Health Benefits of Black Glutinous Rice

Organic Dry Black Wild Rice
It's black sticky rice. (Image: bhofack2/iStock/GettyImages)

Black glutinous rice, also known as black sticky rice, is the unpolished, whole grain of traditional sticky white rice, commonly served in Asian restaurants, especially Thai.

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 quarter-cup serving of glutinous black rice contains 150 calories with 1.5 grams of fat and 0.4 grams of saturated fat, according to LIVESTRONG's food database MyPlate. This grain has 33 grams of carbohydrates and four grams of protein.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) 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 five and eight ounces of grains and grain products per day, at least half of which should be 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 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 quarter-cup serving of cooked glutinous black rice has three grams of dietary fiber, according to MyPlate, it provides between nine percent and 15 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.

More About MyPlate

The free LIVESTRONG MyPlate calorie tracker app for iPhone and Android has helped millions of people lose weight the healthy way — by getting support from an active community as they track their eating and exercise. Consistently a top-rated app, MyPlate offers the latest technology in an easy-to-use tool that includes millions of foods and recipes, 5-minute in-app workouts and a robust support community.

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