Black Rice as a part of a diabetic diet plan
Recently my daughter-in-law brought a packet of black rice for me when she was on an official trip to Manipur. I had kept the pack in the pantry and was planning to prepare it on some special occasion, so I finally cooked some black rice today since there was a diabetic relative visiting us for lunch. I had checked and found that black rice can be a part of a healthy diabetic diet plan.
Why black rice can be a part of a diabetic diet plan
Let me tell you why I decided to cook black rice in place of regular white rice for the person who was suffering from diabetes.
Great source of nutrition
Black rice is a wonderful source of nutrition as 100 grams of black rice contains 9 grams of protein while brown rice has 7 grams.
45 grams of uncooked black rice provides;
- 160 Calories
- 1.5 grams Fats
- 4 grams Protein
- 34 grams Carbs
- 1 gram Fiber
Black rice is high in antioxidants
In fact, black rice has been found to contain more than 20 plant compounds with antioxidant properties that include various types of flavonoids and carotenoids. Not only that, black rice contains Anthocyanins which are a group of flavonoid plant pigments responsible for the beautiful purple color of black rice. It is the same that causes the color in several other plant-based foods like blueberries, eggplants, and sweet potatoes.
Anthocyanins are known to have strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, and anti-cancer properties as eating foods high in anthocyanins help to protect against various chronic diseases like heart disease as they improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Anthocyanins are effective in a few types of cancers especially colorectal cancer and breast cancer.
Therefore, adding black rice to your diet can be an easy way to incorporate more disease-protecting antioxidants into your diet.
Diabetic diet plan and black rice
The use of black rice and other anthocyanin-containing foods are considered to help reduce blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. Anthocyanins have antioxidant abilities that act against free radicals and help diabetics get protection from inflammation and cell damage. Since black rice is also rich in fiber, which is helpful in the slow release of glucose in the blood. This slow-release prevents sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. Although the fiber in black rice is the same as that of brown rice yet it is a whole grain that has its bran and endosperm intact. That is what makes black rice rich in fiber, digested slowly by the body. Not only this, black rice promotes satiety and helps in fighting obesity, which is the most prominent risk factor for diabetes.
Black rice in a diabetes diet plan to improve eye health
Black rice is known to contain lutein and zeaxanthin in high amounts which are two types of carotenoids associated with eye health. These compounds help to protect the eyes from potentially damaging free radicals. lutein and zeaxanthin are commonly understood to help protect the retina by filtering out harmful blue light waves. Not only that, the research suggests that these antioxidants are important to protect against macular degeneration that is the age-related cause of blindness. Interestingly these antioxidants also decrease the risk of cataracts and diabetic retinopathy that is a major health issue among diabetic patients.
By the way, do you know that black rice is also known as Forbidden Rice in China and Chak-Khao in Manipur? In China, it is called Forbidden Rice as it was considered to be meant only for the aristocratic class. It is cooked into the famous purple porridge as the uncooked forbidden rice which appears black in color, turns into purple after getting cooked. Black rice has a mildly sweet and nutty taste more like sweet corn.
Black rice can be a good addition to a diabetic diet plan being highly nutritious but it is always advised to consult your physician and nutritionist or dietitian for better understanding.
Have you heard about Manipur’s Black rice Chak-Khao which has got GI tag recently? Soon I plan to give more details about how I cooked black rice and also made a dessert out of Chak-Khao.
Till then stay healthy and stay safe.