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Health Benefits of Black Glutinous Rice

author image Jessica Lewis
Jessica Lewis has published professionally since 2005 and is a registered dietitian and nutritionist. Her work is regularly found in the "National Post" and "Oxygen Magazine." She holds degrees from the University of Guelph and McMaster University. A marathon runner and yoga enthusiast, she is also interested in alternative medicine.
Health Benefits of Black Glutinous Rice
A large wooden spoonful of glutinous black rice. Photo Credit tycoon751/iStock/Getty Images

Glutinous black rice, also known as sticky black rice, is the unpolished, whole grain of traditional sticky white rice, commonly served in Asian restaurants, especially Thai restaurants. Despite its name, the color of the rice is closer to a deep, dark purple. Like its white counterpart, glutinous black rice has sticky individual grains and can be used in sweet and savory Asian dishes. Glutinous black rice can be purchased in Asian grocery stores and natural or health food stores.

Calories, Protein and Carbohydrates

A 1-cup serving of cooked glutinous black rice contains 160 calories, none of which is from fat. With only 1 gram of sugar, it nonetheless has 34 grams of carbohydrates. A single serving contains 5 grams of protein and no sodium or cholesterol. The recommended dietary allowance for protein is between 46 and 71 grams per day, while the RDA for carbohydrates is between 130 and 210 grams per day. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends between 5 and 8 ounces of grains and grain products per day, at least half of which should whole grains, like glutinous black rice. As the bran of sticky black rice is not removed, it is not considered a refined grain, like its sticky white counterpart.

Amount of Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber is important for adding bulk to your diet and preventing constipation. It improves digestion and may sometimes help with treating diabetes, heart disease and diverticulitis. The recommendation for adults is between 20 and 35 grams of dietary fiber per day, although MedlinePlus reports that most adults eat a little less than half that amount daily. As a 1-cup serving of cooked glutinous black rice has 2 grams of dietary fiber, it provides between 6 percent and 10 percent of the recommended dietary intake.

Anthocyanins and Black Rice

An anthocyanin is a flavonoid, a plant-derived polyphenol that produces the red, purple, blue and “black” pigmentation of fruits, vegetables and grains, including glutinous black rice. Although anthocyanins are more commonly associated with fruits such as berries and grapes, the dark color of black glutinous rice means it is rich in anthocyanins, which are natural antioxidants. According to a study in the “Annual Review of Food Science and Technology” in 2010, anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects. In the animal and human studies conducted, anthocyanins were also shown to help prevent heart disease, control obesity and alleviate the symptoms of diabetes.

Iron Content

Iron is considered an essential mineral since your body needs it to make blood cells. Used to make a number of proteins -- including hemoglobin and myoglobin, which carry oxygen through your bloodstream -- iron is stored in your bone marrow, liver, muscles and spleen. Women over the age of 50 and adult men require 8 milligrams of iron per day, while adult women 50 and under need 18 milligrams daily. Pregnant women and breast-feeding women need 27 and 9 milligrams of iron, respectively. According to MyFitnessPal, a 1-cup serving of cooked glutinous black rice has 6 percent of your daily value of iron.

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