What is Rice?

Rice is very high in complex carbohydrates, contains almost no fat, is cholesterol free, and unless you add salt to your cooking water, is low in sodium. In general all rice – both brown and white – is considered a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Although almost all the nutrients are stripped from white rice when the bran layer is removed during milling, ninety percent of all American grown rice is enriched with thiamine, niacin and iron and in some instances riboflavin, Vitamin D and Calcium. White rice because it is enriched has more iron and thiamine than brown rice, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the better option. Brown rice has five times more Vitamin E and three times more magnesium. Brown rice provides twice as much fiber as white rice, but it is not an especially rich source of fiber. The fiber in brown rice is better for its “slow burn” qualities – that is, it takes longer to digest and doesn’t give you a “burst” of carbohydrates all at once.

On the other hand, rice bran alone is an excellent source of fiber. Rice is a fair source of protein containing all eight essential amino acids. It is low in the amino acid lysine, which is found in beans making the classic combination of rice and beans, popularly known as complimentary proteins, a particularly healthful dish. Rice is gluten free and easily digestible making it a good choice for infants and people with wheat allergies or digestive problems.

A half cup of cooked white rice provides 82 calories; an equal amount of brown rice provides 89 calories. Non American varieties of rice have a mixture of these properties – Basmati rice, for example is not heavily processed with nutrients taken out then added back in, its grains are naturally nutrient dense and rich in fiber.

Related posts:

  1. Brown Rice

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