Rice is the staple food of many people across the world. Rice forms a major part of diet of a large population and also a wide range of cuisines. There are two main varieties of rice that feed half of the world's population. These are whole grain rice and white rice. Whole grain rice has high nutritional value as it is not processed. White rice on the other hand has brain or its outer covering removed and so is less nutritional. Rice has many health benefits that make it a widely consumed food item. Rice provided instant energy, stabilizes blood sugar levels, boosts the immune system, aids in digestion, improves metabolism and protects against diseases.
Health benefits of variants of rice
There are many known varieties of rice that are consumed across the world. The most common ones along with their health benefits are:
- White rice: This is the most commonly consumed variety of rice. White rice is said to be less nutritional because its bran is removed when white rice is processed and polished. Nevertheless, white rice has several health benefits and is a rich source of proteins. White rice provides instant energy to the body as it is a rich source of carbohydrates. White rice is the easiest food to digest and takes only an hour to digest. Since it is low in fibers, white rice is soothing for the stomach and can be digested quickly. This is one of the main reasons why white rice is recommended to treat problems like diarrhea, dysentery, colitis and other digestive disorders. White rice powder is also used as a soothing powder in case of skin infections and diseases like small pox, measles, burns etc.
- Brown rice: Brown rice is perhaps the best rice for consumption although it is not used in many household because people are ignorant of its health benefits. Brown rice is a rich source of soluble fibers. Brown rice reduces the bad cholesterol levels in blood. The oil extracted from brown rice is used to promote healthy cholesterol in the blood and thus regulated the cholesterol levels. Since brown rice has a high content of soluble fibers, it means that the time to digest these is slow which means that the sugar is released in the blood stream very slowly. This ensures that the body is protected from heart diseases and diabetes as well. Brown rice contains many vitamins and minerals and thus provides all the essential nutrients to the body.
- Basmati rice: Basmati rice is long grained aromatic rice which is consumed mainly for its typical flavor. Basmati rice is rich in its nutritional content and also fibers. Thus, the consumption of basmati rice helps to boost the immune system and protects the body from heart diseases. Basmati rice is low in fats and calories and so can be used effectively for weight loss and weight management. This rice also helps the body to fight against diabetes as it has low glycemic index and digests slowly.
- Jasmine rice: Jasmine rice is rich in vitamins, minerals, fibers and other nutrients. The consumption of jasmine rice helps to maintain healthy skin. The nutrients in jasmine rice help to fight against several diseases including cancer. Jasmine rice has a very low fat content and so helps in weight loss and also in promoting cardiac health. Jasmine rice is also rich in amino acids and so helps in keeping muscles string and also relieving muscular pains.
- Black rice: This variant of rice is not widely known and consumed but its health benefits are many. Black rice is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibers. The consumption of this rice helps to maintain cholesterol levels, promotes heart health and also help to fight diseases like cancer. Black rice also prevents memory degeneration.
- Red rice: Red rice is a rich source of dietary fibers and helps to promote digestive health. It contains many minerals like manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and molybdenum. These minerals improve the digestive system in addition to promoting the overall health. Red rice improves eyesight and inhibits the growth of tumors as it is rich in antioxidants. Red rice consumption is beneficial for the kidney, liver, heart and also the stomach.