Red rice is a kind of whole grain rice that is covered in a shell of red bran. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, red rice is high in fiber, vitamin B and minerals such as iron and zinc, making it a more nutritious pick over white rice. Health agencies around the world recommend eating whole grain foods like red rice and oats as part of a balanced diet.
When soaking or cooking red rice, we sometimes see the color “come off” in the water. This may raise concerns that the rice is dyed or artificially colored.
Actually, the color comes from anthocyanin, a natural substance produced by the rice plant itself. It is commonly found in colored rice, such as red and black rice, or some purple, blue, or red fruits, such as grapes, blueberries, blackcurrants, cherries, and tomatoes. Anthocyanin is a water soluble pigment, which is why it dissolves in water.
Anthocyanin is great for human health, benefits such as:
Anti-oxidant and Anti-aging
Red rice reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke with its antioxidant properties that restrain free radical cell production.
Red rice enhances the production of photosensitive “Rhodopsin” in the eyes, which increases light sensitivity and improves vision in the dark.
Protect the cardiovascular system
Red rice can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by enhancing the elasticity of collagen fibers in blood vessel walls and inhibiting bad cholesterol.
When preparing red rice, remember to soak it for two hours before cooking, then mix it with white rice to cook. This will make it easier to eat and digest.