Rice is enjoyed throughout the world; in fact it is the staple food in many countries and an important cereal crop which feeds more than half of the earth’s human population.
The health benefits of rice are not as widely known as it deserves however. Advantages of eating rice include an instant energy boost, improved skin, good bowel movement, stabilised blood sugar levels and providing an essential source of vitamin B1. It also gives the human body a boosted resistance to high blood pressure, dysentery and heart diseases.
The following guide will outline the health benefits that rice recipes provide.
Varieties of Rice
The health advantages of rice can be found in more than forty thousand varieties, available across the globe. The two main categories of this cereal however are whole grain rice and white rice. White rice is processed, entailing the removal of the bran or outer covering. Whole grain rice on the other hand is the healthiest variety because it does not undergo much processing, meaning it has the highest nutritional value.
Rice is also defined by the length of each grain. In general, Indian or Chinese cuisines specialise in long grained rice, while western countries prefer short or medium sized grains.
Main Health Advantages
Rice contains no harmful fats, cholesterol or sodium.
Rice bran oil is said to have antioxidant properties that promote cardiovascular strength by reducing cholesterol levels in the body.
High Blood Pressure
Because rice is low in sodium, it is considered to be an excellent food source for those suffering from high blood pressure and hypertension.
Since rice is rich in carbohydrates, it acts as fuel for the body and aids in the optimal functioning of the human brain. A cupful of brown rice on a daily basis will provide you with almost 100% of your recommended manganese value, which aids in producing energy from carbohydrates and protein.
Rice is a brilliant source of vitamins and minerals such as niacin, vitamin D, vitamin B1, calcium, fibre, iron, riboflavin and thiamine – all of which are essential to the body’s health.
This food is packed with resistant starch, which reaches the bowel in undigested form and aids in the growth of useful bacteria for healthy bowel movements.
Whole grain rice such as brown rice is loaded with insoluble fibre, which helps protect against many forms of cancers. In fact, a large body of the scientific community believe that insoluble fibres are vital for preventing the development of cancerous cells in the human body.
Eating rice helps to prevent chronic constipation because the insoluble fibre from rice acts as a soft sponge that may be easily and quickly pushed through the intestinal tract. Brown rice and whole grains have the richest amount of insoluble fibre. Bear in mind however that you also need to drink plenty of water when constipated.
The husk part of rice has long been considered to be an effective medicine for the treatment of dysentery – a rice plant’s husks which are three month old are said to contain diuretic properties. The Chinese believe that rice cures stomach ailments and indigestion problems as well as increases appetite.
Medical experts recommend powdered rice to cure some forms of skin ailments when applied. In India, rice water is regularly prescribed by Ayurvedic practitioners as an effective ointment to cool off inflamed skin surfaces.
Most doctors recommend their diabetic patients include brown rice rather than white rice as the latter contains low levels of Glycemic Index which is not good for their condition.
Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
Brown rice is said to contain high levels of neurotransmitter nutrients which are effective at helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Brown rice is highly beneficial in aiding the production of sex hormones as well as the normal functioning of your nervous system.