Black rice varieties, such as Indonesian black rice and Thai jasmine black rice

Black rice varieties, such as Indonesian black rice and Thai jasmine black rice

have a deep black color that often transitions to purple when cooked.

This type is sometimes referred to as forbidden rice, as it’s said to have been reserved for royalty in ancient China.

Research shows that black rice has the highest antioxidant activity of all the varieties, making it a nutritious choice (7Trusted Source).

Antioxidants are compounds that protect cells from damage caused by an excess of molecules called free radicals, which contribute to a condition known as oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress has been associated with the progression of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, certain cancers, and mental decline (8Trusted Source).

Black rice is particularly rich in anthocyanins, a group of flavonoid plant pigments that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Anthocyanins have been shown to have potent anticancer properties as well. Population studies suggest that higher consumption of anthocyanin-rich foods is associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, including colorectal cancer (9Trusted Source).

What’s more, in test-tube research, anthocyanins derived from black rice effectively suppressed the growth and spread of human breast cancer cells (10Trusted Source).

Red rice
Red rice varieties, such as Himalayan red rice and Thai red cargo rice, are deeply pigmented and contain an impressive array of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds.

This type is higher in protein and fiber than white rice varieties, but where it really shines is in its antioxidant content.

Like black rice, it’s packed with flavonoid antioxidants, including the anthocyanins apigenin, myricetin, and quercetin.

In fact, research shows that red rice has significantly more potential to fight free radicals and contains higher concentrations of flavonoid antioxidants than brown rice (11Trusted Source).

Flavonoids can help decrease inflammation in your body, keep free radical levels in check, and may reduce your risk of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).

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