Rice is one of the oldest cereals in the world, with research showing that people have grown it for at least 5,000 years. It is one of the most important dietary carbohydrates in the world and is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population. There are many different types of rice, but they fall largely within two groups, brown and white with brown rice being the healthier option. Here are the benefits of white rice and the popular types of rice.
Types of rice
Beyond the classification as brown or white rice, rice is also classified as long-grain, medium-grain, or short-grain based on the size of the rice kernel. Here are the main types of rice.
Long grain: it has milled grains that are at least three to four times as long as they are wide. Due to its starch composition, it is separate, light, and fluffy when cooked. Examples include Basmati, Jasmine, Himalayan red, Mogra, and Red cargo
Medium grain: when compared to long grain, it has a shorter and wider kernel. The cooked grains are more moist and tender than long grains, increasing the tendency to stick together. Examples include arborio rice which is ideal for dishes like risotto, soup, and rice pudding. Other examples include Rosematta, Valencia, and Chinese Black rice.
Short grain: it is short and best for sushi. It also has a sticky texture when cooked. Examples include sushi rice and bamboo rice.
Health benefits of white rice
Brown rice is a whole grain with all parts of the grain remaining intact. White on the other hand is polished in a process that removes the bran and embryo, leaving just the starchy part known as the endosperm. For this reason, brown rice is a healthier option than white rice still has some benefits.
Powerhouse of energy
White rice is a source of carbohydrates that provide the body with quick energy. It is digested faster than brown rice so the body gets that energy much faster. Brown rice has a compound called phytic acid which makes it more difficult to digest and may even cause digestive issues.
White rice is hypoallergenic making it a good option for people with gluten allergies or celiac disease. Celiac disease is a chronic immune disorder triggered by gluten ingestion. It results in damage to the intestinal lining and causes diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating, and anaemia.
Although it has less fibre, white rice still has enough soluble fibre content to boost gut health and reduce related inflammation. Boiled rice has high levels of resistant starch. This is why people are often advised to eat rice after a bout of diarrhoea because it firms up the stool. Studies have also linked resistant starch to the formation of fatty acids that keep the colon healthy decreasing the risk of colorectal cancer.
While white rice has some benefits, it has less fibre and fewer nutrients than its brown counterpart. Brown rice has numerous benefits including lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer which white rice lacks. Brown rice helps with blood sugar control for diabetics while white has been linked to sugar spikes after meals.
The health benefits of brown rice
Skincare: Why You Should Try Rice Water For Your Hair And Skin