DECEMBER 28, 2018: Three days before 2019, the start of another year, and already I’ve given up on my New Year’s Resolution.
For the past five or has it already been 10 years, I only had one annual resolution (more like wishful thinking)—and that’ to lose weight–just like millions of other fatties out there.
Well, this time I’m giving up before I’ve even begun. And instead of fooling myself to actually thinking I could lose weight just by thinking about it, I’ve decided to tweak it a bit.
This 2019, I promise to eat healthier instead. No more fantasies of losing my love handles and dreaming I’d somehow end up with Derek Ramsay’s Abs.
And hopefully that change will start with rice.
No. I’m not giving up rice. Because I don’t think I can—yet.
You see, I grew up in a family of voracious white rice eaters. We were doing unli-rice challenges long before Mang Inasal was even a concept. Even if I was still a kid I ate rice like a construction worker. I also didn’t mind if my rice to ulam ratio was 1 : 2 (like 1 porkchop for every two cups of rice and more if there was soup). My mom also used to tell us that “maraming nagugutom sa Africa,” so I made sure to clean my plate, even if I was almost bursting and full. So if you ever saw my photos as a child, you’d know that I was always the first choice to play Santa Claus.
That was one of the bad habits I never outgrew. While some kids grew up developing a smoking or drinking habit, I couldn’t skip eating rice. So yes I could eat at Mang Inasal or any of those unli rice restaurants every single day—without complaint.
Four decades later, I still couldn’t survive a single day without having rice, and during those very rare times I did, I would sleep angry and feeling deprived of my one luxury in life.
But I realized I might not make it through another decade in good health without changing this habit so since I couldn’t eliminate rice. I decided to look for a healthier substitute.
I’ve tried brown rice but to me, it tasted like cardboard. So a friend suggested I try Black rice. I tried it during our Noche Buena and I admit it tasted a lot better, problem was I cooked it the wrong way and looked more like champorado, even without the cocoa.
Instead of soaking it in water (with a ratio of 1 cup rice to 2.5 cups water) for thirty minutes. I ended up throwing the water and replacing it again with another 2.5 cups of water which made it almost, like I said, porridge.
Still it was more promising than brown rice, maybe because as they say, “mas masarap talaga ang bawal.”
Did you know that Black rice, named as such for its color, was regarded highly in ancient times and was once called the “forbidden rice” because it was exclusively reserved for royalty?
After doing a bit of research I also found out that Black Rice has a lot more benefits regular white rice.
1. Rich in Antioxidants: The deep black or purplish hue of black rice indicates its high antioxidant properties just like blackberries and blueberries that have similar color because of their high content of anti-oxidants. The outermost layer of the grain (the bran and the hull), contains immense amounts of the antioxidant-anthocyanin. And the amount of anthocyanin contained in black rice is higher than any other grain, including brown rice, red rice, red quinoa, or other colored whole grain varieties.
Anthocyanin is believed to help prevent cardiovascular disease, restricting free radical movements which can cause variety of diseases like diabetes and even cancer. It can also help improve brain function and reduce inflammation.
Black rice also contains important antioxidant- Vitamin E, which is useful in maintaining eye, skin, and immune health.
Unlike white rice and other refined grains which are stripped of their high nutrient content and beneficial properties in the milling process, black rice doesn’t undergo any refining or processing, so it is able to retain its antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
2. Good Source of Fiber: Black rice contains about 3 grams of fiber per half cup serving and as you know foods rich in fiber helps regulate the bowel movements, prevent constipation, diarrhea and bloating. Fiber helps bind the toxins and waste within the digestive tract, and flush it all out of the system on completion of the cycle of digestion. It can also aid in weight loss since fiber gives your body a satiated feeling after consumption.
3. Natural Body Cleanser : Black rice is also believed to help cleanse the body of disease causing toxins (caused by free radicals) because of its phytonutrients.
For those who have liver problems, black rice can help the liver eliminate unwanted substances through its antioxidant activity.
4. Can prevent the risk of Diabetes and obesity: Now that we know that white rice is even more dangerous than sugar, to ward off the risk of diabetes and obesity, it is advised to consume whole grains instead of just refined carbohydrates.
The entire bran of the grain is where the all the fiber is stored in the black rice. The fiber is able to help glucose (sugar) from the grain to be absorbed by the body over a longer duration of time,
It might be a little too late for me, but for people who want to prevent obesity, black rice is said to be the best rice variant to consume. Since its full of fiber which gives you the feeling of being full, studies show that black rice can also help prevent insulin resistance, which is often linked to the risk of developing diabetes and obesity.
5. Better Heart Health: Lastly, it’s all about the heart. Black rice they say can have a positive impact on your healthy cholesterol levels. The anthocyanins phytochemicals found in black rice, reduces the Low Density Lipo-protein (LDL) cholesterol or the bad cholesterol, which contributes to cardiovascular diseases. It also brings down the total cholesterol levels and according to the book ‘Healing Foods’ black rice has even been proven to actively reduce atheroschlerosis (hardening of the arteries) as well.
Thankfully black rice isn’t forbidden anymore and you don’t even have to go to China to buy black rice as its now readily available in most supermarkets. All you have to do is ask for Jordan Farms Black rice from Sunnywood Superfoods Corp.
So while I still don’t have any plans of going on a diet or enrolling in a gym, I am hoping that by ending my unhealthy relationship with white rice, I could finally start my journey to living or at least eating a bit healthier.
Jordan Farms Black Rice is sourced from farms that practice organic farming. Sunnywood Superfoods Corp., the company behind the brand, supports farmers and cooperatives that are actively and seriously engaged in the organic farming of rice. This has been one of its mission statements from the beginning. In addition to black rice, the brand also carries the red and brown rice varieties.