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While blueberries and walnuts have long been at the top of the list of good-for-you foods, black rice is now being recommended by researchers as a good source of antioxidants.
The research was presented at the 240th national meeting of the American Cancer Society, the Baltimore Sun reported.
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, the paper reported.
Xu said manufacturers should start using black rice in cereal, rice cakes and other packaged foods. He said it is even better than brown rice, and considered a more healthful alternative to white rice. Black rice is also rich in iron and fiber and has a deep, nutty taste.
It's a rich source of anthocyanin antioxidants -- also found in red grapes, strawberries, red wine, red cabbage, red onion, and blood orange juice. Anthocyanin antioxidants have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, CBS News reported.
Black rice is most commonly found in China and used for decoration, in noodles, sushi and puddings. It is also called "forbidden rice" as it was reserved for the Emperor.
Louisiana farmers have shown interested in growing the grain, the Sun reported, which is cheaper than other antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries.