contains the entire bran of the grain where the fiber is stored, and fiber is able to help glucose (sugar) from the grain to be absorbed by the body over a longer period of time.
When researchers examined white and brown rice consumption in relation to type 2 diabetes risk, they found that white rice was more likely to contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes risk.
The substitution of whole grains, including brown or purple rice, in place of white rice, white bread, pasta, and sweetened cereals may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and other complications, in addition to keeping your weight in check and your energy levels balanced.
7. Better at Preventing Obesity than Refined Grains
It is very important for those with pre-diabetes, diabetes, or other forms of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance to consume 100% whole grains, as opposed to processed “white” types that lack fiber.
The same can be said for those who struggle with losing weight, since the fiber and nutrients in whole grain rice helps to shut off hunger signals and prevents overeating. Research has shown that whole grain rice varieties can help prevent insulin resistance that is related to an increased risk for obesity.
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