Black rice: Rare yet highly nutritious


Posted on Natural News on Saturday, April 06, 2013 by: Sandeep Godiyal

(NaturalNews) Although not very common, black rice is currently one of the healthiest food types that can be obtained today. Packed with a wide array of nutrients, black rice has a very rich and interesting history. As most people know, rice is a base food source in Asia. During the years when China was ruled by an emperor, black rice was dubbed as the “Forbidden Rice”. It was cultivated in very small amounts because it was only for the emperor’s consumption. Although no such ban is being practiced nowadays, black rice is still very much produced in low amounts, especially when compared to brown and white rice.

Health benefits of black rice

As already mentioned, black rice is known for its many health properties. For those who are currently wondering exactly what they are, here’s some information on what can be gained by eating the forbidden grain.

Contains a large amount of antioxidants. Black rice is a good source of antioxidants – a substance known for helping individuals flush out body wastes on a regular basis. Antioxidants can be found in coffee and tea but is definitely more prevalent in black rice. Notice the black appearance of this rice? The color can be attributed to the same chemicals that give acai berry and blueberries their distinctive coloring. The very same chemicals are also responsible for the high antioxidant count of the two.

Heart attack preventive. Studies show that black rice contains a large amount of anthocyanins, an ingredient that is capable of lowering the risk of heart attack. It does this by preventing the buildup of plaques in the arteries which is the most common reason why heart attacks occur. Even better, it was revealed that anthocyanins is more capable of controlling cholesterol levels than any other food supplement available today.

Other possible health benefits. Aside from the two mentioned that have already been proven by science, black rice is also being looked at as possible prevention from serious illnesses. Some of the diseases it can prevent includes include Alzheimer’s, diabetes and even cancer.

Comparison of different rice types

There are currently different rice types available today with the most common one being the white variety. Out of all the types, however, black rice is found to be the one containing the highest amount of nutrition that helps with growth. Here’s some information on the different rice colors on their content.

Polished white rice – contains 6.8 protein, 1.2 iron, 0.5 zinc and 0.6 fiber.
Brown rice – contains 7.9 protein, 2.2 iron, 0.5 zinc and 2.8 fiber
Purple rice – 8.3 protein, 3.9 iron, 2.2 zinc and 1.4 fiber.
Red rice – 7.0 protein, 5.5 iron, 3.3 zinc and 2.0 fiber.
Black rice – 8.5 protein, 3.5 iron, zero zinc and 4.9 fiber.

Thanks to the accessibility of the internet, it shouldn’t be hard for individuals to find and gain access to black rice. Even better news, there are currently numerous websites that provide information on how to cook black rice and serve it in a variety of ways.

Natural News

An avocado a day keeps the cardiologist away

Released on EurekAlert! on 7 Jan 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Adding an avocado to your daily diet may help lower bad cholesterol, in turn reducing risk for heart disease, according to health researchers.

Avocados are known to be a nutrient-dense food, high in monounsaturated fatty acids.Previous studies have suggested that avocados are a cholesterol-lowering food, but this 
s1is the first study — to the researchers’ knowledge — to look at health implications of avocados beyond monounsaturated fatty acids.

“Including one avocado each day as part of a moderate-fat, cholesterol-lowering diet compared to a comparable moderate-fat diet without an avocado provides additional LDL (low-density lipoproteins) lowering affects, which benefit CVD risk,” said Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition.

Kris-Etherton and colleagues tested three different diets, all designed to lower cholesterol: a lower-fat diet, consisting of 24 percent fat, and two moderate fat diets, with 34 percent fat. The moderate fat diets were nearly identical, however one diet incorporated one Hass avocado every day while the other used a comparable amount of high oleic acid oils — such as olive oil — to match the fatty acid content of one avocado. Hass avocados are the smaller, darker variety with bumpy green skin and have a higher nutrient content than Florida avocados, which are larger, and have smoother skin and a higher water content.

The researchers tested the diets with 45 healthy, overweight adults between the ages of 21 and 70. Compared to the participants’ baseline measurements, all three diets significantly lowered LDL — also known as bad cholesterol — as well as total cholesterol. However, participants experienced an even greater reduction in LDL and total cholesterol while on the avocado diet, compared to the other two diets, the researchers report today (Jan. 7) in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

The avocado diet decreased bad cholesterol by 13.5 mg/dL, while LDL was decreased by 8.3 mg/dL on the moderate-fat diet and by 7.4 mg/dL on the low-fat diet.

All participants followed each of the three diets for five weeks. They were given a two-week break in between each diet. Blood samples were taken at the beginning and end of each study period. Subjects were randomly assigned the order in which they received each diet.

“This was a controlled feeding study, but that is not the real world — so it is more of a proof-of-concept investigation,” said Kris-Etherton. “We need to focus on getting people to eat a healthy diet that includes avocados and other food sources of better fats.”

She pointed out that much of the U.S. population doesn’t know how to use or prepare avocados, with the exception of guacamole. However, guacamole is usually eaten with corn chips, which are high in both sodium and calories.

“People should start thinking about eating avocados in new ways,” said Kris-Etherton. “I think using it as a condiment is a great way to incorporate avocados into meals — for instance, putting a slice or two on a sandwich or using chopped avocado in a salad or to season vegetables.”

Kris-Etherton and colleagues note that further research will need to be conducted with a larger and more diverse study sample and to explore further how high-density lipoproteins — good cholesterol — might be affected by a diet that includes avocados.


Working with Kris-Etherton on this research were Li Wang, a doctoral student, and Jennifer A. Fleming, instructor and clinical research coordinator, both in nutritional sciences, Penn State; Peter L. Bordi, associate professor of hospitality management and director of the Center for Food Innovation, Penn State; and Alison M. Hill, lecturer in nutrition, University of South Australia. The Hass Avocado Board, the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences all supported this research.

Original Article released:

Link Cited on: LINK de DIET

5 Healthy Eating Habits to Adopt This Year (2)

Posted on  on January 1, 2015 by Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD
Photo: Getty Images

Choose whole-food starches

Americans are eating far too many refined grains, including white versions of bread, pasta, rice, crackers and pretzels, in addition to baked goods and cereals made with refined starch. The intake of whole grains, like brown rice, whole wheat, and quinoa is on the rise, yet the average intake of whole grains in the U.S. is less than one serving a day. Research shows that a higher whole grain intake is tied to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. The latter may be because whole grains are filling—their fiber helps delay stomach emptying, which keeps you fuller longer, delays the return of hunger, and helps regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, which are tied to appetite regulation.

In 2015, strive to replace refined grains—which have been stripped of their fiber and natural nutrients—with 100% whole grain options (including gluten free varieties if you need to or prefer to go gluten free). Or choose non-grain nutrient-rich starches, such as skin-on potatoes, root vegetables, squash, beans, and lentils. If weight loss is a goal, moderate your portions rather than cutting out carbs altogether so you don’t miss out on the nutrients and sustained energy they provide, which are important for enhancing mood and exercise endurance—two other keys to successfully shedding pounds.

How to do it: Aim for just one to two servings of whole food starch in each meal, more if you’re more active, less if you’re less active. Great choices include oats or a puffed whole grain cereal at breakfast, quinoa or chickpeas in a salad at lunch, and sweet potato, squash, lentils, or wild rice at dinner. One serving is generally a half-cup of a cooked starch, or the serving stated on the nutrition label for packaged foods.

Budget your sugar intake

In all my years counseling clients, I’ve found that for most people, moderation works better than deprivation. Currently, the average American takes in a whopping 22 teaspoons of added sugar each day. Added sugar doesn’t include the type put in foods by Mother Nature (like the sugar in fruit) but rather the kind added to foods, like sweetened yogurt, or the sugar you spoon into your coffee. According to the American Heart Association, the daily target for added sugar should be no more than 6 level teaspoons for women, and 9 for men—that’s for both food and beverages combined. It’s strict, but the target isn’t zero, which means you don’t need to banish sugar completely. Allowing yourself some of the sweet stuff can be a helpful way to stay on track, because swearing it off completely can result in intense cravings and rebound overeating.

How to do it: Start by cutting out processed versions of sweet stuff, like candy and packaged treats, and begin tracking how many foods you buy that are pre-sweetened, such as yogurt or almond milk (sugar can even be lurking in store-bought tomato sauce and salad dressing). Next, opt for unsweetened versions of packaged foods, or make them yourself without adding sugar. For example, for an awesome DIY dressing whisk together extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and Italian herb seasoning. Now that you’ve slashed your sugar intake, strategically decide how to “spend” small amounts while staying within your budget.

Enjoy a little bit of dark chocolate (up to an ounce of 70% cocoa or greater) every day, or once or twice a week pre-plan splurges that won’t derail your overall healthy diet, like splitting a dessert with a dinner companion, or buying one really worthwhile cookie from a bakery. If you don’t feel you need regular treats, that’s great—many of my clients find that the less sugar they eat the less they crave. But if your sweet tooth strikes, or it’s a special occasion, don’t succumb to all-or-nothing thinking (e.g. “I can’t have any” or “I had a little so I might as well go all out!”). People who lose weight and keep it off long-term find ways to strike a sane and healthy balance.

Become more mindful

One of the most powerful resolutions you can make for 2015 is to work on raising your eating awareness, which includes tuning into hunger and fullness cues, as well as slowing your eating pace, and identifying non-physical eating triggers (boredom, habit, or a bad day). Paying attention to body signals has been shown to be as effective as a formal class for weight loss. And slowing down your eating can naturally help you eat less while feeling more satisfied. One University of Rhode Island study found that fast eaters downed more than 3 ounces of food per minute, compared to 2.5 ounces for medium-speed eaters, and 2 for slow eaters. Finally, becoming more mindful can also help you realize when you’re drawn to food even though you’re not physically hungry, which can help you address your emotional needs in non-food ways (check out my previous post 5 Ways to Shut Down Emotional Eating).

How to do it: To hone your mindfulness skills, start keeping a food journal to record not just what and how much you eat, but also your degrees of hunger and fullness before and after meals, as well as any emotional notes, such as craving something crunchy because you feel angry, or wanting to eat while watching TV. Also, try committing to not doing anything else while you eat, at least once a day. Take breaks between each bite, check in with your body, focus on the flavors and textures of your food, and stop when you feel like you’ve had enough, even if you haven’t cleaned your plate. It may feel awkward at first to slow down and eat solo, but this practice can help you to catch yourself eating too fast, ease you into a slower pattern, and allow you to break mindless eating patterns, which may be the #1 key to a happier and healthier year ahead.


5 Healthy Eating Habits to Adopt This Year (1)

a1Posted on  on January 1, 2015 by Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD
Photo: Getty Images

Nutrition is a hot topic these days, yet many of my clients still struggle with consistently following through with “the basics,” and the stats show that missing the mark on many healthy habits is the norm. For example, the median daily intake of produce for U.S. adults is 1.1 servings of fruit and 1.6 servings of veggies, far below the minimum recommended five daily servings.

If you’re going to set just one goal for 2015, I think eating more produce should be it, but I’ve also listed four others below. I know you’ve heard them before, but they are without a doubt the most tried-and-true, impactful eating habits you can foster—both for your waistline and your health. And despite knowing them, you may not be achieving them, so they’re worth considering as you choose your resolutions.

If taking them all on at once seems overwhelming, try a “step-ladder” approach—focus on one change until it feels like a normal part of your daily routine, then add another, and another. Sometimes taking it slow ups the chances that behaviors will stick, so come December 2015, you’ll be celebrating a year of accomplishments.

(Note: this post is about habits to adopt. To set resolutions related to unhealthy patterns to ditch, check out my previous post 7 Eating Habits You Should Drop Now.)

Eat produce at every meal

There are numerous benefits to making produce a main attraction at mealtime. In addition to upping your intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, eating at least five servings a day is tied to a lower risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. Fruits and veggies also help displace foods that pack more calories per bite, a plus if you’re trying to lose weight. For example, one cup of non-starchy vegetables contains about 25 calories, compared to 200 in a cup of cooked pasta. And reaching for a medium-sized pear in place of a handful of chips, crackers, or cookies can slash anywhere from 50 to 200 calories.

How to do it: A good rule of thumb is to include a serving of fruit in each breakfast and snack, and two servings of veggies in every lunch and dinner. One serving is one cup fresh, about the size of a tennis ball. Whip fruit into a smoothie, add it to oatmeal or yogurt, or just bite right in. And for easy ways to make veggies the base of a meal, check out my previous post 5 Delicious Pasta Alternatives with a Fraction of the Calories.

Make water your beverage of choice

You’ve heard about the unwanted effects of drinking both regular and diet soda, but you may not be aware of some of the benefits of drinking more H2O. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who get much of their daily fluid intake from plain water tend to have healthier diets overall, including more fiber, less sugar, and fewer high-calorie foods. And in addition to hydrating you, water may be a helpful weight loss aid, by curbing appetite and boosting metabolism. One study found that people who drank about seven cups of water a day ate nearly 200 fewer daily calories compared to those who gulped less than one glass. Another found that when adults drank two cups of water right before eating a meal they ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories. And a German study concluded that consuming 16-ounces of water upped calorie burning by 30% within 10 minutes, an effect that was sustained for more than an hour.

How to do it: Reach for 16 ounces (2 cups) of water four times a day. And if you dislike the taste of plain H2O, spruce it up. Add wedges of lemon or lime, fresh mint leaves, cucumber slices, fresh grated ginger or organic citrus zest, or a bit of mashed juicy fruit, like berries or tangerine wedges.

(To be continued.)


Sugahara Institute’s You Tube account is now on air!


「Dr. Akiko’s Edokko nutrition science: Stories No. 1 ~ No. 16」are available on You Tube.

Speaking of the Edo period, we may tend to think it is the make-believe world
in the history book or the artificial world in the TV shows.
But do you know that our ordinary customs, culture, and above all,
our diet, inevitable to our lives,
have no significant differences from those in the Edo times?

Dr. Akiko reveals the unknown Japan in her own words.
Please enjoy!

「Japanese-style Name for Months」

In Japan, we’ve carried on a custom to practice our events according to the lunar calendar, in which, each month has special names peculiar to Japan for its characteristic seasons or events.  Those names, called “Japanese-style months” are still being used in recent days such as on a calendar.

Those Japanese-style month names are said to have originated in various histories, but we would like to introduce the most well-known names each month.

a3January is called “Mutsuki.”

It means a month when to get along or to be intimate with someone you know well over the New Year holiday. 

“New Year’s Day is the day to make one’s plans for the year.”

As said in a proverb above, a New Year holiday is very special to Japanese people.  So please enjoy the very beginning of a New