Health Benefits of Rice
What is Rice?
Rice is one of the oldest cereals globally and is the staple food for half of the population on Earth.
It is an inexpensive and nutritious source of energy that is available everywhere. It is an essential part of the cuisines of Southeast Asian countries, India, Japan, and China.
It can be found in different types of colors and also has various levels of nutrition. It is usually boiled or steamed and sometimes grounded and turned into rice flour.
A bowl of cooked rice can provide a healthy serving of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, some fats, and minerals. Most rice varieties are high in carbohydrates and protein, and the fiber content depends on which type we are talking about.
Nutrition And Facts
Healthy weight management:
Rice can be a good option for a balanced diet. It has low sodium, potassium, and fats which makes it a better alternative to manage a healthy weight.
Many people have a misconception that eating white rice may lead to a spike in blood sugar and obesity, but there is no proof of such claims. It has more to do with the portion of rice on your plate. It can keep you full for a more extended period, thus reducing your cravings, especially eating brown rice.
All forms of rice do not contain gluten and are perfect for a gluten allergy or celiac disease.
Easy to digest:
It is easy to digest and improves bowel movement, predominantly brown rice, with high fiber content. It also removes toxins from the body and reduces constipation because of the insoluble fiber. Anyone suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) will also benefit from eating rice.
Improves cardiovascular health:
it has antioxidant properties that can help to improve cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol levels. Wild rice and brown rice are better options because they retain the husk, which holds most nutrients.
Reducing blood sugar level:
Brown rice can help keep blood sugar levels low as it has a low glycemic index than white rice.(1)
Great for skin and hair:
Rice is a popular and common ingredient in skin care and hair care products because of its antioxidants and hydrating properties.
How to cook rice?
Rice is one of the easiest to cook but can be a little tricky if you are not a regular maker. The traditional way of cooking rice is the best and most convenient way. Here is how you can cook a pot of perfectly fluffed rice:
- The first step is to clean and rinse your rice before cooking. It can be from any brand but make sure to rinse the rice and drain the excess water.
- It is an optional choice, but you can toast your rice with some butter or oil before adding water to it. It helps to enhance the flavor of rice.
- Boil a pot of water, and once you see the bubbles, pour all the rice into the pot. And make sure that the pot is big enough to hold the quantity of rice after it is cooked.
- Keep stirring it occasionally to avoid lumps. If the water levels recede too low and the rice is uncooked, you can add a bit of water.
- Once the grains soften, drain all the excess water and put it on the stove for the last time on a low flame for a few minutes. And you are done cooking your rice.
- Suppose you are cooking the rice in a rice cooker or pressure cooker, measure and put water along with the rice. And check it once the cooking is over.
Rice is a versatile dish, and you can pair it with any vegetarian or non-vegetarian protein source. You can also fry up your rice with your favorite veggies and meat. There are endless ways of including rice in your diet.
Which Rice is the Healthiest?
Rice is nutritious and healthy to eat daily, but the nutritional quality depends on the variety. Here are our top choices of the most nourishing rice qualities you can include in your diet.
Brown rice contains its bran or outer covering and the germ and does not go through the polishing process that white rice goes through, making it less healthy in the long run. It has a nutty flavor and keeps you full for more extended periods, thus quenching hunger.
It contains flavonoid antioxidants that help fight against disease and improve cardiovascular health. It has more fiber and protein than white rice, making it a healthy option.
Wild rice is technically not rice but the seeds of aquatic grasses, but we eat it like rice. It has a nutty and chewy texture that goes well with rich, savory items. With three times more fiber and protein than white rice, Wild rice falls under grains.
It is also a source of minerals like magnesium, manganese, and B vitamins. It also has 30 times more antioxidants than white rice. But it may take a little longer to prepare wild rice compared to the other varieties.
This beautiful variety of rice is grown in China and has a sweet and nutty texture with an earthy flavor. A recent study shows that the bran of black rice has a particular antioxidant called Anthocyanins that can kill the cancer-causing free radicals in our body.
It is non-sticky rice with medium grains and will turn a dark purple after cooking.
Red rice contains several beneficial plant compounds that make it a healthy option. It has high amounts of fiber and protein, much more than the commonly eaten white rice. But its antioxidant levels make it a variant packed with disease-fighting nutrients.
Like black rice, even red rice contains an array of antioxidants that fight free radicals in our bodies. Flavonoids present in red rice can help to prevent inflammation in our bodies.
Jade Pearl Rice.
Like the name, this rice has a jade green color and has a bamboo extract which makes it high in antioxidants. This variety of rice is rich in manganese and some protein. It has a sticky and fluffy texture with a nutty and vanilla flavor.
The chlorophyll from the bamboo gives it the green color and is a perfect kind of rice to spice up your sushi rolls.
Rice is a healthy food item that you can eat every day, provided you keep a check on the portion you eat. You can use different rice varieties to change your palate and add some twists to your plate.
Not to forget the amount of nutrition that you get from rice. Keep the portion of rice and pair it with a protein source and vegetables, and you are good to go.