Food Profile: Black Rice

Nearly every Filipino consumes rice daily as our main staple food. This grain, which was originally cultivated in China as a product of conventional & Epigenetic (selective) breeding was spread throughout Asia and is the most widely consumed food in the region. Rice comes in many varieties, and the most commonly consumed are types of white rice. Today however we will focus on black rice. This highly nutritious variety of rice was originally called the “forbidden rice” as it was exclusively served to the emperors of the ancient Chinese dynasties. Today, it is available to all, and so are it’s many benefits. Let’s take a look at black rice compared to white.

Black rice provides more energy with less sugar, and carbohydrates in the form of healthy fats and proteins. It is also much lower on Glycemic Index making it safe for diabetics to consume.

It also has a very good Potassium to Sodium Ratio. Potassium allows your body to easily excrete Sodium, which allows you to avoid any harmful side effects of salt consumption.

Effects On Immunity/COVID Resistance

Black rice contains a significant amount of Magnesium, which your body needs to set the roles of your immune cells. In the context of COVID, Magnesium is needed for your macrophages (pathogen eaters) to transform from their early form (M1) to their later form (M2) . In early infection, they are needed to create inflammation, which starts the immune response. In later infection, they inhibit excessive inflammation that can cause severe and fatal symptoms.

It is also rich in B Vitamins.

B3, Niacin- This vitamin is important in prevention and repair of lung damage. It has been used previously for patients who have suffered lung damage from ventilator use.

B1, Thiamine– This nutrient has been shown to increase immune response and help in treatment of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Those with Thiamine deficiency have been shown to have increased inflammation and aberrant antibody activity. Antibodies, as a part of the adaptive immunity are integral in dealing with extended infection as well as variants.

Antioxidant Content

Black rice is very rich in antioxidants, substances that remove free radicals from your system and stop oxidative stress. It has been found that black rice contains more antioxidants than blueberries, a favored source of these substances. These antioxidants are a selection of phenolic compounds and flavonoids including Quercetin, which are very effective in treating COVID infections. The amounts very greatly however depending on how the rice was grown, milled and the exact variety of black rice.

Choose Organic

Yes black rice is extremely healthy, but the truth is a lot of rice is grown in conventional systems that rely on heavy chemical application. This includes pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and fertilizers. Even worse is Genetically Engineered Rice, which is inferior to black rice in terms of relative nutrition.

It is always best to choose organic rice, no matter which type you consume. Even better is Biodynamic rice, which is available locally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *