Black rice is a variety of rice of the species Oryza sativa. It is a type of black colored brown rice native to China where, in the ancient times, it was considered to be a food worthy only of the emperor. Nowadays black rise can be instead found on the supermarket shelves. Black rice is rich in fibers, that bring sense of satiety and are also good for the intestinal health by helping against constipation, it contains vitamins such as B1, B2 and PP, and mineral salts such as iron, selenium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorus.
In addition to this, black rice has also antioxidant properties, it contains indeed anthocyans that give to it the dark color and act in our body against free radicals and the aging processes, are able to lower the cholesterol levels and protect the cardiovascular system. This characteristic has been demonstrated by scientific studies, such as the research published in 2001 on the Journal of Nutrition by a team of the Sun Yat-sen University of Medical Sciences, China. In particular, this study has highlighted the role played by black rice in the prevention of atherosclerosis, the results have shown indeed that the black rice is able to reduce the formation of atherosclerotic plaques induced by an excess in cholesterol, moreover, an increasing in the HDL levels, the good cholesterol, has registered. Black rice is a perfect side dish for vegetables, fish, but it can also be used to prepare risotto. The cooking time is about 45 minutes in boiling water or 20 minutes in the pressure cooker. If you want to prepare a risotto you should first cook the black rice in boiling water and then add it to the other ingredients in the last ten minutes. Don’t throw away the water in which you cooked the black rice, this water is rich in precious nutrients and can be used as a basis for soups.