The Rice Is Right
Benefits of eating healthy rice varieties
More than half of the world’s population (78% to be exact) have rice as a staple food. If you happen to be of Asian descent, you know that a meal isn’t complete without a piping hot bowl of the starchy grain on the table.
Rice has thousands of varieties. Most people know the white and brown variants. However, plenty of other types, like Cahokia rice, exist. We’ll get into those types a little later as we go on.
However, many point to rice as a culprit for weight gain. We’re sure you’ve heard people say some of these lines:
“Don’t eat rice! It’ll just make you fat.”
“Ew! You’re eating rice?”
“You should totally stop eating rice—trust me, it works.”
But is rice really the crop to blame for weight struggles? Let’s talk about it.
Rice is Not the Villain
Let’s get one thing straight: rice isn’t the enemy. It’s actually quite the opposite, especially if you eat the healthy types. So, if you’re hungry for one bowl, don’t feel guilty and torture yourself for wanting one.
Healthy Rice Variants
Below are some variants that you can enjoy without the guilt. Let’s go into each one and see what makes them different from one another.
This type is popular among health and fitness buffs. Varieties like Basmati and Jasmine maintain their germ and bran layers, which pack a ton of nutrients that help their body goals. These nutrients include B-vitamins, phosphorus, and magnesium. Their nutty flavor stands out, leaving a unique taste in hungry mouths.
Does this variant look unappetizing? Believe us when we tell you that wild rice is worth a try. You know what they say—don’t judge a book by its cover.
Despite its name, you’ll be surprised to know that wild rice isn’t rice at all! In fact, it’s actually an aquatic grass seed that’s harvested by indigenous folks. They use canoes to do the harvesting, with respect to their tradition.
The wild rice we see in grocery stores are tamed varieties that came from man-made paddies. Fortunately, organic ones can still be found. Just visit specialty stores to get your fix. Not to be outdone by brown rice, wild rice has an equally impressive set of nutrients like zinc and folate to keep bodies healthy.
Wild rice has a unique flavor profile. It contains a chewy, nutty and smoky taste, contrasting well with gamey meats. It tastes great when used in soups and salads as well.
One disadvantage wild rice has is its long cooking time. It takes 60 minutes to get it fully cooked, so you may want to consider cooking a big batch. Fortunately, there’s a hack to reduce that: just soak the grains overnight; this should cut the cooking time to 30 minutes.
- Black rice
This variety’s dark and rich color immediately grabs one’s attention. It’s bran layer contains antioxidants that knock out free radicals that threaten to destroy one’s cells.
Don’t let black rice’s color fool you. It has a sweet and nutty taste with a chewy texture. Its distinct flavors have earned the praise of many people over the years.
Black rice can be found in most Asian markets and stores specializing in healthy food. Its black color turns to purple when cooked, bringing boldness to any plate. It’s best used in salads and stir-fry dishes.
- Sprouted rice
If this name doesn’t ring a bell, allow us to introduce this variant to you.
Sprouted rice is the result of germinating and encouraging the grains to grow as a plant. This ups the nutritional value, making it healthier.
If sprouted rice still sounds strange to you, here’s something that may please you: it’s 4 times more fibrous than regular rice. It’s rich in vitamin B1, B6, and E. Magnesium gives it an added boost.
Sprouted rice comes with a quick and easy cooking and eating experience. As it sprouts, its outer shell softens. It doesn’t become glutinous as it cooks, making it a light bite.
- Cahokia rice
Here’s another unfamiliar name on the list. Get to know what Cahokia rice brings to the table.
Unlike most varieties, this one is packed with rich protein content. It also doesn’t take a long time to cook and doesn’t need much heat and water to do so. While it tastes great by itself, Cahokia rice also goes well when incorporated in other dishes, like salads.
Cahokia rice comes in both white and brown varieties. Don’t hesitate to give it a try!
Benefits of Eating Healthy Rice
What good does eating rice bring, you ask? Allow these reasons to convince you:
- Rice brings energy.
Running on an empty stomach leads to bad things. If you find yourself in short supply of energy, just eat a fist full of rice. It’ll be enough to last you through a day.
- Your blood pressure regulates.
Rice is helpful for people with high blood pressure. Its sodium content eases their suffering, making their condition a little more manageable.
- Bad cholesterol decreases.
You’ve probably had a lot of people telling you that rice is full of cholesterol. Newsflash: it isn’t. Rice doesn’t even have any fats either! It’s extremely helpful in managing body weight while warding off obesity.
- Your skin becomes better.
Do you want healthy and glowing skin? Rice’s role in this benefit may surprise you.
Did you know that rice is an important ingredient in most Korean beauty products? It helps soothe skin irritation while fighting off free radicals. Next time you eat a bowl of rice, your skin will appreciate you for it.
- Rice is rich in vitamins.
Since we’ve mentioned a few of them earlier, don’t be surprised to find many vitamins in rice. Your immune system will be very thankful whenever you eat a healthy amount.
- The risk of Alzheimer’s disease decreases.
Alzheimer’s disease isn’t something you should take lightly. Keep your neurotransmitters sharp by eating rice on a frequent basis.
- Rice brings cancer protection.
Keep yourself out of cancer’s reach by eating brown rice. Its soluble fibers protect your body while preventing cancer cells from manifesting themselves in your system.
- Your heart will thank you for it.
Keep your heart pumping healthily by eating rice regularly! Brown rice and wild rice are the best choices for maximum heart health since they help keep your guts running.