Different Types of Rice and Their Health Benefits

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Overview

Knowing the various varieties of rice and its advantages, as well as which one might be the healthiest to eat will help you choose the right kind of rice to serve with your homemade curries and stir-fries.

Additionally, experimenting with various varieties of rice may introduce you to new and intriguing varieties that can infuse your favourite meals with a burst of flavour or colour.

Given that some varieties of rice are obviously healthier than others, you may be asking which variety of rice is the healthiest. Each rice has varying amounts of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and other nutritional elements which can be included in your well-rounded diet.

10 Different types of rice and its health benefits

Brown rice

Whole grain rice is classified as brown rice if the hull, or outer protective layer, has been removed. In contrast to white rice, it still has the bran layer and germ, which are both rich in nutrients.

For instance, apigenin, quercetin, and luteolin are flavonoid antioxidants found in brown rice bran. These substances are crucial in the prevention of disease. Flavonoid-rich foods have been associated with a reduced risk of several chronic diseases and malignancies.

In terms of calories and carbohydrates, brown rice is comparable to white rice, which has had the bran and germ removed. The brown variant has a little higher fibre and protein content, though.

White rice

White rice is extremely popular, even though it is not the healthiest variety of rice. Out of all the varieties of rice, it is frequently the least expensive option, has a great texture, and tastes great. Additionally, it goes well with a variety of foods, notably curry.

To assist increase the shelf-life, the husk, bran, and germ are all removed; but, because of the way it is processed, this has a detrimental influence on the nutritional value.

White rice, on the other hand, is frequently fortified with iron and vitamin B. As a result, some white rice types can have more of these micronutrients than brown rice. Additionally, it has significantly less antioxidant content than the brown, black, red, or wild forms.

White rice, which is lower in fibre and protein than other forms of rice and less satisfying, is, therefore not the healthiest variety of rice. This might encourage late-night munching.

Black rice

Black rice has a rich black colour that frequently turns purple when cooked, explaining its strong link with royalty. This variety is commonly referred to as “forbidden rice” because it was allegedly only offered to Chinese royalties in the past. Black rice has the most antioxidant activity of any variety, making it a healthy option.

Antioxidants are substances that shield cells from oxidative stress, which is brought on by an excess of molecules called free radicals. Chronic illnesses like heart disease, several malignancies, and cognitive decline have all been linked to oxidative stress. It is also effective at providing anti inflamtory property.

Anthocyanins, a class of flavonoid plant pigments with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, are particularly abundant in black rice. Additionally, powerful anti-cancer activities of anthocyanins have been demonstrated. According to studies, eating more anthocyanin-rich foods may reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Parboiled rice

Parboiled rice, also referred to as converted rice, is a type of rice that has been widely consumed in Asian and African nations for a while. When you soak, steam, and dry rice while it’s covered in its inedible outer husk, you’re parboiling it. The rice inside takes on a faintly yellow colour as a result. 

When rice is parboiled, it is simpler to remove the husk before eating. When compared to conventional white rice, the texture of the rice is also improved during the process, becoming fluffier and less sticky. 

Parboiled rice offers more fibre, more protein, and less calories than white rice. It also has fewer carbs. This transforms it into a healthier substitute for conventional white rice. 

As a prebiotic, the starch in parboiled rice functions as a kind of fertiliser to promote the development of probiotics, or good bacteria, in your gut. Eating foods containing prebiotics can be very good for your general health because the balance of microbes in your gut can affect everything from your health to your emotions. 

Parboiled rice is a better option for diabetics than other rices since it has less of an effect on blood sugar levels than both white and brown rice. This may be especially true if you store leftover parboiled rice in the refrigerator before eating it, as doing so may lessen the effect the rice has on your blood sugar levels.

Arborio rice

Arborio rice, a native of Italy, has recently gained popularity in India due to its use in European cuisine, particularly risotto. Although arborio rice has a high-fat content, it is a great source of protein and contains vitamins A and C. However, due to its higher glycemic index, you should be cautious of your blood sugar levels.

Red rice

Red rice is a beautiful colour that can bring a lot of flare to a recipe. Red rice cultivars, such Himalayan red rice and Thai red cargo rice, are highly pigmented and packed with vitamins, minerals, and health-promoting plant components.

Compared to other forms of white rice, this one is higher in protein and fibre, but its antioxidant concentration is truly what sets it apart. The anthocyanins apigenin, myricetin, and quercetin are among the flavonoid antioxidants that are abundant in it, much like black rice.

Studies reveal that compared to black rice, red rice has a substantially greater ability to combat free radicals and includes larger levels of flavonoid antioxidants. Red rice is tasty, but its main drawback is that it is less common than other varieties.

Wild rice

Wild rice is actually the seeds of aquatic grasses; it is often used in the kitchen in the same way as rice is. It is regarded as a whole grain and has a bit more protein and fibre than white rice, making it a somewhat more satisfying option.

B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese are just a few of the vitamins and minerals that are present in wild rice. Of all the varieties of rice, it contains the most calories and carbohydrates.

In addition to lowering insulin resistance, studies have shown that wild rice is also quite good at lowering cholesterol and oxidative stress. Additionally, wild rice is also loaded with antioxidants.

Basmati rice

When cooked, basmati rice emits a strong aroma that many compare to that of popcorn. Actually, the Hindi word for “basmati” is “full of aroma” or “fragrant.” It is sometimes referred to as the queen of perfumed rice.

Basmati rice is indigenous to Pakistan and India, with India producing two-thirds of the world’s supply. Since ancient times, basmati rice has been grown in the Himalayan foothills. It is now a common ingredient in many Indian recipes and is loved by people all over the world.

White and brown basmati rice both provide essential nutrients, however brown basmati rice is higher in fibre, phosphorus, zinc, and B vitamins. Additionally, brown basmati rice has a lower glycemic index. However, white basmati rice is easier to digest.

Jasmine rice

A range of colours is available for jasmine rice. Especially white jasmine rice is heavily processed and contains more nutritional characteristics than brown jasmine rice.

Additionally, there are purple, red and black kinds of jasmine rice, all containing slightly distinct nutrient profiles. Brown jasmine rice is loaded with minerals, including vitamin B1, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and manganese, like the majority of whole-grain varieties of rice. 

Phytonutrients present in jasmine rice strengthen your immune system and overall health by protecting the cells in your body. It is filled with folic acid and promotes healthy pregnancy, if taken during pregnancy and first trimester.

Compared to white jasmine rice, brown jasmine rice contains more fibre. Because brown rice is less processed, the fibre and minerals are still present. Regular bowel motions and digestive health are maintained by dietary fibre.

Bomba rice

A short-grain rice variety that comes from the Valencian region of Spain is called authentic bomba rice, often referred to as Valencia rice. It produces an unusually dried grain as a result of its sluggish growth, which makes it ideal for absorbing moisture during cooking.

Bomba rice can provide more protein, carbs, and fibre per serving than other whole grains. Ten grams of carbs and 16 grammes of protein are found in one cup of cooked bomba rice. Bomba rice is dry when it is served, in contrast to quinoa and brown rice, which must be cooked for a lengthy time to become soft. This offers a significant amount of fibre, which lowers cholesterol levels.

Packaged blends

Although some commercial rice blends are healthy, many others are excessive in sodium and calories. A high salt diet can raise your risk of developing major illnesses including heart disease. Additionally, added sugar, which should be minimised as part of a healthy diet, may be present in processed food.

Summary

The bran and germ included in whole grain rice variants provide extra fibre, protein, antioxidants, and particular vitamins and minerals. Whatever sort of rice you decide to serve, make sure to complete your meal with a variety of veggies, meats, and heart-healthy fats.

FAQs

Which protein is rich in rice?

Prolamin, glutelin, globulin, and albumin are four distinct protein fractions with varying solubility properties that are present in large amounts in rice. These proteins, however, have a richer amino acid profile, making them more nutritionally significant and having a variety of useful features.

Which is better, rice or wheat?

Wheat has more iron than rice, but rice has less phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. There is no calcium in it. Compared to rice, each serving of chapatis has a higher level of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and potassium. While wheat keeps you fuller for longer, rice is simpler to digest. Although both rice and wheat are common foods in India, a person’s preference depends on their needs and health requirements.


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