For years, the health benefits of rice, especially white rice, have been side-swiped by many health gurus who claim that it is responsible for obesity, diabetes and many human health ills. The truth is that rice is one of the healthiest options around for anyone looking to lose weight and build muscle.
Health Benefits of White Rice
That’s right. white rice has health benefits. For years, if not centuries, Asians have been eating white rice for many dishes and it’s no surprise that their instances of obesity and diabetes were lower than their western counterparts.
Two reasons: What’s being served with it and how it’s processed. Polished white rice is stripped of all the nutrients that make it a worthy and viable source of nutrition. That’s why a lot of the white rice in the stores are vitamin fortified because the polished rice is nothing more than refined starch. Natural, unpolished white rice has many health benefits including:
- Protein – for every 150g, rice has about 5 grams of protein
- Gastrointestinal – Because it’s low in fiber and easily digested, white rice is great for relieving diarrhea and even morning sickness
- Muscle building – Muscles need amino acids to grow and rice is a great source
- Overall energy – the body needs carbohydrates to function and white rice is an excellent source.
As far as a regular part of an healthy diet, the health benefits of (unpolished) white rice make it a viable option.
Benefits of Brown Rice
Brown rice is the talk of the town and, according to many in the health and wellness field, a much better option than white rice hands down. Brown rice comes when the outermost hull of the grain is removed and plenty of nutrients left. Brown rice has:
- Fiber – it’s an excellent source of dietary fiber which helps to keep the colon healthy
- Manganese – Keeps bones healthy and helps the people with insulin resistance maintain healthy blood sugar levels
- Selenium – found in nuts, selenium helps to counter the effects of free radicals.
- Magnesium – like manganese, it promotes health bones but it also helps with proper blood circulation
Brown rice is more nutritionally dense and has a flavor that some people don’t like; instead of boiling in water, some choose broth or even coconut milk.
So what is black rice?
Black rice is an heirloom rice that is black when raw but purple when cooked. The color is due to the presence of anthocyanin, the same pigment that is present in dark red, blue and purple fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and cherries. Anthocyanin is a natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory that is linked to lowering cholesterol and preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. In addition to being high in fiber, black rice is rich in iron.
Of all three, black rice is the least known and least prevalent but its benefits are profound. Rice is a versatile food with many health benefits that’s a great source of energy. It goes well with a most forms of protein like fish, meats, beans and vegetables so it can be doctored. At the end of the day, the kind of rice you prefer depends on many factors including flavor and taste.
So which rice is right for you?
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