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Rice Properties

Rice plant

The fantastic nutritional value of rice!

The second most dominant crop in the world after Maize, Rice. This common cereal, staple crop feeds more than half of the world population and its fundamental food in many cultural cuisines around the world.

People choose different types of rice, depending on their culinary needs and its nutritional values. For some people one type of rice can have more nutritional benefits than other types of rice.

However after performing many research, nutritionists from different parts of the world came to the conclusion that different types of rice have equal health benefits, but only have different energy values and contain different amounts of fibres and minerals. The various benefits can be found in more than forty thousand varieties of this cereal that are available throughout the world.

In our day to day life, we see rice and products of different kind made of it in supermarket’s shelves that we buy and consume, but do we really know its nutritional benefits? Let’s talk about them.

Health Benefits

Rice is a super-food that contains few proteins and fats compared to other cereals. A rice grain contain 50%of starch which reaches the bowels in an undigested form. This type of starch stimulates the growth of useful bacteria that help with normal bowel movements. Also, this insoluble rice is very useful in reducing the effects of conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and diarrhoea.

Rice can also prevent chronic constipation. The insoluble fibre from rice acts like a soft sponge that may be pushed through the intestinal tract quickly and easily.

Rice is also abundant in carbohydrates, as it acts as a fuel for the body and aids in the normal functioning of the brain. Carbohydrates are essential to be metabolised by the body and turned into functional, usable energy. The vitamins, minerals, and various organic components increase the functioning and metabolic activity of all organ systems, which further increases energy levels. It enters intestines in unchanged form.

As rice is low in sodium, it is considered one of the best foods for those suffering from high blood pressure and hypertension. Sodium can cause veins and arteries to constrict, increasing the stress and strain on the cardiovascular system as the blood pressure increases. This is also associated with heart conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes, so avoiding excess sodium is always good idea.

Rice contains a very low amount of saturated fats and cholesterol, making it a healthy food for the heart. It also contains antioxidant properties that protect the heart, minimising the onset of heart disease and strokes.

Rice also contributes to slow down the ageing process for its ability to boots skin health. Whether consumed or topically applied, substances derived from rice tend to relieve a number of skin conditions. Its antioxidant capacity also helps delay the appearance of wrinkles and other premature signs of ageing that can affect the skin.

Cancer Prevention

Grain rice like brown rice is rich in insoluble fibre that can protect against many types of cancer. Many scientists and researchers believe that such insoluble fibres are vital for protecting the body against the development and metastasis of cancerous cells. Fibres, specifically is beneficial in defending against colorectal and intestinal cancer. However, besides fibre, it also has natural antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, phenolic and flavonoid compounds, which also act as or stimulate antioxidants to scour the body for free radicals. Free radicals are by products of cellular metabolism that can do serious damage to your organ systems and cause the mutation of healthy cells into cancerous ones. Boosting your antioxidant levels is a great idea, and eating more rice is a wonderful way to do that.

Energy Source for Sportsmen

Rice is a favourite food for strength training and fitness lovers. As workouts require stamina and power, this precious grain is a source of energy which beginners or professional sportsmen can benefit from. It provides energy before the workout and helps to make up for losses afterwards. It also helps to gain muscle mass.

Rice is considered to be a slow source of energy. It does not elevate glucose levels and its GI is 50 units only. This property makes rice an appropriate food to consume before and after workouts.

White rice is one of the best carbs for competitive athletes as it is easily digested in contrast to Brown rice that contains phytic acid, which, causes food allergy symptoms, gastrointestinal distress, and nutrient and mineral bad absorption. The phytic acid that causes issues with digestion and nutrient absorption is located in the bran of the grain. The bran is removed during the food processing process of white rice which essentially changes that brown rice to white rice.

Once the bran is removed, you are left with an easily digestible starchy carbohydrate that can be great for athletes looking to replace glycogen stores post-workout and does not pose the risk of anti-nutrients which can cause intestinal inflammation and slow down recovery. White rice is a risk-free carbohydrate that can help to balance out the insulin and cortisol relationship by boosting glycogen stores without causing allergies, bloating, stomach distress, or other side effects of gluten, wheat, or other carb sources.

White rice is popular worldwide, in Asian countries is a main source of nutrition. Nutritionist recommend Europeans to include rice to their daily menu. Japanese people really like white rice, as they think that rice processing does not affect structure of rice grains. It also has sufficient amount of nutritional substances.

Note: The above article is a compilation of different sources published for information only.