Have you ever thought of how nutritional and beneficial white rice is?
Rice which is believed to have been grown for more than 5000 years is eaten wordwide. Because rice is a multipurpose crop, it can be used in main dishes, beverages, desserts and snacks. Rice meal has different methods in which it can be prepared since it is a multicultural food. The different ways in which rice can be prepared includes: boiling, parboiling, steaming and stir frying. The most recent of these different methods of cooking rice is the absorption method with the use of the rice cooker. This absorption method retains nutrients and the machine switches off when the rice is cooked.
Although the whole grain or brown rice is becoming very popular in Western countries just because of its health benefits, white rice is the most commonly consumed type of rice. There are different varieties of white rice. That is, the short grain and the long grain varieties. The short grain white rice is an ideal rice for sushi. This is because when cooked, it becomes soft and sticky, and it is very starchy. In risotto and paella dishes, short grain white rice can be used and it can also be mixed into chili and stews in some cases. Jasmine and basmati which are examples of long grain white rice, have less starch, so when grains are cooked they are drier and do not clump together. White rice has been refined to remove the husk ban and layers in order just to have only the inner kernel remains. In the refining process where the layers are being removed, the rice nutritional value also reduces. In order to enrich the rice, some of the products have nutrients added in them in an attempt to bring back the original rice nutritional value. As compared to brown rice, instant white rice in particular has less nutritional value. Even though white rice is manufactured through a process of refining that takes away much of the natural rice nutritional values, it still provides many health benefits and nutrients when consumed. This article is meant to look at the white rice nutritional values and white rice benefits to your health based on these nutrients.
White Rice Nutritional Values
All white rice is brown rice before processing. The mill process removes the rice’s bran, husk and germ. In the cause of processing the rice, it increases white rice’s shelf life but removes much of the white rice nutrition, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. On the contrary, white rice benefits are uncountable since is artificially fortified with different nutrients. When cooking rice by boiling, it results in higher nutrient losses and gives a less fluffy result. It may be useful if you are using an open fire where the heat cannot be turned down when cooking rice. Thus, using a rice cooker is best since it retains the rice’s nutrients. White rice boasts a nutritional profile full with energy, providing carbohydrates, protein and a very small amount of fat. It is also a source of Sodium, zinc, manganese, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, selenium, folic acid, thiamine, iron and niacin. The fat content of the white rice is mainly omega-6 fatty acids, which are considered to be pro-inflammatory. White rice fiber content is low. Below is a detail review of white rice nutritional values.
Carbohydrates: There are about 31 grams of carbohydrate of served steamed rice and about 26 grams of carbohydrate of served boiled rice. 1 gram of carbohydrate contains about 4 calories, implying that steamed rice calories is about 124 in total and about 89 percent of these steamed rice calories comes from carbohydrate. White rice that is boiled on the other hand contains 104 carbohydrate derived calories. The carbohydrate source of white rice is found in gelatinized starch. Starch ismade up of long chains of glucose known as amylose and amylopectin, and it is the most common form of carbohydrates in white rice. The different property that may contribute to both the texture and digestibility of rice is the amylose and amylopectin which are found in rice. White rice that does not stick together after cooking is having a greater quantity of amylose. The amylose slows down the digestion of starch and is often linked with a type of healthy fiber that is known as resistant starch. White rice that is sticky after cooking is lower in amylose and higher in amylopectin, and it is perfect for risottos and rice puddings. The high carbohydrate composition of white rice makes it to be highly digestible after eating. When cooking rice, washing the rice before cooking removes the excess starch from broken grains, and has very little effect on nutrients. Nonetheless, with the modern mill, when cooking rice you have less need to wash it. That is, all you need to do is to place the rice into a saucepan, add some water and then pour it off.
Calories: The nutritional white rice calories content can be scaled by the amount in grams, oz or typical serving sizes. Rice is served in 100 grams or in half cup. 140 steamed rice calories are found in a half cup or 100 grams of plain rice, while 1/2 cup or 100 grams of boiled white rice contains 123 calories. When you add one tablespoon of butter to the plain white rice, it increases the caloric content of the rice by 102 calories and while ½ cup of chicken gravy adds 94 calories. White rice calories are very similar for the different varieties of uncooked white rice. The average amount of white rice calories contained in 100g of the different white rice is 232.20 kcal of calories. The highest amount of white rice calories is found in the dry instant long grain enriched white rice, which contain 380 kcal of calories per 100g. The lowest amount of white rice calories is found in cooked glutinous white rice, which in 100g contains 97 kcal of Calories.
Protein: Although white rice nutritional benefits are small, it does offer a little protein any time it is served. According to the USDA Nutrition Database, half cup or 100 grams of boiled white rice gives about 3 grams of protein and one serving of steamed rice also contains 3 grams of protein. The protein here can be increased by adding a protein rich food like; fish, grilled chicken, lean red meat and eggs. According to the Institute of Medicine, a vital macronutrient that can make up between 10 and 35 percent of daily calories is protein. Protein is made up of chains of amino acids. In as much as the body can produce some of the amino acids on its own, nine of these amino acids must be obtained from the diet. Foods that have these vital amino acids in sufficient amounts and ratios are called complete proteins and they include fish, meat, eggs, soy beans and dairy, while foods lacking one or more of these vital amino acids are known as incomplete proteins. Among these incomplete sources of amino acid is the white rice. White rice lacks sufficient amounts of the essential amino acid lysine that helps in forming a complete protein. A combination of different diet with incomplete protein can give you the complete protein needed by your body. Eating rice and beans form a complete protein.
Sodium: There are virtually very little to no sodium found in white rice. Glutinous rice, which is a type of white rice with great amounts of amylopectin and a sticky starch contain 3 milligrams of sodium in 1/4 cup. White rice that has been cooked is sodium-free when prepared in water with no added salt. It is recommended by the Institute of Medicine that a healthy adult should limit their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams per day. The small amount of sodium in white rice can easily be part of a low-sodium diet strategy. All varieties of white rice contain little or no sodium when it is cooked without adding table salt.
Fat: About 1 gram of fat or less is found in both boiled and steamed white rice. The fat content of the rice can be increased when you add condiments. A tablespoon of butter can increase the fat content of white rice by 12 grams while ½ cup chicken gravy adds about 6 grams of fat.
Zinc: According to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, 0.9 milligrams of zinc are found in each cup of steamed white rice contents, making up the 11 percent of the recommended daily intake of zinc for women and 8 percent for men. Zinc daily requirement for adults is 11 milligrams for men and 8 milligrams for women.
Manganese: By including steamed white rice in your diet, you can also have some significant amount of manganese. Every 1 cup serving steamed white rice contains about 0.6 milligrams of manganese, and according to the institute of medicine, this makes up approximately of 1/4 of the recommended daily intake for men and 1/3 for women.
Magnesium: According to the USDA Food and Nutrient Database, a cup of white rice contains 24 milligrams of magnesium. This mineral is very important for the health of bone and it helps in getting the needed energy when you eat food. 420 milligrams of magnesium are the daily requirement for adult men above 30 while 320 milligrams are the daily requirement for adult women over the age of 30. For adults with age range from 19 to 30, 400 milligrams of magnesium are the daily requirement for men while 310 is the daily requirement for women.
Folate: Compare to brown rice, the enrichment of white rice with niacin, thiamin and riboflavin is very similar in levels of these vitamins but the only exception is folate. One cup of white rice contains 108 micrograms of folate. Folate is very vital for neural tube defects prevention. The daily requirement for folate for adult men and non-pregnant women is 400 micrograms while for women who intent to get pregnant 600 micrograms of folate daily is recommended
White Rice Benefits to Your Health
In many cultural cuisines in the world, white rice is a fundamental food. As compared to brown rice, white rice nutritional values are low because it is processed so that the bran or outer covering is removed. White rice benefits to your health are as a result of the rice nutritional value.
A popular species of rice known as the wild rice is now gaining a place in the United States. This rice species has high vitamins, protein, minerals, starch, fiber and antioxidants. It is recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a whole grain. It was concluded in literature review by scientist in the university of Manitoba in Canada that when one consumes wild rice as part of a healthy diet, it contributes to the persons’ health by supplying antioxidants, decreasing blood fats and providing a good source of fiber. The study on animals has proven that long-term consumption of wild rice reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease; it is therefore a heart-healthy food. Numerous health benefits are associated with white rice just because of the various nutrients found in it. The body cell can be protected from radical damage just because of the vitamins and minerals present in white rice. The health benefits of white rice include the provision of fast and instant energy, build and improve muscle, improve on the immune system and prevent other harmful disease like diarrhea, colitis, etc. in your body. Some of the white rice benefits for health are explained below.
Give you energy: in everything you do energy is needed. Carbohydrates found in white rice are the quickest source of energy. You will lack energy and feel sluggish once you neglect this very important component of nutrient. This is due to the fact that rice is rich in carbohydrates and acts as fuel for the body in order for the brain to function normally. When carbohydrate is being metabolized by the body, it turns into functional and usable energy. The functioning and metabolic activities of all the organ’s system are increased by vitamins, minerals and several organic components in white rice.
Help in muscle growth: A diet is somehow complete in terms of the required amino acids needed for muscle building when white rice is served with a meat dish. This is just because, white rice contains important amino acids that can help in the building of your muscle. For vegetarians and vegans who are seeking for ways to develop their physique, white rice is a very good choice to do that. While enriching levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol, training hard expands muscle glycogen to fuel your workout. That is why most body builders prefer to eat rice after their workout. They focus on slow-digesting meals throughout their day in order to have a steady flow of energy, essential nutrients and limit their body fat.
Prevent and treat gastrointestinal distress: White rice is one of the easiest and fastest foods to digest and needs only an hour to complete digestion. This is because white rice is low in fiber, making it very soothing to the digestive system and for it to be easily digested. White rice is the best food for old people, infants and young children. White rice is a great choice of food for those people who are suffering from diarrhea, colitis and morning disease. This is due to the fact that white rice has a low fiber content. However, you have to be careful if you have been prescribed specific medication for a chronic gastrointestinal problem by your doctor.
Boost your immune system: When you eat steamed white rice it helps in the boosting of your intake of essential minerals like zinc. All the hundreds of protein found in your body, including the proteins that control gene activities, boost metabolism and support structures of tissue, highly depend on the zinc in your diet. When you have enough zinc in your diet, it supports reproductive health. The protein content in white rice is vital for muscle development and maintaining lean body mass, while the manganese content in them helps boost the immune system so that you can fend off infection. Just like zinc, manganese in the body triggers a number of proteins needed for cell function. It allows your body to derive the needed energy from nutrients, boosts your collagen production to enable wound healing and it prevent cell damage by acting as an antioxidant. White rice contains excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as niacin, calcium, fiber, iron and thiamin which provide the foundation for body metabolism, good immune system and general functioning of the organ systems. This is because vitamins are normally consumed in the most important activities in the body
Maintain your weight: Simply because white rice does not contain harmful fat, cholesterol or sodium, it will be very beneficial to your health when you eat it. Rice is one of those foods that can provide you with nutrients without you having any negative impact on your health and form an integral part of a diet that is balanced. Having a food with a low level of fat, cholesterol or sodium will help you also in reducing obesity and any health conditions associated with being overweight. It is one of the most popular and eaten foods in the world due to the fact that it keeps people healthy and alive, even when the quantity eaten is not much.
Manage blood pressure: Since white rice contains low sodium, it is considered as one of the best foods for those who are suffering from high blood pressure and hypertension. As the blood pressure increases, veins and arteries constrict, the stress and strain on the cardiovascular system increases due to the sodium in the body. This is also linked to conditions of the heart like atherosclerosis, strokes and heart attacks. Therefore, it is a very good idea to avoid excess sodium in the body.
Improve the movements of bowels: White rice nutrient like resistant starch reaches the bowels in an undigested form. This type of nutrient is what stimulates the growth of useful bacteria that help with the normal bowel movements. Also, the effects of conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and diarrhea can be reduced by insoluble white rice.
White rice prevents insulin resistance: Consumption of low-fat diets like the white rice prevents insulin resistance, which help in the regulation of the blood sugar metabolism. A study in Korean on mice found that rice intake enhanced insulin sensitivity and prevents insulin resistance in animals that are being fed with high-fat diet. The level of glucose transporters in skeletal muscle is being increased by white rice.
Healthy heart: Most of the diseases which are one of the leading causes of death worldwide are heart attacks and strokes. Due to the fact that rice is the primary food in Japan, it has the lowest heart disease rate in the world. A higher glycemic index food that causes rapid increases in blood sugar is white rice. A study from the University of Osaka in Japan proved that rice consumption was not associated to the incidence of stroke heart attack or death related to the heart. Observational studies have associated the feeding on white rice with reduced risk of death from heart disease. A study conducted on men for about 5.5 years points to the fact that the men who consumed one serving or more of white rice every day had 20% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease than those who never or rarely consumed white rice. Another study conducted on women for 10 years point to the fact that, high white rice intake was found to be linked with a 30% reduction in cardiovascular disease risk compared to low intake of white rice.
Other white rice benefits: White rice has minor diuretic properties and it serves as an aid for digestion and natural anti-inflammatory. For cognitive processes, the thiamine content in white rice is highly essential. For people suffering from kidney problems and those with high blood pressure, the low sodium content found in white rice makes it a better choice for them. Sodium is important to the natural electrolyte balance that protects the body from dehydration and serves in other crucial biological functions.
In spite of the recent negative press concerning carbohydrates, white rice remains an essential food for most people. It is not like white rice is that bad, but what you serve the rice with or what you put into the rice during the cooking rice process that really matters. White rice truly has lot of nutrients and health advantages over other carbohydrates food. Cooking rice should be served with healthful ingredients. That is, you can cook your rice with chopped carrots, mushrooms and small amount of coconut oil in order to have relatively healthy fried rice.