Top 10 Health Benefits of Rice

Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or less commonly Oryza glaberrima (African rice). The name wild rice is usually used for species of the genera Zizania and Porteresia, both wild and domesticated, although the term may also be used for primitive or uncultivated varieties of Oryza.

In my country, the Philippines, almost every day we eat rice. Not only that, we eat rice as much as three times a day, breakfast, lunch, and supper. It is the staple of our country.

So many people are saying that rice can make you ‘fat.’ Well, I’m here to let you know that it is a myth because if it was, we would all be as huge as we could be.

My Mom and Dad had 14 children and all of us have decent-looking bodies. No one is fat among us, my Mom and Dad and us, siblings. If ever everybody is slim to the point of being skinny like me.

Is Rice Fattening?

There is nothing particularly “fattening” about rice, so its effects on weight must come down to serving size and the overall quality of your diet, What I can really tell you is that the other foodstuffs and the seasonings that are being mixed with rice may be the substance for being fattening.

We normally just eat mostly boiled rice and not adding anything with it at all, not even pepper nor salt.

A cup of rice contains about 200 calories and it is also a good source of carbohydrates, which contribute to weight gain.

New research shows what many health experts have long said. It’s not carbohydrates, per se, that lead to weight gain, but the type of carbs eaten.

Their research shows that people who ate more refined and processed foods, such as white bread and white rice, had more belly fat.

10 Amazing Health Benefits of Eating Rice

1. Natural Anti-Inflammatory and Gluten-Free

Did you know that the most popular gluten-free grain is rice? This is especially true for people who suffer from celiac disease. It works as a natural anti-inflammatory for our bodies, which is always a great benefit.

If you have any sensitivities to gluten, then rice can easily be added to your diet without worry. Because it is gluten-free, there won’t be inflammation in your gut this is why rice is a great feature for any diet.

2. Improves Nervous System Health

Our bodies’ nervous systems depend on the use of different B vitamins to run smoothly and function properly. Various types of B vitamins work to help produce neurotransmitters which work to help regulate the biological processes.

Rice is an amazing source of a variety of B vitamins thus eating it helps to improve the health of your nervous system.

3. Good Source of Energy

Feeling tired and run down? Grab a bowl of brown or white rice!

Our bodies rely on a good amount of carbohydrates to act as fuel. When carbohydrates enter our systems, our bodies work to transform those good carbohydrates into energy. But the healthy carbohydrates found in rice aren’t only good for turning into energy.

This also helps to ensure proper brain function, as the brain takes this source of energy and uses it as well. Other components found in rice such as all the minerals, vitamins, and much more all aid in increasing the metabolic activity for all the body’s organs. In doing so, our bodies have increased energy levels.

4. Diuretic and Digestive Qualities: Prevents Constipation

Eating rice is a sure way to regulate your digestive system.

In just one ounce of raw rice bran, there are 6 grams of fiber. Rice’s high-fiber makeup is essential for reducing constipation and regulating the digestive system. Rice also works as a natural diuretic, which helps eliminate water from the body.

This is beneficial to those who have high blood pressure and other conditions. Eliminating water from the body means you urinate more frequently, which helps to rid the body of uric acid and even helps you lose weight! In return, your kidneys reap the benefits.

Be sure to stay hydrated, however, since your body will be flushing out more water, you’ll need a decent supply of water in the body.

5. Can Help Reduce Cancer Risks

Are you looking for ways to stay proactive in fighting cancer risks? Consuming high-fiber foods like rice helps reduce your chances of getting cancer!

Rice’s high-fiber properties aid in digestion and lowering blood pressure. In return, you have a healthier body overall. And keeping a healthy digestive tract means that the body’s waste does not sit for long periods of time.

By keeping the flow moving, there is a lower chance of this waste interacting with healthy cells within the body. This is good for fighting against and preventing intestinal cancer and colorectal cancer. But rice doesn’t end its battle with cancer there.

Rice is also rich in vitamins. These vitamins include antioxidants such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C. These help to rid the body of free radicals.

6. Prevents Obesity

Have you been on a quest to lose weight but aren’t sure which foods help you do so? Look no further than a healthy plate of rice!

Because rice has low amounts of sodium, fat, and cholesterol, it is a great aid in reducing obesity. It’s rich in nutrients and has no significant negative impacts on a person’s health. Of course, its high levels of fiber also help to reduce obesity.

7. Can be Used for Skin Care

You might be surprised to know that rice actually works as a great natural skincare product!

Rice is used for skincare both topically and by consumption. If looking for a topical solution, you can take rice in its powdered form and apply it to the skin. This topical solution is great for skin that is inflamed as the powder will help reduce inflammation.

It is also used topically to cure other skin conditions as well. Rice water is another way to use rice as a topical solution for skincare. Rice water is used to cool off the skin that is inflamed.

Brown rice is used more often because of its phenolic compounds. These compounds work to reduce any redness and soothe irritation on the skin. And because of all the antioxidants found in rice, rice slows down the aging process that might affect the skin and delay wrinkles from appearing.

8. Good Source of Protein

Rice is a great source of protein for those who are gym-goer and those who live a vegan lifestyle.

Consuming high-protein rice, whether white or brown, is a good way to keep your protein levels where they need to be if working out constantly or sticking to a vegan or vegetarian diet. In 1/4 a cup of this dried brown rice, there are 6 grams of protein. And there are 5 grams of protein in 1/4 a cup of this dried white rice.

Finding foods that are high in protein but still considered vegan or vegetarian can sometimes be difficult. Consuming high-protein rice is an ideal way to supplement other high-protein vegan or vegetarian foods.

9. Promotes Heart Health

Have you been seeking ideas for natural ways to improve your heart’s health? If you have been, then consuming rice regularly may be the answer you’ve been looking for!

As mentioned before, rice is a natural anti-inflammatory. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to decrease the depositing rate of atherosclerotic plaque inside the blood vessel walls. This then decreases your risks for severe heart conditions such as heart attacks or strokes.

Although both brown and white rice has these benefits, brown rice is more beneficial. This is due to brown rice containing the husk, which is where most of the nutrients are found. Rice bran oil is another great source for promoting heart health.

Rice bran oil is filled with antioxidant properties that reduce cholesterol levels in the body and ultimately promote cardiovascular health.

10. Controls Blood Sugar Levels and Blood Pressure

If you are suffering from high blood pressure and looking for natural ways to get your blood pressure under control, then you may want to consider including rice in your diet!

A. Controlling Blood Pressure

For anyone who suffers from hypertension, consuming rice is a good way to combat it. It contains very low amounts of sodium. Sodium is known for constricting arteries and veins in the body.

Doing so increases the levels of stress or strain placed on the cardiovascular system while your blood pressure rises. In the long run, sodium can have effects on the heart and cause multiple heart conditions. Sticking to low-sodium food reduces these risks.

B. Controlling Blood Sugar

But rice also acts to lower blood sugar levels as well. Both brown rice and white rice work as blood sugar regulators, but brown rice is the better choice for this benefit. Because more fiber is found within the husk, brown rice does a better job at slowing down the absorption of glucose in the body.

This slow down of glucose into the body gives the body’s insulin time to properly disperse the glucose throughout itself.

Nutrition

Brown rice is rich in several vitamins and minerals:

Brown rice has significantly more fiber than white rice (about 3 grams per cup of cooked brown rice) because it is a whole grain.

Brown rice also has fewer carbohydrates than white rice at 49.6g per cup.

Nutrients per Serving

White rice has about the same calorie count as brown but only one-third of the fiber and slightly less protein. A half-cup serving of brown rice contains:

  • Calories: 108
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 22 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams

Carbs

There are over 53 grams of carbohydrates in a single serving of white rice. Only a tiny amount of that carbohydrate comes from fiber. Most of it is starch and a small amount is sugar.

The glycemic index of white rice is estimated to be 73. The glycemic index of brown rice, on the other hand, is estimated to be about 68. Short-grain rice tends to have a higher glycemic index than long-grain, medium-grain, and brown rice.

Brown rice has significantly more fiber than white rice (about 3 grams per cup of cooked brown rice) because it is a whole grain. Brown rice also has fewer carbohydrates than white rice at 49.6g per cup.

All rice is originally whole-grain, with the bran attached. White rice is produced by pearling, which is a process through which the grain passes through a machine where it is rolled and the bran is gently “pearled” off, leaving the white kernel intact. This makes the grain a processed, refined grain, no longer a whole grain. Pearling also lowers the cooking time and extends the shelf life of grains.

Fat

There is almost no fat in rice, as long as you cook it without adding any oil or butter.

Protein

There are over 4 grams of protein in a 1-cup serving of white rice, and about 5 grams in the same size serving of brown rice.

Vitamins and Minerals

Rice can serve as a good source of B vitamins (including thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin) and iron. Rice is also an excellent source of manganese and magnesium.

Brown rice provides more vitamins than white rice. In addition to thiamine and magnesium, brown rice contains selenium, which influences thyroid function and is important in antioxidant processes.

Things to Watch Out For

Two food safety issues specifically involve rice. One is Bacillus cereus, a type of bacteria that grows in rice and other starchy foods if they are not kept cool. It causes nausea and vomiting and has prompted some people to say that eating leftover rice is not safe. To avoid this issue, refrigerate leftover rice promptly and use proper kitchen hygiene.

The second hazard associated with rice is arsenic (a highly toxic chemical) in the grain. Arsenic is present in the earth’s crust. Soil and groundwater contaminated with fertilizer and pesticides add to the arsenic level. Rice accumulates arsenic more than other grains because rice is grown in water. You can reduce the arsenic in rice by rinsing it and cooking it with extra water.

Varieties

Varieties of rice are divided into categories based on seed size. Rice can be long-grain, medium-grain, or short-grain. Within these varieties, there are also different types of processing.

Converted rice, for instance, is parboiled to remove surface starch. That makes it easier to pearl by traditional hand processes. Converted rice retains more nutrients and cooks a little faster than regular milled white rice. Enriched rice has vitamins and minerals added back after it is refined.

Instant or quick-cooking rice, on the other hand, is fully cooked and then flash frozen. This process removes some of the nutrients and flavor but makes for a very quick-cooking rice product.

Kinds of Rice

There are 40,000 types of rice in the world and here are some of the more popular kinds of specialty rice:

  • Arborio rice, known as risotto, is short-grain white rice with a mild flavor. It is known for its use in Italian dishes.

  • Sticky rice is short-grain rice used in many Asian cuisines. It is also known as glutinous rice or sweet rice. It can be ground into flour and used for dumplings. It is also used in making rice vinegar and Japanese sake.

  • Brown rice is a high-fiber whole grain that usually takes longer to cook than white rice.

  • Basmati rice and Jasmine rice are long-grain varieties that have unique flavors and aroma.

  • Wild rice is the seed of an unrelated reed-like aquatic plant. It is typically used as a side dish and has more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than white rice varieties.

  • Wild pecan rice is unique long-grain rice that has a nutty flavor and rich aroma.

White rice is the most commonly consumed type, but brown rice is widely recognized as a healthier option. Many people prefer brown rice because brown rice is higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Adverse Effects

Rice is one of the most common triggers for food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES). The condition usually affects babies and small children and is marked by inflammation of the small and large intestines. It is not actually an allergy, though it can look like one. Symptoms include gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases even shock.

Sometimes rice can be contaminated with toxic heavy metals, such as cadmium, lead, mercury, and arsenic.

his is especially of concern for babies and small children, which is why the FDA now limits arsenic levels in infant rice cereal.

How to Prepare Rice

The traditional method of preparing rice requires one cup of rice to two cups of water. To remove the most arsenic from your rice, boil it like pasta and drain the excess water when the rice is done.

If the longer cooking time of brown rice is a problem for you, cook a large batch and freeze the extra. You can also shorten the cooking time by using a pressure rice cooker.

You can get your own rice cooker by clicking here, please. Thank you so much.

The Summary

Though white rice is more processed, it’s not necessarily bad.

Most white rice in the US is enriched with vitamins like folate to improve its nutritional value. Additionally, its low fiber content may help with digestive issues.

However, brown rice is ultimately healthier and more nutritious. Not to mention, studies have shown that brown rice is better for diabetes, heart disease, and weight maintenance as mentioned above.

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you resources, like this. In order to do this, please note that whenever you click the links in my posts and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission.

Please share your comments below:

  • Do you eat rice? If so, which one is your favorite?
  • What health benefits did you get from eating rice?
  • Do you have any experience in using rice for skincare? What kind is it?

Disclaimer

Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.

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REFERENCES:

https://www.webmd.com/
https://www.verywellfit.com/
https://www.cahokiarice.com/
https://www.webstaurantstore.com/

 

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1 thought on “Top 10 Health Benefits of Rice”

  1. Hey, Elizabeth. I am a huge fan of your article. As I searched for wild rice benefits to finish my debate with my brother, I realised that you had said something about how healthy the different varieties are and their various flavours too! My favourite combination is black, red or even as you mentioned, “wild”. They say they can help with incredible vitamins minerals, including fibre which helps maintain the digestive system regularity, as you also mentioned earlier in the article.
    I absolutely love coconut lime rice pudding because it has a fantastic flavour and is suitable for heart health, and the coconut or fruit, as you say, being anti-inflammatory.

    Reply

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