Health Benefits of Rice
Health benefits of rice include providing fast and instant energy, good bowel movement, stabilizing blood sugar levels and providing essential source of vitamin B1 to human body. Other benefits include skin care, resistance to high blood pressure, dysentery and heart diseases. Rice is the staple food in most of the countries and it is an important cereal crop that feeds more than half of the world’s population.
The various benefits of rice can be found in more than forty thousand varieties of this cereal available in the world. The two main categories include whole grain rice and white rice. Whole grain rice is not processed much, therefore it is high in nutritional value, whereas white rice is processed so that the bran or outer covering is removed and it has less nutritional value.
Rice can also be defined by the length of each grain. Indian or Chinese cuisines specialize in long grained rice, whereas western countries prefer short or medium sized grains. According to Rice-Trade, rice is extremely nutritious.
Health benefits of rice
Some of the health benefits specified by them are as follows:
Great source of energy: As rice is rich in carbohydrates, it acts as fuel for the body and aids in normal functioning of the brain.
Cholesterol free: Eating rice is extremely beneficial for health, just for the fact that it does not contain harmful fats, cholesterol or sodium. It forms an integral part of balanced diet.
Resistant starch: Rice abounds in resistant starch, which reaches the bowel in undigested form. It aids the growth of useful bacteria for normal bowel movements.
Blood pressure management: As rice is low in sodium, it is considered best food for those suffering from high blood pressure and hypertension.
Cancer prevention: Whole grain rice like brown rice is rich in insoluble fibre that can possibly protect against many types of cancers. Many scientists believe that such insoluble fibres are vital for protecting the body against cancerous cells.
Dysentery: The husk part of rice is considered as an effective medicine to treat dysentery. A three month old rice plant’s husks is said to contain diuretic properties. Chinese people believe that rice considerably increases appetite, cures stomach ailments and indigestion problems.
Skin care: Medical experts say that powdered rice can be applied to cure some forms of skin ailments. In Indian subcontinent, rice water is duly prescribed by ayurvedic practitioners as an effective ointment to cool off inflamed skin surfaces.
Alzheimer’s disease: Brown rice is said to contain high levels of neurotransmitter nutrients that can prevent Alzheimer’s disease to a considerable extent.
Cardiovascular health: Rice bran oil is said to have antioxidant properties that promotes cardiovascular strength by reducing cholesterol levels in the body.
According to International Rice Research Institute in Philippines, the nutritional value of rice needs to be improved more so that it benefits mankind. Rice, being the most dominant cereal crop in most of the countries can improve the health condition of millions of people who consume it. Efforts are made to increase the micronutrient value of rice by mixing traditional methods of growing crops and modern bio-technology. The institute further states that development of rice with high iron and zinc compounds could be possible through bio-fortification. That can also induce high quality yields, which could be eagerly accepted by farmers as well as rice consumers.
More on rice
Rice can also prevent chronic constipation. The insoluble fibre from rice acts like a soft sponge that may be pushed through intestinal tract quickly and easily. Brown rice and whole grains are said to be rich in insoluble fibre. But, it is advisable to drink lots of water for relieving constipated state along with fibrous foods. Diabetic patients are recommended to include brown rice rather than white rice that contains low levels of glycemic index. Just a cupful of brown rice on daily basis provides you with almost 100% manganese value, which aids in producing energy from carbohydrates and protein. Brown rice is extremely beneficial for normal functioning of nervous system and production of sex hormones.