This beloved side dish has dressed many dinner tables and has been traditionally thrown at wedding celebrations. The health 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 as processed as white rice and is therefore more nutritious. Rice can be defined by the length of each grain. Indian or Chinese recipes generally call for long grain rice, while Western cuisine prefers short or medium sized grains. Despite cultural differences, rice can have a lot of nutritional health benefits for all ages. The following are a few of the benefits you get by including rice in your diet.
• Great source of energy. Rice is rich in carbohydrates and acts as fuel for the body. Rice also acts as an aid in normal brain activity to keep your cognitive system functioning properly and efficiently.
• Cholesterol free. Rice does not contain harmful fats, cholesterol, or sodium. It forms an integral part of balanced diet and is a healthy way to include nutritious carbohydrates.
• Rich in vitamins. Like many other grains, rice is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Rice contains minerals like niacin, vitamin D, calcium, fiber, iron, and thiamine.
• Resistant starch. Resistant starch reaches the bowels of the digestive system still in its original form. This aids in the growth of healthy bacteria for normal bowel movements.
• Cancer prevention. Whole grain rice, like brown rice, is rich in insoluble fiber that can possibly protect against many types of cancers. Many scientists believe that such insoluble fibers are vital for keeping the body healthy and protecting it against cancerous cells.
• 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 in a healthy way.
• Dysentery. The husk part of rice is considered 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.
According to International Rice Research Institute in the 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 countries can improve the health condition of millions of people who consume it. Efforts are being 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. Just a cupful of brown rice on a 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 health functions of the nervous system and the production of sex hormones.