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Black Rice: Nutritional Value, Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects


Table of Contents

#1 Where is Black Rice Grown?
#2 Nutritional Value of Black Rice
#3 Health Benefits of Black Rice
#4 Side Effects of Black Rice 
#5 How to Cook Black Rice?

Are your health resolutions for 2023 set? Start taking the right steps in the direction of your goal before you lose track of them. One of the first steps is to switch to black rice.

Black rice is also known as “forbidden rice.” The story of its intriguing nomenclature goes back to the times of ancient China, when the consumption of black rice was limited to an elite class in China. The general public of China was prohibited from consuming it; hence, it earned its renowned label of “forbidden rice.”

Scientifically known as Oryza sativa,black rice is gaining popularity due to its impressive nutrient profile. Let’s now dive right into the nutritional value of black rice.

Where is Black Rice Grown?

Manipur is a major black rice producing region in India. It is commonly known as Chak-hao in northeast India. Apart from Manipur, West Bengal, Odisha, and Jharkhand are other major black rice producers in India. The rice appears black when raw, and purple when cooked. It has a nutty flavour with a hint of sweetness. 

Chak-Hao Poireiton Organic Producer Company Ltd. is one of the most famous producers of black rice in Manipur, and we at NE Origins are proud to source our black rice from them.

Nutritional Value of Black Rice

The majority of the nutrients in rice are present in the outer layer, the hull, and the bran. In the milling process, white rice and other rice varieties lose much of their nutrients and beneficial properties. On the other hand, black rice doesn’t undergo much refining; therefore, its outer layers remain intact and so its antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. From managing weight to improving gut health, black rice offers amazing health benefits. 

Black rice, also known as கருப்பு கவுனி in Tamil, నల్ల బియ్యం in Telugu, കറുത്ത അരി in Malayalam, and काला चावल in Hindi, is packed with both micro and macronutrients like Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin E, Beta-carotene, Anthocyanin, Calcium, Phosphorous, Chromium, Manganese, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, and Copper. 

In terms of protein and fibre, black rice has nutritional superiority over other varieties of rice. For every 100gm of serving: 

Polished white rice – 6.8g protein and 0.6g fibre
Brown rice – 7.9g protein, and 2.8g fibre
Red rice – 7.0g protein and 2.0g fibre
Black rice – 8.5g protein and 4.9g fibre

Without further delay, discover the health benefits of black rice. 

7 Health Benefits of Black Rice 

The Northeastern tribal people have been living a healthy lifestyle by default from millennia. The foods that we consume are selected and grown by our farmers for the food pallet of the people who wish to continue living this lifestyle. For those of us, who have moved to big cities and are now far away from home and our culture, here is a reminder of the health benefits that black rice brings. 

Being low in calories and rich in antioxidants like Vitamin E and anthocyanin, black rice has amazing health benefits, which include: 

  1. Supports Heart HealthThe secret behind healthy heart is nutritious-packed eating and good habits. By incorporating black rice into your diet, you take a step towards promoting a healthy heart. Black rice regulates cholesterol levels in your body, and healthy levels of cholesterol reduce the risk of developing heart diseases. It reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.
  2. Good for the Eyes
    A major part of your day is spent on your mobile phone and laptop. With the increase in screentime, the health of the eyes has deteriorated over time. To improve the health of the eyes, eating black rice is highly beneficial, as it is packed with vitamin E and carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin that benefit eye health.  in Tamil Nadu) reduces the impact of UV radiation on the eyes.
  1. Improves Liver Health
    In your recent health-checkup, if you have been diagnosed with excess fat in your liver, eating black rice is a natural way to cut out the liver’s excess fat. The antioxidants in black rice are believed to reduce the fat deposition in liver cells. 
  2. Improves Digestion 
    Poor gut health is a root cause of health problems like constipation and bloating. By switching to black rice, you take a step towards improving your digestion. Rich in fibre content, black rice aids in regulating bowel movements. 
  3. Manages Blood Sugar Level 
    The list of the benefits of karuppu kavuni rice is incomplete without mentioning the fact that black rice is highly beneficial for diabetes patients in controlling their blood sugar levels.

As compared to white rice, which has a GI of 72, black rice has a GI of 42.3, which means black rice is slowly digested, hence there is a slow release of glucose in the blood. A GI of 55 or less is considered safe for diabetic patients. 

Furthermore, the outermost layer of black rice contains antioxidants such as anthocyanins, which prevent a spike in the body’s glucose level.

  1. Helps in Weight Loss
    The black rice diet offers protection from obesity. It is low in calories, high in fibre and low in carbohydrates, all of which aid in weight loss. A diet rich in black rice keeps you full for a longer time and curbs your cravings for unhealthy junk food. 
  2. Good for Hair
    To your surprise, black rice makes your hair healthy, boosts volume, removes dandruff, and makes your hair shine because it has an abundance of antioxidants and vitamin E content.

Because it contains a lot of antioxidants, black rice is fantastic for your hair. Additionally, it has vitamins and minerals that are crucial for having healthy hair.

Side Effects of Black Rice

Though black rice has high nutritional values and offers amazing health benefits, you should be mindful of the quantity you eat. As black rice is rich in fibre, its overconsumption may cause gas and abdominal pain. Therefore, you should eat black rice in moderation.

How to Cook Black Rice?

You might have seen your grandparents and parents cook black rice at home but sometimes the finer details of the recipe are lost on us. Save these pointers for later whenever you decide to try it on your own.

Black rice is denser than other varieties of rice, and you need to cook it in certain ways to get its health benefits. 

  1. You must soak the black rice in water overnight.
    2. Take out the rice from the water and wash it in clean water. 
    3. For every one cup of rice, add two cups of water, and cook it with a lid covering the top.
    4. Cook the rice for half an hour if it has been soaked. 

From making black rice (Chak-hao) kheer to using it in sushi to making Thai chicken black rice soup, there are many black rice recipes that you must try. 


With time, black rice, or forbidden rice, is gaining popularity as a healthier alternative to other rice varieties. It is packed with antioxidants, iron, fibre, and protein. Its health benefits range from boosting heart health to improving eye sight. Furthermore, it lowers blood sugar and cholesterol and helps manage weight. To enjoy the maximum benefits, you must eat them in moderation.

We hope this article brought out information that you might not have been aware of. Especially if you are not from the Northeast.Chak-Hao Poireiton Organic Producer Company Ltd. is one of the most famous producers of black rice in Manipur, and we at NE Origins are proud to source our black rice from them. Black Rice can be delivered to your doorstep within a few days if you wish to order it online through us. Buy premium quality black rice from NE Origins.

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