purple rice
Purple rice contains more antioxidants than white rice, as well as offers numerous health benefits for health-conscious rice consumers.

Purple rice, both visually appealing and nutritious, has long played an important role in traditional, religious, and cultural ceremonies throughout Asia.

The true value of purple rice is that it is nutritious.

  • Purple rice is widely recognized as a source of natural anthocyanin compounds among health-conscious rice consumers.
  • Anthocyanin is a major antioxidant compound that protects plants and animals, including humans, from reactive oxygen species that cause cellular damage.

10 benefits of purple rice

The 10 benefits of purple rice include:

  1. Cancer-preventing agents:
    • Purple rice gets its color from a flavonoid called anthocyanin.
    • Anthocyanins are substances present in plants (phytochemicals) that help combat cancer-causing agents.
  2. Good for eyes and skin:
    • Purple rice contains anthocyanins that protect the eyes from diseases, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and vision problems.
    • The rice's high antioxidant content helps protect the skin from sun damage and aging.
    • Purple rice protein aids in the maintenance and restoration of skin firmness and elasticity.
  3. High in fiber:
  4. Natural gluten-free grain:
    • Purple rice is gluten-free by nature.
    • For most people, eating purple rice may help alleviate digestive issues caused by gluten consumption.
  5. Protein:
    • Purple rice is a good source of protein, making it an excellent addition to a vegetarian diet.
    • Protein helps promote bone and muscle health.
  6. Iron:
    • Purple rice is a rich source of iron, which is a mineral required for the formation of red blood cells that transport oxygen.
  7. Protection from infections:
    • According to recent research, purple rice contains several compounds that boost immunity.
    • This helps protect against bacterial and viral infections, as well as diseases caused by chronic inflammation (dermatitis).
  8. Good for the heart:
    • Studies have reported that purple rice may help reduce blood pressure, preventing artery hardening and lowering the risk of heart failure.
    • Purple rice helps increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in your body, which is required for good cardiovascular health.
  9. Good for the liver:
    • Studies have reported that purple rice helps promote liver health and functioning.
    • People who eat purple rice regularly are less likely to develop liver disease.
  10. Improves brain function:
    • The antioxidant effect of anthocyanins helps improve brain function, which helps improve your memory and prevents or reduces your risk of diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and depression.
    • Anthocyanins help improve learning ability and reduce symptoms of depression.
    • By including more purple rice in your diet or taking purple rice supplements, you may be able to improve your memory and prevent cognitive aging.

Purple rice is high in dietary fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. Therefore, many people incorporate purple rice into their diet to help them:

  • Improve their digestive health.
  • Maintain a healthy heart.
  • Lower their cholesterol levels.
  • Regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Stimulate cognitive function.

Are there any side effects of purple or black rice?

So far, there are no known side effects of consuming purple rice. It is nutrient-dense, low in fat, and a good source of long-lasting carbohydrates. Moreover, it is tasty and versatile. 

However, as with any other type of rice, moderate consumption of purple rice as a staple food is always advised. More evidence is required to rate the efficacy of purple rice for its health benefits.

Is black rice, forbidden rice, and purple rice all the same?

In essence, yes. Purple rice, also known as black rice or forbidden rice, is a species of Oryza sativa.

  • When raw, it is a dark black or purple color
  • When cooked, the high concentration of anthocyanin transforms it into a deep, iridescent purple

Although dark rice was uncommon in ancient Asian societies, it was sought after for its medicinal properties. It was called prohibited/forbidden rice because it was only available to the Chinese ruler to ensure his health and longevity and was forbidden to everyone else.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/11/2021
Image Source: moxumbic / Getty Images

Black Rice: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1616/black-rice

High-Anthocyanin Purple Rice: https://encyclopedia.pub/11961

The Potential of High-Anthocyanin Purple Rice as a Functional Ingredient in Human Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8225073/