Rice, known as an essential part of the Asian palette, has always been a topic of discussion amongst health and fitness enthusiasts. Some advice that it’s better to switch to healthier alternatives like brown rice, red rice, etc. Nutritionists have recommended black rice for a healthy diet. In ancient China, black rice was consumed by the Chinese kinsmen as it was believed in betterment of kidneys, stomach and liver. Since then, black rice has become the property for the royal families and wealthy people only in China. The common people of China were neither allowed to grow nor consume the black rice and therefore it earned its much renowned label – the forbidden rice.
At present, black rice is no longer forbidden, but it is cultivated in relatively small amounts as compared to other varieties of rice. The whole grain black rice has certain health benefits. Black rice or the forbidden rice (Chinese) is a rare and a very old variety of rice that has been growing in India since long times back. It is mainly grown in the North Eastern regions (called as Chak Hao in Manipur) and also in the southern parts of India. The black rice of Manipur has bagged the Geographical Indication (GI) tag recently as this tag plays a major role in trade and also in preserving many traditional skills.
Black rice is loaded with anti-oxidants especially anthocyanin which is great for diabetic and heart patients and it also boosts the brain activity. It is also great for skin and hair due to the content of Vitamin E. It is also loaded with fibre and controls blood sugar levels. It is rich in iron and hence a good source for vegetarians.