Rice is eaten all over the world and in almost every culture. It is tasty in hundreds to thousands of culinary dishes, and it can provide a decent dose of vitamins, minerals, and especially carbohydrates.
Whole-grain types of rice are digested slowly and help regulate blood sugar. It is high in fiber and thus is quite filling. Certain kinds of rice are linked with lower disease rates, though white rice does not fall into this category.
Put simply, not all rice is created equal. There are countless varieties of rice, but there are a few main groups. White rice represents the refined grains that are no longer whole. Black rice, red rice, and brown rice are three of the healthiest alternatives to white rice.
Why Is White Rice So Bad?
White rice is the most commonly consumed type, and that is an unfortunate fact. White rice is processed way more than it needs to be, and is considered a refined grain rather than a whole grain. White rice has had its outer layers removed, and those outer layers are where many of the nutrients are stored. This refining causes a loss of: vitamins, fiber, protein, minerals, and antioxidants, among other healthy things.
White rice has seven times less fiber than brown rice does because of this refining process. White rice is sometimes fortified with vitamins, but many argue that synthetic vitamins are not absorbed nearly as well as natural ones.
White rice is associated with a higher risk of Type II Diabetes, among other disease because the carbohydrates can easily convert into sugar and spike up the insulin level in your blood.
In general, it is simply healthier to eat rice that contains whole grains instead of refined ones. Below are three of the healthiest types of rice: black, red, and brown.
Most people haven’t heard of black rice, but it is arguably the healthiest kind out there. It’s high in antioxidants, fiber, protein, iron, calcium, and copper. This type of rice is loaded with anthocyanin, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation, helps prevent heart disease, and helps improve cognitive function. Black rice contains more anthocyanin than red rice.
Black rice reduces the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which lowers your risk of blood clots; clots can lead to life threatening events such as stroke, heart attack, and pulmonary embolism. Black rice can also help regulate cholesterol levels in the body by lowering the bad cholesterol, which further reduces the risk of heart disease. Because it is high in fiber, it promotes a healthy digestive system. This means it may reduce constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and bloating; it lets you feel fuller and thus may help with weight loss; and it reduces toxins in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
In addition to reducing GI tract toxins, it can be effective at detoxifying the liver and other organs due to its antioxidant levels. Studies have shown that consuming whole grains like black rice in place of refined grains like white rice reduces your risk of developing both Type II Diabetes and obesity.
A study in the Journal of Nutrition compared rats that were fed white rice with rats that were fed black rice. Those fed black rice had less radical damage to their cells, less plaque inside their arteries, and fewer toxins in the body overall. They also had less inflammation throughout their bodies, which is considered a sign of good health. Heightened inflammation causes a myriad of health issues over time, including diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, acid reflux, and much more.
If you take a good look around at the health food sections of your local grocery, you’ll likely notice a wide variety of sprouted foods – lentils, nuts and rice.
The process of soaking and sprouting foods is said to increase its nutritional value. For rice, sprouting can help to lower their glycemic index which raise the blood sugar levels in the blood.
A “Journal of Functional Foods” study found that germinating brown rice caused an uptick in levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a compound which may support your mood and heart health.
Sprouted foods such as rice are easier to digest and are quicker to cook since the hard outer shell is softened during the sprouting process. Sprouted rice are easier to digest and are quicker to cook since the hard outer shell is softened during the sprouting process.
Red rice is a whole grain that has a bit of a nutty flavor. It is high in quite a few minerals, including: manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium, iron, and molybdenum. It also contains fiber, protein, antioxidants, and vitamins. The grains are red because of anthocyanins, antioxidants that have been found to have powerful healing effects within the body; they may even be able to inhibit the growth of tumors. Many of the nutrients in red rice are comparable to those in brown rice, but red rice is much less commonly found because it isn’t grown around the world like brown rice is. While it depends on the subtypes, red rice has as much as ten times as many antioxidants as brown rice.
Brown rice is the most widely available type that is considered healthy, and is a much better choice than white rice. Compared to white rice, brown rice has more protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Some of the minerals present in brown rice are selenium, iron, and manganese. Selenium helps prevent heart disease and arthritis, iron helps prevent fatigue, and manganese promotes a healthy nervous system.
Brown rice is a whole grain, which means that it promotes healthy digestion and can help reduce overeating. A study in the Journal of Nutrition Research found that people trying to lose weight and body fat were more successful when they consumed only brown rice instead of white rice.
- Jasmine rice is high in magnesium, phosphorus, iron, Vitamin B, fiber, and protein. It is also a healthy alternative to white rice.
- Bulgur rice has tons of fiber and protein as well. Compared to white rice, it has far more nutritional value.
- Quinoa is not rice, but it is often consumed along with or in place of rice. It’s super high in protein and fiber, and it’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Do you feel bloated after eating certain types of grains? If yes, your digestive system may not be working at its optimal level. Go to the next page and watch the 3 tips for better gut and digestive presentation.
About the Author:
Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice.
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