Where to Buy French Red Rice (and Why You Should Get It)
There are several types of red rices, but French red rice grown in the Camargue region of Southern France is considered to be the highest quality red rice you can find in the shops (and is usually priced accordingly). Popular among European gourmet chefs, this specialty rice is known for its nutty flavor and chewy texture, as well as for its gorgeous reddish brown color. Culinary aspects aside, red rice is also good for you, probably even better than brown rice. Many of the potential health benefits of red rice are linked to the procyanidins this up-and-coming superfood contains.
As you may already know, procyanidins are members of the proanthocyanidin class of flavonoids, a class that has been linked to the beneficial properties of some of the world's most powerful superfoods, including aronia berries, cocoa beans, apples, lingonberries, cinnamon and red wine.
In this article, we take a look at some of the most interesting potential benefits of red rice procyanidins, plus provide tips on where you can buy authentic French red rice in the US. Note: If you want to buy French red rice in the UK, check out the separate article on where to buy Camargue rice in the UK.
Potential Health Benefits of Red Rice
Red Rice Contains Procyanidins, Flavonoids Linked to Increased Longevity
For a long time scientists believed that resveratrol was the key compound responsible for the unusually good cardiovascular health and longevity observed in French people who consume moderate amounts of red wine. However, according to a groundbreaking study published in the journal Nature in November 2006, it is the procyanidins (a type of proanthocyanidins) that give red wine most of its heart health protecting properties.
But, red wine also contains alcohol which has been associated with many negative health effects, including high blood pressure, weight gain and an increased risk of stroke. So, why not get your heart-healthy procyanidins from a natural, alcohol-free source such as red rice? And those who are still unsure whether French red rice is worth the money, consider this: even though it is not the cheapest rice variety out there, buying French red rice is certainly easier on your wallet than purchasing those expensive procyanidin supplements!
Tip: For an extra dose of procyanidins, cook your rice in a mixture of water and red grape juice, instead of plain water, or serve your red rice with red kidney beans, another wonderful source of proanthocyanidins.
Proanthocyanidins Linked to Reduced Risk of Colorectal Cancer
All main flavonoids have health benefits, but an Italian meta-analysis published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer in 2012 offers some interesting insights into the health benefits of proanthocyanidins, the flavonoid group that includes procyanidins along with a number of other related compounds. This study analyzed the results of previously-conducted Italian case-control studies that, altogether, covered about 10,000 confirmed cases of different types of cancer and over 16,000 controls. Proanthocyanidin intake was inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk, suggesting that proanthocyanidin-rich foods as a group might offer benefits for people who are looking to reduce their risk of colorectal cancer.
Anti-Aging Benefits of Red Rice for the Skin
In addition to providing health benefits, red rice may also provide beauty benefits. Powerful antioxidants, such as red rice procyanidins, help protect the skin against the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation and air pollution, and may thus help prevent pre-mature aging of the skin. In 2012, a group of Italian researchers published a study that focused specifically on the potential benefits of procyanidins and resveratrol for the skin. This study, which appeared in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic & Investigational Dermatology in 2012, involved 50 volunteers, half of whom were treated with a dietary supplement containing procyanidins and resveratrol and half of whom received a placebo. The results were promising: during the 60-day trial period, values for skin oxidative stress dropped, skin moisture levels and elasticity improved, intensity of age spots decreased, and skin roughness and depth of wrinkles were reduced significantly in those who received the dietary supplement containing procyanidins and resveratrol.
Where to Get French Red Rice (in Organic Quality)
Can't wait to start reaping the health benefits of red rice? If you don't happen to live next to a specialty shop stocked with Provencal / French goods, don't worry – there are several online shops that sell authentic French red rice in the US, and some of them have it available even in organic quality! If you don't have the patience to browse the websites of individual online shops, you can always turn to Amazon which has an array of French red rices available here.
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