Healthy Rice

For a staple food consumed by most of the world I think most people know surprisingly little about the nutritional content of the grain.  So how healthy is rice?  Well it’s definitely not unhealthy, as for how healthy it is, that depends on the strain you’re eating!  Rice comes in many varieties, brown, white, black, red and even purple!

“Purple Rice”
“Purple Rice”
“Purple Rice”
“I only wanted to see you beneath the purple rice”

Just so I don’t look completely insane that was a Prince reference.  Anyway, lets start with white rice.  When you remove the husk, bran and germ layers from brown rice you get white rice, the most common type of rice.  White rice is basically just little packets of calories.  Most of the calories from white rice come from carbohydrates.

Brown rice has about 3x the fibre of white rice however we’re talking about small amounts of fibre here so it’s not really life changing.  Apart from the fibre, brown rice also has higher levels of phosphorus and magnesium, both nutrients used for bone enrichment.  The nutrients don’t stop there though, brown rice also has higher amounts of selenium and manganese, antioxidants.

By itself rice is an incomplete protein however, when paired with other dishes such as beans or peanuts you’ll be able to form complete proteins!  Great for muscle growth.

He looks like he eats rice

Unfortunately there is a downside to rice.  Rice has a high glycemic index which means the carbs from rice get converted into sugars quickly which means a sharp rise in blood sugar levels.  This can be bad for your heart, kidneys and eyes but it is especially bad for people with type 2 diabetes.  Luckily for us brown rice has much lower glycemic values which typically fall between 48 – 62.  On the contrary the glycemic index of white rice typically falls between 72 and 83.  A value above 70 is considered high.

I’d like to bring us back to one of my favourite strains, basmati.  I’ve spoken about how awesome this strain is but it also has a glycemic index of 53!  53!  No need to give up white rice any time soon if you’re worried about glycemic indexes, just have some basmati.

Have fun with your rice!


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