Black rice contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which have been shown to protect your retina from potentially damaging free radicals. While anthocyanins may also protect eye health, research in humans is currently lacking.
Gluten is a type of protein found in cereal grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye.
People with celiac disease need to avoid gluten, as it triggers an immune response in the body that damages the small intestine (28Trusted Source).
Gluten can also cause negative gastrointestinal side effects, such as bloating and abdominal pain, in individuals with gluten sensitivity (28Trusted Source).
While many whole grains contain gluten, black rice is a nutritious, naturally gluten-free option that can be enjoyed by those on a gluten-free diet.
Black rice is naturally gluten-free and can be a good option for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Black rice is a good source of protein and fiber, both of which can help promote weight loss by reducing appetite and increasing feelings of fullness (29Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source).
Furthermore, early animal research suggests that anthocyanins like those found in black rice may help reduce body weight and body fat percentage (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).
One 12-week study found that giving mice with obesity on a high fat diet anthocyanins from black rice resulted in a 9.6% reduction in body weight. However, these results have not been replicated in humans (21Trusted Source).
While research on black rice’s role in weight loss in humans is limited, it has been found to help reduce weight when combined with brown rice.
In a 6-week study in 40 women with excess weight, those who ate a mix of brown and black rice up to 3 times per day on a calorie-restricted diet lost significantly more body weight and body fat than those eating white rice (31Trusted Source).
Black rice may also offer other potential benefits, including:
Lower blood sugar levels. Animal studies suggest that eating black rice and other anthocyanin-containing foods may help reduce blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes. Human studies are needed to confirm these effects (32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).
May decrease your risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). A study in mice found that adding black rice to a high fat diet significantly reduced fat accumulation in the liver (34Trusted Source).
11. Easy to cook and prepare
Cooking black rice is easy and similar to cooking other forms of rice.
To prepare it, simply combine rice and water or stock in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once boiling, cover it and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the rice for 30–35 minutes, or until it’s tender, chewy, and all the liquid has been absorbed.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the rice sit for 5 minutes before removing the lid. Use a fork to help fluff the rice before serving.
Unless specified otherwise on the package, for every 1 cup (180 grams) of uncooked black rice, use 2 1/4 cups (295 ml) of water or stock.
To keep the rice from becoming gummy when cooking, it’s recommended to rinse the rice under cool water before cooking to remove some of the extra starch on the surface.
Once the rice is ready, you can use it in any dish in which you would use brown rice, such as in a grain bowl, stir-fry, salad, or rice pudding.