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The Healthiest Rice: White, Brown, Red, or Black?




To start with, rice is the staple food in a number of countries. Billions of people across the world prefer to have rice which is not just inexpensive but also a nutritious source of energy.

However, rice comes in different varieties, and as such the biggest dilemma is to eat which variety of rice?

Well, with people becoming more health-conscious these days, they even choose their food accordingly. Moreover, the consumption of rice is also linked to putting on weight along with few other health concerns.

Most Popular Varieties of Rice

A number of varieties of rice are available in the market today varying in color, flavor, and nutritional value. Also, each variety packs its own health benefits. As such, more confusion crops up in the mind as to which rice variety is the healthiest.

So, today we are here to clear your mind with this confusion by sharing the health benefits of the most popular varieties of rice namely White rice, Brown rice, Red rice, and Black rice. At the end of this article, you will get clarity as to which is the healthiest rice variety.

So here we go!

White Rice, Brown Rice, Red Rice, and Black Rice – Differences and Health Benefits

One important thing to be noted before we go ahead is that no rice type is totally free of carbs and calories. So, those who are strictly on a low-calorie and low-carbohydrate diet may have to skip rice completely. Others can however go through the below article to decide the suitable rice variety for them!

It is a common perception of people that white rice results in gaining weight. What one usually doesn’t know is that white rice is thoroughly processed and polished which gives the shiny white color to the rice grains. As such, it is highly refined rice and does not offer much nutritional value.

On the other hand, other varieties – Brown, Red, and Black rice are healthier in comparison to white rice. Additionally, these varieties of rice are bundled with a bunch of health benefits.

White Rice

White rice is the most popular rice type which is rich in calcium and folate. However, it comes packed with lower content of protein, fiber, and minerals.

White rice which goes through a lot of refining and polishing to make the rice look white and shiny sheds essential nutrients such as thiamine and other B Vitamins. White rice consumption offers high levels of energy when compared to other rice varieties due to the presence of starch concentration in it.

Maybe white rice does not offer much nutritional value. However, those having digestive disorders or irritable bowel are suggested to go with this rice owing to the fact that white rice has low fiber content and can be digested easily, provided they are not on any weight-loss diet.

Also, it is better to opt for long grain rice like basmati if you want to have white rice.

Brown Rice

This is another rice variety that has become the preferred choice of many people lately. This type of rice is generally consumed when you are on a certain diet as it contains more nutrients. Brown rice is a good source of magnesium, iron, and zinc.

Brown rice is simply white rice that does not go through the excessive refining and polishing process. And of course, with no refining, brown rice is bundled with fiber and nutrients which usually refined grains like white rice lack. Refining sheds off the vital nutrients from the grains.

Not all might be aware of the fact that one cup (158 grams) of brown rice packs 3.5 grams of fiber. A cup of white rice on the other hand has less than 1 gram (9) of fiber. Fiber-rich foods make your stomach feel fuller for a longer time and as such it helps in consuming lesser calories overall.

It has been observed in various studies that consumption of more whole grains like brown rice aids in not adding extra weight and also helps in losing weight. But one thing to be taken care of is to cook brown rice with extra as they can turn mushy soon.

Another noteworthy thing suggested by various studies is that the risks of developing diabetes can be reduced by up to 60% with the regular consumption of one cup of brown rice.

Red Rice

Not all people might have heard of Red rice and how the rice gets that red color. Well, let me tell you that red rice gets its color from anthocyanin, an antioxidant. This compound is also found in a number of red and purple-colored vegetables.

Red rice is found in more households these days as it is loaded with protein and fiber apart from being a rich source of antioxidants. Red rice is also bundled with flavonoids such as anthocyanins, apigenin, myricetin, and quercetin. As such, red rice is more effective than brown rice as it helps the body fight cancer-causing free radicals.

Additionally, red rice also helps in reducing inflammation, controlling cholesterol levels as well as lowering blood pressure.

And if you are one among those looking to shed few extra pounds of weight, then red rice can be the best option to eat. This is because red rice takes more time to digest and thus it makes you feel fuller for a longer time as compared to other rice varieties.

Black Rice

Wondering what is this Black rice? Well, very few might have heard of black rice.

Black rice is also known as the Forbidden rice, and the reason for this is that this rice was reserved only for the royal people in ancient China. For a much longer time, black rice was included in Chinese cuisine.

This rice variety is jet black in color which normally turns purplish when cooked. As per studies, black rice boasts the highest antioxidant activity which makes it a nutritious choice for consumption.

Black rice comes packed with antioxidants, fiber, protein, phytonutrients, phytochemicals, iron, and vitamins. Consumption of black rice also helps in shedding weight, detoxifying the body, reducing the risk of diabetes as well as cancer, etc.

Final Word

To sum up, 100 grams of white rice is loaded with 6.8g protein, 1.2g iron, and 0.6g fiber; 100 grams of brown rice is packed with 7.9g protein, 2.2g iron, and 2.8g fiber; 100 grams of red rice is bundled with 7.0 g protein, 5.5g iron and 2.0 g of fiber whereas 100 gram of black rice contains 8.5g protein, 3.5g iron, 4.9g of fiber apart from being the richest source of antioxidants compared to all other rice varieties.

So which rice variety are you going to consume here onwards!

Archana Kabra
Archana Kabra is a Freelance Writer and has been extensively writing stuff related to Technology and Entertainment. She is also an ardent music lover.
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