Rice is the basis of food for a large part of humanity. We can distinguish many kinds of grains of this unusual plant that differ from each other by many features. But, what is the healthiest type of rice?
Rice is composed of 77.5 % carbohydrates which is the main source of energy that keeps us going throughout the day.
It also slows down our body’s aging process which could potentially be the secret to long lasting life.
Rice also helps regulate bowel movement, normalizes blood sugar, and regulates blood pressure. Some studies even revealed that rice can prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Rice is also full of other essential nutrients like potassium and vitamins E and B (thiamin, niacin).
The list goes long on how beneficial rice can be however; rice has many types and varieties so which one really is the healthiest?Find out in this post.
The Ancient Rice Therapy
Ancient people believe that rice is more than just a grain; it symbolizes many things such as in religions, culture and traditions.
Until today, rice is still considered to have medicinal properties especially in areas of Asia, Middle East and Africa. For example, people in Nigeria use the rice bran which is rich in Vitamin B to cure beriberi.
In China, people use rice for a stronger digestive system and spleen. They use dried sprouted rice grains and apply it externally for toner muscles, as well as to expel gasses from the stomach or flatulence.
In India, the rice water is considered an ointment for inflamed or sore body areas. In Cambodia, rice can treat dysentery; they use the hulls of three-month old rice which they consider to be diuretic.
In Malaysia, rice is written in their ancient Malayan book of medicine to cure inner body inflammations; the boiled rice greens are also used as eye lotions.
We can never deny the health benefits of rice even in the ancient times. However, today’s rice production has become modernized which may have caused serious stains on its reputable name because rice is now considered to be one of the major causes of diabetes, obesity and other harmful diseases.
This is where we ask ourselves, what rice to eat and what kind of rice is healthy.
Different Types of Rice
If you love eating rice but are threatened of getting overweight then discover the different types of rice for different needs:
- White Rice
- Brown Rice
- Red Rice
- Black/ Forbidden Rice
- Bamboo Rice
Remember, rice is classified into the following:
- Variety – such as Basmati, Jasmine, Arborio, etc…
- Whole grain/unpolished- Except from white rice, the other types still have their bran and germ intact.
- Size – Long or short grain
What is the Healthiest Type of Rice? The Top 5 Picks
Being healthy is subjective. People often define being healthy as being free from any illnesses and diseases that may affect their physical, mental and total well-being. An absence of disease is not wholly considered to be healthy.
Being healthy is being able to live in a well-rounded society that includes our way of eating, and lifestyle. This is also true when it comes to choosing the healthiest type of rice. Each rice variety has its own health contributions based on what we need. Here are my top 5 rice according to their health benefits, see below:
1. Brown Rice
You may have heard that brown rice is the healthiest type because of its overwhelming benefits. Truly brown rice is heaven sent because it is high in Fiber, a great source of Selenium, (a mineral which is full of antioxidant properties) and rich in Manganese.
- Weight loss
- lowers cholesterol levels
- prevents cancer
- prevents diabetes
- with anti-inflammatory properties
You can checkout our previous post on what is the best brown rice brand so you know which one to get the next time you are at the groceries. However, brown rice is a lot chewier compared to the white rice.
The best way to cook brown rice to get all the essential nutrients we need is to allow it to germinate. Germinated brown rice is the healthiest choice by far and you can even prepare it at home just by using a rice cooker.
2. Black Rice/ Forbidden Rice
Black rice is also known as the “forbidden rice” during the Ancient China because only the Chinese royals were allowed to eat this grain. This type of rice is full of anthocyanin antioxidants compared to the other types and in most food. Black rice is also high in fiber, gluten-free, and rich in phytochemicals that helps the healthy cholesterol fight against the bad ones.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Weight management
- decreases atherosclerotic plaque in heart arteries
Black rice looks like dark purple and tastes nutty and sticky compared to the other types however it contains impressive amounts of the following:
- 5 grams of protein
- 5 grams of iron
- 9 grams of fiber
This nutritional value above was taken from 100 grams of uncooked black rice.
3. Wild Rice
Wild rice was grown and harvested in North America and China and is believed to have more health benefits than other food groups or rice varieties. Historically, the Native Americans go by canoe along the stands of plants and use knockers to bend the rice grain and thresh them onboard.
- Boosts Immunity
- Zero sodium content which helps reduce blood pressure
- High in Protein
- Prevents Osteoporosis
- Slows down aging process
- Prevents cramps, diarrhea, and stomach bloating
Wild Rice tastes chewy but can be the secret to staying young and active.
4. Red Rice
Red rice is also an unpolished, unhulled grain with great health benefits. It has a nutty flavor and red color due to its high anthocyanin content.
- Rich in iron and Vitamin B6 that balances Red Blood Cells
- Full of fiber
- Lowers blood sugar
- Prevents Heart disease
- Rich in antioxidants
5. White Rice
White rice landed on the fifth spot but it doesn’t mean that it is not a healthy grain. In fact, white rice has tremendous health benefits especially in digestion.
- Morning sickness
How to Cook Perfect Rice
Cooking rice is almost the same for any types of grains. The only thing that differs is the amount of water you need to add. You can perfectly cook rice in a pot like the traditional method or you can use modern kitchen equipment like rice cookers.
The video below presents the modern Rice Cooker & Warmer Zojirushi NP-HCC10/18, thanks to which you can cook perfect rice.
There are different types of rice cookers as well that provides smart options for cooking different types of rice. Here you have a list of best rice cookers available on the market.
Rice is certainly good in so many ways than one. Its rich history and medicinal purposes have paved way for modern science to study more about this grain. Often, people misinterpret rice as negative because of the many effects we see.
However, with proper knowledge about this grain and perfectly knowing which is great for your body needs, you are on the safe side. You see there are different types of rice with different health benefits.
Some may be looking for rice that can keep them fit and active, while some may look for just a balanced meal. Whatever reasons we all have, rice is undeniably good so make sure you get to know more about this specific grain and how it will affect your health and well-being. Serve hot!