Quitting Rice? Know your options
A healthy, fiber-filled diet is found in rice – a staple food in many types of cuisine and a favorite among Asians.
Asia alone produces and consumes 90 percent of the rice on the planet.
Rice can be a ‘superfood’ or nutritious if the dieter takes into consideration the type of rice consumed as recent studies show that it’s the right type of rice into the dieter’s lifestyle that does make all the difference.
When consuming white rice, it’s when most of the dietary fiber and some other important nutrients are lost because of the milling and polishing processes that delete the outer bran or the rice kernel containing the needed dietary fiber and important nutrients such as vitamin B, iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, thiamine and selenium. Thus, altering the flavor, texture and appearance of the rice for spoilage prevention and life or storage extension.
According to the recent Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) research and British Medical Journal in 2012, eating white rice on a regular basis may increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. White rice has a high glycemic index that causes spikes in blood sugar. Hence, the recommendation for brown or black rice as healthier alternatives.
See this comparison of nutrients from a single cup serving of each:
Brown rice, which has a deep and nuttier flavor and texture when cooked,is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and is considered a whole grain rice since it contains both the bran and the germ – the nutritious parts of the grain. It’s exactly the state of rice before the white rice went through the refining process.
Brown rice continues to prove to be a healthful staple given its low glycemic rating, which helps reduce insulin spikes that is why dieticians and nutritionists recommend brown rice to those trying to lose weight or those suffering from diabetes.
Benefits of eating brown rice:
Weight loss and anti colon cancer – The high level of fiber in brown rice helps prevent colon cancer. These fibers defend the body against toxins, eliminating them from attaching to the colon wall. Brown rice also makes the tummy feel full, which translates to smaller meal portion intake.
Anti heart diseases & high cholesterol – Consuming whole grain brown rice regularly helps reduce the buildup of arterial plaque.
A Slow-Release Sugar – Brown rice helps stabilize blood sugar levels, thus making it a recommended diet to sufferers of diabetes. It is also rich in anti-oxidants and phytochemicals.
Good source of energy – Brown rice is rich in naturally-occurring oils that normalize cholesterol levels. The high selenium, manganese, iron and potassium contents in it help the body fight against arthritis or bone deficiencies and nervous- and reproductive systems-related diseases.
Black rice has often left consumers thinking that it’s only used for desserts or dish decorations. But behind this notion is a reality that black rice is proven to offer the healthier benefits than the brown rice does to dieters.
In fact, researchers suggest that black rice packs more serious or powerhouse antioxidants. Black rice, as the color indicates, contains same anthocyanin antioxidants found in blueberries or blackberries. It has more potential nutrients in fighting heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. The bran or hard outer shell of the black rice is the part with all the great benefit, according to the Department of Food and Science in Louisiana State University, USA.
Black rice is often cooked longer than white and brown rice because of its hard, full bran layer, which makes it chewy, nutty and a flavorful whole grain rice.
Benefits of eating black rice:
Powerhouse antioxidant – The bran or outer layer of black rice contains one of the highest levels of anthocyanin antioxidants found in food. Anthocyanin antioxidants are associated with health benefits, such as memory improvement and decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.
Heart Diseases prevention – With the high content of anthocyanin antioxidant in black rice, this type of rice has more capability of controlling cholesterol levels. Anthocyanin helps prevent the buildup of plaques in the arteries.
Good source of energy – Black rice is rich in vitamins such as vitamin B1, vitamin B2, folic acid; and is a good source of minerals including iron, zinc, calcium and phosphorus.
High in fiber – Black rice is very rich in fiber and nutritionally similar, but not identical, to whole grain brown rice.
(By: Michelle Arroyo)