♣ Black rice new superfood to fight cancer, heart diseases

London: Black rice, widely used in Asia for food decoration, noodles, sushi and desserts, could be a “superfood” and help fight heart disease and even cancer, say scientists.

A team, led by Louisiana State University, has found that black rice, revered in ancient China, is low in sugar and packed with healthy fibre and plant compounds that can combat heart disease and cancer.

Food scientist Zhimin Xu said, “Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar, and more fibre and vitamin E antioxidants.”

In fact, the scientists have based their findings on an analysis of samples of bran from black rice grown in the southern US. They found boosted levels of water-soluble anthocyanin antioxidants, the Daily Mail reported.

Anthocyanins provide the dark colours of many fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries. They are what makes black rice “black”. Research suggests dark plant antioxidants, which mop up harmful molecules, can help protect arteries and prevent the DNA damage that leads to cancer.

Centuries ago black rice was known as “Forbidden Rice” in ancient China because only nobles were allowed to eat it. PTI

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