Rice – Nutritional information
Rice is among the oldest grains and is thought to have been cultivated for about 5000 years. It is widely consumed and in many parts of the worlds, in particular, southern and eastern Asia, it is a staple food. The most common type is the white rice but the brown one also gains popularity.
Rice can be used to make various products including bran oil, syrup, milk and flour. It is grown mostly in tropical and subtropical regions on submerged land. The countries which produce the most rice are India, China, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand and Brazil, the US, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam are other important producers.
Rice can be eaten fried, boiled or steamed and goes well with many various foods. It also has lots of health benefits, which we will discuss bellow.
Per 100g raw white rice
Rice can prevent obesity. It is a very important part of the healthy diet due to being able to provide plenty of nutrients without having hurtful impacts on the health. It has low levels of sodium, fat and cholesterol, which is important for the prevention of obesity.
It also does not contain gluten. Due to this people with celiac disease (gluten intolerance) can consume it without causing any inflammation. Rice also reduces the oxidative stress on the body.
It is a quick source of energy providing mainly carbohydrates – which are the preferred source of energy for our cells. The brain relies on carbohydrates, as well, to maintain its proper function.
Rice contains fiber, which is vital for the health of the digestive system. Fiber promotes the regular bowel movement, preventing constipation, and speeds up the transit of the wastes through the intestines, thus, lowering the chance of them causing unwanted changes to the
healthy cells. That lowers the chance of developing various types of cancers associated with the gastrointestinal system.
It is really good food for a vegan or vegetarian diet. Since vegetarians do not consume meat which is the primary source of protein for the body, they should find another ways to get enough protein. In this regard, the rice is a good option for taking care of the supplementary needs (but cannot provide all the protein needed by the body).
Rice is thought to be a natural diuretic and increases the frequency of the urination. Because of this it is believed that the rice supports the kidneys (the low sodium content may also be beneficial for the kidneys).
It can also control the levels of sugar in the blood. The fiber contents slows down the sugar absorption in the blood. Thus, rice (the brown type, since it has lower glycemic index) is good for diabetes and insulin resistance.
Rice promotes healthy cholesterol levels, as well. Due to this it can benefit the health of the heart. Moreover, since rice is an anti-inflammatory food it slows down the deposition of atherosclerotic plaque on the walls of the vessels and lowers the chance of stroke or heart attack.
Brown rice is even better in this regard.
Rice also contains different B vitamins, which are really important for the proper function of the nervous system, like the insulation of the nerve fibers and the production of neurotransmitters.
Some experts also say that various skin conditions can be cured by applying powdered rice. The Ayurvedic medicine often recommends rice water for cooling off the inflamed parts of the skin.
Rice has phenolic compounds, which act anti-inflammatory and can help soothe the redness and irritation. In addition, since it has antioxidant effects, rice can delay the formation of wrinkles.
It can also improve your metabolism. Rice contains vitamin D, niacin, iron, fiber, calcium, riboflavin and thiamine, which are vital for the metabolism of the body and for the proper function of the immune system.
With what foods can we eat rice?
Rice can be mixed with various herbs – like rosemary, basil, oregano, etc. – mixed in salsa or eaten with eggs, beans, soy sauce, various different meats – lamb, chicken, pork, etc. It also goes well with peas, butter and parmesan cheese, broccoli and other vegetables – like mushrooms, onions, peppers and others. It can also be cooked with fish, lentils or added to omelets.