Rice is one of the first grains to be eliminated from your diet if you are trying to lose weight or cut carbs, but is it really all that bad? White rice may not have all the fiber and nutrients that you get from brown rice, but it’s not as bad for your health as white flour, white bread, and pasta.
Here are some of the benefits of rice:
No fat, cholesterol, or sodium — Rice is a pretty important part of healthy diets around the world (including Japan, China, and India). Rice contains no sodium, no fat, and no cholesterol, so it is a heart-friendly food when consumed in moderation. In fact, when added to the right food (such as beans, lentils, or fish), it can be the perfect balance to your diet.
Provides energy — White rice and brown rice are both AMAZING sources of energy. Brown rice contains fiber to slow down the absorption rate, preventing your liver from flooding your body with blood sugar. However, the energy provided from white rice is still slower-acting than that obtained from refined flour. It’s the reason so many Japanese sumo wrestlers eat a lot of rice!
Fight cancer — Did you know that brown rice contains special antioxidants that will help to fight cancer? Some forms of fiber are natural free radical-killers, and you’ll find that eating brown rice can protect your body against a number of different forms of carcinogens.
Packed with nutrients — When you eat brown rice, you get A LOT of healthy nutrients. For example, brown rice contains selenium, which is effective at fighting off heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. You also get a lot of manganese, which helps your body to synthesize fat cells, stimulates your nervous system, and keeps your reproductive system healthy.
High fiber — One of the best things about brown rice is that it contains A LOT of fiber. The fiber in the rice helps to slow down the starch absorption, keeping your blood sugar levels stable. But the fiber also helps to improve your digestion. Insoluble fiber acts like steel wool to scour out your intestines, going through and getting rid of the waste particles clinging to the intestinal walls. If you want to improve digestion, you’d do well to eat more brown rice.
Incredibly filling — If you’ve ever eaten a rice-heavy meal, you know how filling it can be! A single cup of brown rice is fairly low in calories, but thanks to the high fiber and nutrient content, it’s very dense. You can get full with very little rice (even white rice), and you will be able to keep your starch (and food) intake under control when eating rice.
Promotes weight loss — This may not be the case with white rice, but brown rice is definitely a weight loss food! Brown rice is incredibly filling, meaning that it will stop you from eating too much. It’s also rich in fiber, which bonds with the fat and sugars in your intestines and prevents them from being absorbed. High fiber foods are your best friend when it comes to weight loss!
The truth is that rice–particularly brown rice–is one of the best foods to eat, no matter what your diet goals are. Even if you’re just trying to get a healthy balance of nutrients, rice is a good you should definitely add to your menu. Packed with nutrients, it’s a healthy option that will do your body a lot of good.
Want to know how many calories in rice there are? We’ve got a list for you: