Why Try Purple Rice?
Sometimes it feels like everyone's giving up carbs nowadays - but there's no reason to slog through a mound of cauliflower rice. Carbs can do you a world of good, as long as you pick the right ones.
You've probably heard that white rice isn't exactly the best choice when you want to look at reducing carbs in your diet. Luckily, there's a new contender on the rice scene and it's an exciting one. Why not give purple rice a go?
Purple rice might sound like something with lots of food colouring that you make to please the kids - but that couldn't be further from the truth.
In fact, this superfood has a royal pedigree...literally.
Also known as forbidden rice, this delicious carb was once reserved just for Asian royalty.
Luckily, nowadays anyone can enjoy its benefits and we are delighted to bring those benefits to you!
What will it do for me?
You may have heard that fruits and vegetables of the same colours often contain the same nutrients.
- Red or Orange = high in Vitamin C
- Leafy Greens = high in vitamins, particularly A & K
- Blue and Purple = high in the antioxidant anthocyanin
So purple foods contain the antioxidant anthocyanin which helps keep your heart strong, combats free radicals and can lower the risk of arthritis.
Studies have also shown that this powerful nutrient may help reduce the risk of developing serious diseases including diabetes and cancer.
You'll find it in deeply coloured, antioxidant rich foods like blueberries, cherries, blackberries, purple grapes and funnily enough, purple rice.
That's the surface level. The antioxidant anthocyanin is good news for everyone, but if we delve deeper into the rice paddy, we'll find even more reasons to add purple rice to your regular diet.
It's packed full of fibre, uses polysaccharides to help raise your energy levels and polypeptides to encourage cell regeneration.
All this means is, by adding purple rice to your day you'll feel a real sense of pick me up. Unlike a cup of coffee, it won't cause your energy to crash and spike - you'll just be feeling better for longer.
What are free radicals, and what does purple rice do about them?
Time for the science!
Free radicals can do some seriously nasty stuff to your system if left unchecked.
These are uncharged molecules with unpaired electrons that go around attacking healthy molecules and stealing their electrons. It's bad enough having unwanted muggers in your body but they'll also do some major damage to your cell membranes if they get the chance.
Left uncombated, free radicals will breed like rabbits. The result? You can get ill, feel tired and age more rapidly.
At their most serious, free radicals can encourage the development of cancers. This process is often referred to scientifically as oxidative stress and can have serious health implications if you don't sort it out quickly.
The best way to fight free radicals is with antioxidants and luckily enough one of the best sources of antioxidants is purple rice.
Essentially, antioxidants stop the electron thieves by generously offering their own electrons to pacify the situation.
Antioxidant nutrients, as well as being peacekeepers, always remain stable so they'll never join the free radical chain reaction. They float around your system, stopping free radical damage to cells and tissues, leaving you in a much better state.
Free radical production is lowered overall for ongoing health and better wellness.
Purple rice vs obesity
Hands up if you've been battling weight problems? Well we're sorry to say that purple rice won't make you thin overnight (if we knew that secret we'd be gazillionaires!) but it certainly can help deal with some of the worst side effects of weight gain.
First up it helps stop lipid peroxidation, which lowers your levels of bad cholesterol, which is great news for heart health.
Issues with hypertension and high blood pressure can also be lowered with regular purple rice leaving you feeling better inside and out.
Some tests have shown that purple rice can have a stellar effect on diabetes and chronic diseases related to weight management. Not all the results are conclusive yet, but it seems fair to say that you won't regret adding a dose of purple rice to your diet.
Purple rice can also make it easier for you to stick to your diet.
It slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream which means that you'll experience less of that dreaded sugar crash feeling. This can help curb your appetite and keep you firmly on the healthy eating wagon!
Finally, it's great for your digestive system too. We don't want to go into too much detail here, but if you've been feeling bloated, sluggish and - whisper it - full of unwanted wind, purple rice helps to create a smoother result and will leave everything working just as it should be.
Purple rice is also naturally gluten-free so, if you're concerned about problems in that department, it's a totally safe addition to your diet.
Sounds good! Where can I start?
There are plenty of ways of getting the goodness of purple rice into your diet.
Of course, you can cook it and serve it as a side dish as you would with any other kind of white or brown rice. It takes a bit longer to cook than most other varieties and usually needs about 35 minutes to boil. You can enjoy it on the side of your plate or as the basis for a salad, but other dishes like risotto, paella or fried rice can be a bit hit and miss as purple rice doesn't have quite the same properties that you need for these delicacies.
In the culinary world, it's often known as black rice, which might sound a bit less appetising! It's true that when you see raw grains of this rice they have a decidedly inky hue - but they'll become that rich purple once cooked, so don't panic.
Be careful: it isn't the same as wild rice, or many other similar-sounding products, so before you splash out on a bag make sure you're buying the right thing.
As one of the most antioxidant rich foods purple rice is also worth taking as a supplement.
This purple rice antioxidant supplement delivers a seriously concentrated dose of this superfood, with one tiny capsule offering you all the health benefits of ten times its weight in rice.
This is a great way to add it to your diet - it's simple, it won't disrupt your daily plans and there's no need to learn any new or complicated recipes. Just pop a pill a couple of times a day and prepare to feel energised, refreshed and ready to go!
** As always, we are not doctors, and are not here to diagnose or cure anything! So please ensure you consult a health professional of your choice in relation to any concerns with your health.