Nutritional benefits of rice

Rice is easily one of the most popular staple diets of people worldwide. The very fact that there are well over fifty thousand varieties of this cereal available proves its worth and widespread acceptance. Broadly, rice can be classified into two main categories- whole grain rice and white rice. Both these categories are widely popular due to the nutritional value of rice, culinary properties and easy availability.

Let us look at some white rice nutritional facts:

Is there protein in rice?

Rice is an excellent source of proteins, vitamins and minerals like niacin, vitamin D, calcium, fiber, iron, thiamine and riboflavin. These nutrients play a crucial role in enhancing many vital functions like metabolism, immunity etc. It is also rich in insoluble fiber which is a trusted cure for chronic constipation. The soft sponge structure of the fiber aids in easier bowel movement. Since it the most commonly consumed cereal in the world, various governments invest a lot of money in developing new rice varieties which increases the nutritional value of rice. This can have a direct impact on the millions of people consuming it.

Health benefits of consuming rice:

  • Rich source of energy: All varieties of rice, especially brown rice, are rich in carbohydrates which is why you feel all charged up after a diet comprising rice. The carbohydrates present in rice can be easily digested and converted into energy by the body.
  • Cholesterol and blood pressure management: There are no harmful fats, cholesterol or sodium in rice. In fact one of the main highlights of parboiled rice nutrition is that they can keep away the clots in your blood vessels which can lead to heart conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Low levels of sodium means there is very little chance your veins and arteries will constrict, resulting in high pressure. Wild rice and brown rice varieties are far better than white rice in this category, since the husk of the grain is where much of the nutrients are; the husk is removed in white rice preparation.
  • Cancer prevention: Rice is rich in fiber and natural antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin-A, phenolic and flavonoid compounds. They can stimulate antioxidants which in turn eliminate free radicals thus reducing the risk of cancer cell formation. Eating rice, even in small quantities, can do wonders to your metabolism and antioxidant generation.
  • Skin care: India, which is the world’s largest producer of rice in the world, is also renowned for its ancient Ayurvedic treatments. It is no wonder that rice and its derivatives are widely used in a lot of Ayurvedic treatments. The phenolic compounds that are found in rice, particularly in brown or wild rice, have anti-inflammatory properties. Rice is also known to prevent wrinkling of skin prematurely.
  • Digestive properties: The husk part of rice is believed to have considerable digestive properties, making it the most commonly prescribed diet for people with digestive disorders. As a diuretic, rice husk can help you lose excess water weight, eliminate toxins from the body like uric acid, and even lose weight.

These are reasons why Rice has become one of the most preferred cereals of people worldwide. It’s time to cast away the misapprehensions of rice causing obesity and indulge in a sensible rice diet

– Written by Jaga Salai, a food technologist, working as Production Manager in Alobha Exim

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