Let’s talk about rice and its nutritional benefits. Did you know that there are many different types of rice, not just white?
There is also brown, red, and black rice, all available for purchase here at Puri Pangan Utama, the best food supplier in Bali. White rice is the cheapest and most popular type and is eaten by millions around the world.
In Bali and in Indonesia, white rice is a dietary mainstay and is eaten at every meal. It is safe to say that without white rice, no meal would be complete! White rice comes with its own set of nutrition, in particular, carbohydrates and fiber, but as delicious and as filling as it can be, it is not nearly as nutritious as red rice or black rice. Even brown rice is not as healthy as red or black rice!
Most people know what white rice is so let’s take a look at the other types of rice available in the market today.
Different Types of Rice
Brown rice is a whole grain and a healthier alternative to white rice. Unlike white rice, brown rice retains its outer layer called the bran, which is rich in nutrients. It has a higher fiber content than white rice and a lower glycemic index (GI) than white rice, meaning it causes a slower, more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. This is beneficial for people with diabetes or those looking to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Red rice is another type of whole grain that is high in vitamins and minerals and is a great alternative to white and brown rice. It has a reddish-brown or maroon color due to the presence of a natural pigment called anthocyanin. Like brown rice, red rice retains its bran layer, which is the outer layer rich in nutrients.
Black rice is also known as purple rice or “forbidden” rice and has a deep purple-black color, which is caused by a natural pigmentation process from a plant tissue called anthocyanin. Thanks to this, black rice contains high levels of antioxidants. In fact, black rice is so nutritionally dense that in ancient China, it was only available for the consumption of nobility and royalty. Everyone else was forbidden to eat it!
All rice has its own unique nutritional profile, but red and black rice has been proven to be superior in terms of nutrition, vitamins and mineral contents. It is higher in fiber, antioxidants and vitamins B1, B2 and B3. While red and black rice are slightly chewier and have a mild nutty flavor, they taste almost like white rice and are definitely the healthier option than white or brown rice.
Let’s take a look at the health benefits of red rice and black rice.
Health Benefits of Red Rice
Red rice is a much healthier alternative than white rice and is a favorite among fitness and wellness enthusiasts. Here are some reasons why:
1. High In Antioxidants
Antioxidants are very important to the human body because they help prevent damage to cells that can lead to disease or aging. It also fights free radicals that are associated with heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain forms of cancer.
2. High In Fiber, Iron and Magnesium
One-quarter cup of red rice contains about 2 grams of fiber, which is 8 percent of your daily fiber requirements. It’s also high in iron and magnesium, which is great for overall health. Magnesium can also help to regulate breathing patterns, which is good news for those suffering from asthma.
3. Improves Gut Health
Fiber is also essential to gut health as it ensures smooth bowel movements and can help ease constipation and promotes a healthier gut.
4. Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Red rice can help lower cholesterol levels in the body, which means a healthier heart and reduced risks of heart diseases.
5. Improves Blood Sugar Levels
The lower glycemic index (GI) in red rice can help to improve blood sugar levels, which is great for diabetics and those who need to regulate their blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels in diabetes can ruin the eyes, and kidneys and also cause coronary heart disease.
6. Promotes Weight Loss
Red rice contains zero fats and can help reduce hunger pangs. It’s a great option for those who want to reduce weight, as it keeps one feeling full for longer.
Health Benefits of Black Rice
Black rice is not as commonly known as red rice, but it’s certainly not losing in the health benefits aspects. Here are some of them:
1. High in Protein, Fiber and Iron
Among all types of rice, black rice has the highest levels of protein. Just 100 grams of black rice contains 9 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber, and 6% of your daily value of iron! The high level of fiber is also great for weight loss, as it helps to reduce appetite and increases feelings of fullness.
2. High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are very important to the human body because they fight free radicals that have been associated with heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain forms of cancer.
3. Boosts Heart Health
The flavonoids found in black rice have been linked to decreased risk of developing and dying from heart disease.
4. Anticancer Properties
Thanks to the contents of anthocyanin in black rice, the number of cancer cells in the human body can be reduced.
5. Supports Eye Health
Black rice contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect your eyes from potentially damaging free radicals. By protecting the retina by filtering out harmful blue light waves.
This is great news, especially for people who are allergic to gluten or those who are suffering from celiac disease, and for those who are generally on a healthy diet.
Nutritional Differences Between Red Rice and Black Rice
There are many nutritional differences between red rice and black rice. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones:
- Calories: Red rice has fewer calories than black, but it’s still high in carbs. One cup of cooked red or black rice contains approximately 230-250 calories each.
- Protein: Both types contain about 5 grams of protein per serving – not enough to make them a good source of this nutrient on their own, but not bad either!
- Fat: The fat content in both types is similar (1 gram per cup cooked). However, if you’re looking for something low-fat or vegan-friendly then stick with white or brown instead because they have no fats at all!
- Carbohydrates: Red rice contains more carbohydrates than black rice (about 35 g vs 25 g). Those watching their blood sugar levels should avoid eating too much red because it could cause an insulin spike which may lead to weight gain over time.
Now that you know the difference and the nutritional benefits between red rice and black rice, it’s time to make a switch to a healthier, and more delicious option!