Rice As Food- Is It Good or Bad?
Rice, the food we all have been using for centuries but know a little about. In this article, we will tell you the pros and cons of eating rice, which rice variety you should prefer, the benefits of rice and Is rice as a food good or bad for you.
We all eat rice and it is one of the main part of the food for people worldwide. Apart from being used as food; rice and rice water is also used for beauty purposes. Rice is great food in itself with various health benefits for skin, digestion, hair and can also be used for beauty purposes.
There are two types of rice available in the market, Brown, and White. So which one should you eat?
Let us see the pros and cons of both of these:
White rice is the most commonly used and eaten rice variety. It is milled rice, which has its husk, germ, and bran removed from it through processing. The processing of white rice changes its appearance and helps extend its storage life and prevent spoilage. After the milling, the rice is polished, which makes it a seed with a shiny, white appearance.
Benefits of White Rice
Helps in Stabilizing Blood Sugar Levels
It may be odd to hear, but white rice is high on the glycemic index and rich in starch. The glycemic index is used to rank foods for there effects on blood sugar levels. It is suitable for people with low blood sugar levels as it can spike the blood sugar levels very quickly, thus helping maintain the blood sugar levels of people with low blood sugar levels.
Easy to Digest
White rice is low in fiber and hence easy to digest. Doctors prescribe a low-fiber diet to people with digestive problems as a low-fiber diet lowers the workload on the digestive tract.
These low-fiber diets may ease the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and other digestive issues. Adults dealing with nausea, vomiting, and heartburn or people recovering from medical procedures that affect the digestion find the white rice beneficial as it is a good source of low fiber diet.
Low on Gluten
People around the world are facing a problem of gluten as human bodies are sensitive to gluten. Rice is a great source of gluten-free diet as its hypoallergenic food and creates no gluten related issues.
Cons of White Rice
Stripped of Fiber and nutrients
The white rice is stripped of fiber and nutrients as it is milled and processed. This processing removes the germ and bran, which leaves behind just the endosperm.
White rice loses its main source of nutrients and hence is considered an empty carb.
Increased Diabetes Risk
A higher glycemic index may be linked to increased risk of diabetes as it is to measure how fast your body converts carbs into sugar, which can be absorbed into the blood.
Foods with lower GI are considered suitable for people with type two diabetes. The body takes time to convert them into blood absorbable sugars; hence the blood sugar levels also rise gradually and not instantly.
Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is the name of a group of risk factors that can increase the risk of health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Studies show that people who eat white rice regularly in large amounts have a higher risk of metabolic syndrome.
Brown rice is always associated with health due to its high fiber and nutrient content. The brown rice is considered a whole grain as it is a whole grain and unprocessed.
Benefits of Brown Rice
Full of Nutrients
Brown rice is simple food, but as compared to the white rice, it is very nutritious. The brown rice is also rich in folate, potassium, calcium, and riboflavin(B2). It also contains a high amount of manganese.
Manganese is an essential mineral in the body as it helps in wound healing, bone development, nerve function, regulation of blood sugar, and muscle contraction metabolism.
Other than being a good source of minerals and vitamins, Brown rice provides potent plant compounds also.
Brown rice contains a class of antioxidants which include phenols and flavonoids that protect the body against oxidative stress. Antioxidants in brown rice also help prevent cell injury from unstable molecules known as free radicals and reduce body inflammation.
Good for Weight Loss
When trying to lose weight, brown rice is a better option compared to white rice, as it is rich in fiber. People who eat more fiber according to studies tend to lose weight more quickly and effectively than those eating white rice.
Brown rice is also suitable for losing belly fat. The brown rice’s high fiber content helps in losing weight as it makes a person feel full for a longer time, thus cutting the overall intake of calories.
Good for Heart
It is a heart-healthy food as it is rich in compounds beneficial to heart and fiber that reduce the risk of heart disease in a person. Studies show people who had food with more fiber content have a 24-59% lower risk of heart disease, respiratory disease, and cancer.
It also contains compound known as lignans, which reduce cholesterol, decrease artery stiffness, and lower blood pressure. Brown rice is also rich in magnesium, which plays a critical role in keeping the heart-healthy.
Brown rice is Gluten Free
Gluten protein is found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. People around the world are becoming more and more sensitive towards gluten and hence go for a gluten-free diet.
Some people are mild to highly intolerant to gluten and can face reactions like diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and stomach pain.
People with autoimmune disease also benefit from a gluten-free diet. All these factors have led to a rise in demand for gluten-free food, and thankfully brown rice is naturally gluten-free.
Cons of Brown Rice
Brown rice has a lot of benefits but has some side effects also. Some common side effects of brown rice include
Low Blood Sugar Levels
As they are high in fiber, the body takes time to digest them, which can lower a person’s blood sugar levels with a low blood sugar level issue.
Hard to Digest
It’s hard to digest due to its high fiber content and can put pressure on the digestive tract creating problems like bloating.
These are some of the benefits and cons of brown and white rice. But both brown and white rice have some benefits, which are common in both.
Rice Water Benefits
Rice water is a beauty secret used by Asian women for centuries now. The rice water from both brown or white can be used for different purposes. Some of these includes
Rice water is used for many skin-related purposes. It is believed to lighten skin pigment and reduce dark circles. A 2013 study shows that fermented rice water can help in improving skin damage from the sun as it increases the collagen in the skin, which keeps skin supple and prevents wrinkling.
Damaged hair from various factors can be repaired with rice water as it contains chemical inositol, which helps restore hair overall, including the split ends.
Eczema, rashes, inflammation, and acne
People claim that applying rice water soothes the skin, clears up blemishes from skin conditions like eczema, and heals it.
It is helpful in eye problems of Macular Degeneration, usually seen in older people causing blindness. But, this claim is not proven by any study to date.
We have explained the pros and cons of rice a commonly used food to you as well its beauty applications and uses. So, what do you think about it as food?
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