August 26, 2010
Black Rice Great Antioxidant Source

Eating brown rice just isn't good enough.

BOSTON, Aug. 26, 2010 Health conscious consumers who hesitate at the price of fresh blueberries and blackberries, fruits renowned for high levels of healthful antioxidants, now have an economical alternative, scientists reported here today at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). It is black rice, one variety of which got the moniker "Forbidden Rice" in ancient China because nobles commandeered every grain for themselves and forbade the common people from eating it.

Black rice bran beats blueberries for antioxidants.

"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 fiber and vitamin E antioxidants," said Zhimin Xu, Associate Professor at the Department of Food Science at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center in Baton Rouge, La., who reported on the research. "If berries are used to boost health, why not black rice and black rice bran? Especially, black rice bran would be a unique and economical material to increase consumption of health promoting antioxidants."

So you want to step it up and be even more SWPL than your friends? Black rice. That's the ticket.

How to buy the stuff? I did some web searches and the cheapest I could find is $50 total for 10 lb of Chinese black rice delivered. I make no recommendations about that site. Just found it in a web search. They also have purple sticky rice. Anyone know how it compares?

Update: See Lou Pagnucco's comment below about arsenic contamination in rice bran. Past use of arsenic as an insecticide makes rice bran a risky health proposition. Before making rice bran part of your regular diet it would be prudent to know that one's source of rice bran has been tested to not have arsenic.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 August 26 09:28 PM  Nutrition Antioxidant Sources

Lou Pagnucco said at August 28, 2010 7:53 AM:

I'd be cautious.

Rice bran can contain high arsenic levels. See, for example,

"Superfood rice bran contains arsenic"

Hopefully, some day foods will actually be tested for safety.

Randall Parker said at August 28, 2010 10:51 AM:


Thanks, I had no idea. So then would soil which never had arsenic used on it still impart arsenic into rice grown on it? A few areas such as Bangladesh have substantial amounts of arsenic in their ground water. So whole grain rice from Bangladesh sounds like a bad idea.

I found other articles on this topic worth reading: Rice bran contains high arsenic levels, study and Rice Bran and Arsenic; An Unhealthy Health Food. The latter suggests oil from rice bran as a safer alternative. Does arsenic dissolve in oil? Or only in water?

It is back to olives, grapes, cranberries, blueberries, cherries, and apples for me. Also, some limited amount of chocolate but combined with vitamin B1 to excrete lead. You've already warned of chocolate lead contamination.

Lou Pagnucco said at August 29, 2010 7:20 AM:


Apparently some arsenic compounds are oil soluble. Check the paper -

Arsenic in fish oil - a new challenge?

Arsenic is not the only toxic metal that plants can accumulate.
This raises questions on the safety of vegetables grown on urban farms, as well as those grown on farms fertilized with various waste products. I hope there is some regulation of soil quality.

Randall Parker said at August 29, 2010 10:42 PM:


Fortunately, the vast bulk of our veggies come from non-urban farms.

Fish oils: ugh. I wonder if salmon concentrate arsenic. They are great otherwise, low mercury, high omega 3 fatty acids.

Tom Bri said at August 30, 2010 4:04 PM:

I tend to be skeptical of any special benefits ascribed to any one food. Too many raised then dashed hopes in the past. Rice as a health food? Please! How about a liver-and-eggs diet? Chock full of all sorts of beneficial elements.

Frank Merton said at September 2, 2010 5:07 AM:

Are you really so sure that liver and eggs are all that bad for you? All the nutrition in them offsets the animal fat if moderation is applied, at least for most people.

Greg said at January 24, 2011 7:58 PM:

To those who are wandering were Black Rice Bran can be purchased, it can now be purchased on E bay.
It's good stuff.

ad said at August 23, 2016 11:39 PM:

karena memperhatikan kebutuhan pasar dan tidak bertentangan dengan peraturan perundang-undangan yang berlaku; hopefully never have to a Bondek

ad said at August 23, 2016 11:46 PM:

Consensus and impartiality (konsensus dan tidak memihak): Tidak memihak dan konsensus agar semua stakeholder dapat menyalurkan kepentingannya dan diperlakukan secara adil; fvxx Konstruksi Baja fabrikasi

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