Switch To The Dark Side: 5 Health Benefits Of Black Rice

Delicious Warm Mexican Black Rice Salad
Franki Hobson


Feb 17, 2024

There’s a tiny little grain that’s been gracing more and more dinner plates of late, and it’s packed with protein, antioxidants and energy boosting vitamins. So should you be trading in your white rice for the more natural black sheep of the family?

We spoke to Dietitian Sarah Patterson from The Nutrition Providers to get five starchy facts and figures on black rice

Dr. Joanna Mcmillan's Miso Chicken And Black Rice Mushroom Risotto
Dr. Joanna Mcmillan’s Miso Chicken And Black Rice Mushroom Risotto

1. It Packs a Powerful Protein Punch

Over chicken? Then add a bowl of black rice to your menu. According to Sarah, a “100g bowl of black rice provides 17% of your daily intake for protein.”

2. It’s Holier Than Wholegrain

Legumes keep dropping off you’re your shopping list? This dark horse leaves the competitors lengths behind… “Black rice is 100% whole grain,” explains Sarah. “So a 100g bowl provides over 200% of the Grains & Legumes Nutrition CouncilTM48g whole grain Daily Target Intake.”

Delicious Warm Mexican Black Rice Salad
Delicious Warm Mexican Black Rice Salad

3. It’s a Mineral & Vitamin Powerhouse

“Black rice contains eight essential vitamins and minerals,” explains Sarah. “It contains antioxidant nutrients, riboflavin and zinc. Riboflavin contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress, while zinc protects cells from free radicals.”

4. It’s a ‘B’ For Booster

“Black rice is also packed with Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6, which helps release energy and power your day,” explains Sarah. “The magnesium and iron in it also help to help combat tiredness and fatigue.”

5. It’s High Octane & Low GI Jane

So how is it better than our more common friend, white rice? “Black rice contains 3.5 times the fibre of white rices,” explains Sarah. “Black rice is higher in antioxidants than brown or white rice. Black rice also has a low Glycemic Index (GI) of 42.3 (Low GI foods are considered those with a GI of 55 or less) compared to white rice, which has an average GI of 89, and brown rice that has an average GI of 50.”

Healthy Poached Chicken and Black Rice
Healthy Poached Chicken and Black Rice

Where can you get it?

Black rice is becoming more prominent on supermarket shelves alongside brown and white rice varieties. If your local doesn’t stock it, try health food or organic grocers, or larger supermarkets. The new superfood is also available at Zambrero’s Mexican restaurants with the launch of their new Black Rice Powerbowls – the only quick service restaurant franchise (70 restaurants nationwide) serving gluten and wheat free black rice.




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