An heirloom variety of rice featured in traditional Asian cuisine, black rice is celebrated for its high fiber and antioxidant content. So darkly purple that it appears black in color, black rice can be used in sweet and savory dishes, or it can be steamed and eaten plain as part of a healthy, balanced meal. Black rice can be purchased at Asian grocery stores, health food stores and some high-end supermarkets.
Calories, Fat, Sodium and Carbohydrates
To make a 3/4-cup serving of cooked black rice, you need a 1/4 cup of uncooked black rice. Eating steamed black rice means you keep your added fat and sodium content low. A 3/4-cup serving of steamed black rice has 160 calories. There is minimal fat in the serving, only 1.5 grams, none of which is saturated fat, and no sodium or cholesterol. A single serving of steamed black rice also has 34 grams of carbohydrates, which is 11 percent of the daily value for those on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet. While carbohydrates are essential because they provide fuel for your body, excess carbohydrates are stored by your body as fat.
A 3/4-cup serving of steamed black rice has 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving. This is 8 percent of the daily value. As black rice is unprocessed and has its hull, it contains more dietary fiber per serving than white rice, which only has 0.6 gram of dietary fiber per cup. Americans generally don't get enough fiber, which helps you feel fuller faster and helps move food through the digestive tract. According to Colorado State University, a high-fiber diet helps prevent constipation and may lower your blood cholesterol levels.
With 5 grams of protein per 3/4 cup, steamed black rice has 10 percent of the daily value of protein for a 2,000-calorie diet. Protein is needed for your body to repair and maintain itself, and it is particularly important during periods of growth and development, such as during pregnancy and adolescence. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that you vary your sources of protein and include nonanimal sources in your diet, of which black rice can be one.
The dark purple-black color of the rice is a result of a high anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are flavonoids, which are found in red, blue and purple foods. An article published in 2010 in the “Annual Review of Food Science and Technology” found that numerous studies -- conducted on cells, humans and animals -- showed that anthocyanins have significant health benefits. Anthocyanins may help with controlling obesity, relieving the symptoms of diabetes, acting as an anti-inflammatory and possibly working to prevent cancer and heart disease. This is all due to the robust antioxidant ability of anthocyanins. Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances that help protect your body from potential damage from free radicals and environmental toxins that can lead to rapid aging and an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Livestrong.com TheDailyPlate: Chinese Nanjing Black Rice
- Health.com: Black Rice
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Carbohydrates
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Rice, White, Long Grain
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Protein in Diet
- U.S. Department of Agriculture ChooseMyPlate.gov: Tips to Help You Make Wise Choices from the Protein Foods Group
- Annual Review of Food Science and Technology: Anthocyanins -- Natural Colorants With Health-Promoting Properties
- MedlinePlus: Antioxidants
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