Which is the healthiest rice to eat?
Rice forms an inseparable part of our daily diet. It’s wise to know a few things about this staple food of India.
Almost all of us are accustomed to purchasing white rice from the grocery stores. Brown rice is seldom seen in the grocery stores, except for the select organic foods stores that procure the unmilled organic rice directly from the organic farmers. Do you know the reason? This is because the outer bran of rice turns rancid faster thus reducing the shelf life of rice.
Furthermore, the rice bran, which is an excellent source of minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants and proteins, is used for extraction of rice bran oil. The leftover oil cakes serve as excellent feed for the cattle and poultry industry. The bran thus brings in additional revenues.
But until a couple of decade ago, our forefathers consumed only hand pounded rice, which is rice with its bran. Unlike the rice milling industries of today, most of the rice used to be de-husked traditionally like this-
When the nature has designed the complete grain for us, then shouldn’t we consume it entirely? It can be rightly said that-
Chai ke liye jaise toast hota hai, waise rice ke saath bran zaroori hota hai!
Well, let's understand the benefits of this complete grain in a bit more detail.
Good for your heart:
Rice bran is rich in two essential nutrients that are required for proper functioning of heart- Magnesium and Selenium. Studies have shown lesser occurrence of cardiovascular disease in people with higher dietary intake of these minerals. Also, the fiber in the rice bran clings to the bad cholesterol (LDL) in your digestive system and thus causes its excretion from the body.
Reduces the risk of diabetes:
Brown rice is rich in fiber which makes it a food with low glycemic index. Unlike white rice, brown rice is digested slowly by the body and it does not lead to instant increase in the blood sugar level. Studies have shown decreased occurrences of type 2 diabetes in people who consume brown rice instead of white rice.
Rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants:
Rice bran is rich in vitamins like B1, B3, B5 & B6 and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, selenium which are necessary for the normal functioning of the body. If you are suffering from deficiency of vitamins and minerals, don’t you think that it’s a good idea to consume brown rice instead of vitamin tablets?!
Besides, recent studies have found that consuming whole grains like wheat and brown rice are also found to reduce risk of colon cancer. Needless to say, the hand pounded rice is the authentic whole grain that the nature designed for our consumption. Let’s vow to shift back to the healthy variant of rice- the complete grain!
Disclaimer: This article contains generic information about foods and should not be construed as specific advice on diet. Please refer to certified medical professional for diagnosis and consultation.