Rice grows in a protective husk that has to be removed if the grain is to be used as food. Many nutrients are lost with the bran and germ that are removed during milling to make white rice.

Brown rice with intact kernels that retain their bran layers is more nutritious than white rice; but most white rice is now fortified with iron, niacin, and thiamine, which applied in the solution to the outside of the grain, coated with a protein powder, and dried.

Rinsing the grain before cooking washes away these important nutrients. Some of the rice sold in the market is also polished in special machines to make it shiny. An extra sheen is achieved by coating the grains with talc and glucose.

Different Kinds of Rice:

Rice is classified by size and shape (long, medium, and short grain). Long-grain rice remains dry and separate when cooked; short-grain rice, which is wetter and stickier, is more often used in Asian and Caribbean cooking.

  • Arborio Rice is creamy-textured, medium-grain Italian rice used in making risotto because it remains firm at the center through long cooking.
  • Basmati is an aromatic rice native to Pakistan and India that is also grown in grain swells only lengthwise. Basmati grains stay dry and separate and are especially suitable for pilafs.
  • Jasmine is an aromatic rice that originates in Thailand. It has a soft, moist texture and grains that cling together. It is also grown in the United States.
  • Wild rice, a very distant relative of common rice. Wild rice contains more protein than common rice does and is richer in lysine, the amino acid lacking in most grains.

Rice Wine or Sake is an alcoholic beverage that is fermented with a mold that secretes starch digesting enzymes as it grows on rice. The alcohol content of sake is high – closer to that of fortified wines than of beer. Unlike beers which are drunk chilled, sake is flat and served warm.

Nutrient Content of Rice:

  • Carbohydrates. A half cup of cooked rice constitutes one of the 6 to 11 daily servings of recommended carbohydrates intake.
  • Calories. Half cup of white rice contains about 100 calories while brown rice may have 105 to 110.
  • Fiber. Brown rice is significantly higher in fiber, with 1.6g per half cup compared to 0.03g in the same volume of white rice.
  • Protein. The protein content of rice, ranging from 2.0 to 2.5mg per cup, is less than that of other cereals, but the amino acid balance is superior to the of other grains.
  • Processed rice contains only a trace of fat and no sodium.
  • Enriched varieties provide B vitamins and iron.

Health Benefits of Rice:

  • Gluten-free and suitable for people with celiac disease.
  • Rice has a binding effect in diarrhea; it helps restore normal bowel function and provides needed energy.
  • Rice may help regulate glucose metabolism in people with diabetes. As a complex carbohydrate, it provides a slow, steady supply of glucose, and not the rapid rise that occurs after eating sugars.
  • Whole grains (such as brown rice) contain high amounts of insoluble fiber—the type of fiber some scientists believe may help protect against a variety of cancers, especially bowel cancer.

How to Cook White Rice: Rice should be cooked in just twice its volume of water, which will be completely absorbed by the grain and will preserve the nutritional content.

Brown Rice Picture
Brown Rice Picture

Brown Rice

Nutrient Content of Brown Rice: Per 100 gm.

  • Vitamin B: Thiamine .32 mg.;
  • Niacin: 4.6 mg.
  • It also contain vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and Vitamin K
  • Calcium: 39 mg.
  • Iron: 2 mg.
  • Phosphorus: 303 mg.
  • Potassium: 150 mg.
  • Fat: 1.7 gm.
  • Carbohydrates: 77.7 gm.
  • Protein: 7.5 gm.
  • Calories: 360

Health Benefits of Brown Rice:

  • Provides all necessary carbohydrates requirements.
  • Helps control blood sugar level.
  • Helps control cholesterol because it is rich in fiber.
  • Body building food.
  • Beneficial for stomach and intestinal ulcers and for diarrhea. It is easily digested starch food.
  • Supplies important nutrient for the hair, teeth, nails, muscles and bones.

Types of Brown Rice:

  • Fully unpolished – is when the entire bran layer is not removed, the color of the rice is very brown.
  • Partially unpolished – only part of the bran is removed, the color of the rice is light brown.

How to Cook Brown Rice: When cooking brown rice you should first soaked it in water for 25 to 30 minutes before cooking. This process is necessary to soften the bran layer on the rice seed. The ratio of rice to water is 1:2.5 (1 cup of rice to 2 1/2 cups of water). Brown rice when cooked is firmer than the white (polished rice).

Cooking Time in Microwave: about 20 minutes (use microwave friendly bowl)

Cooking Time in a Pan: about 20 minutes (you need to be there to make sure that water will not pour out of the pan while the water boils)

“This post was originally published on January 9, 2012 @ 23:50”

Health Benefits of White Rice and Brown Rice

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