Rice

Benefits of rice

RiceRice is probably considered to be one of the most versatile grains in the world. Rice does not only serve as a staple food for people living in Asia, it is also common in the diet of people living in the rest of the world. Rice can be found in various colors, sizes and shapes. However, the most popular types of rice are white and brown rice, which are both available globally.

Description

Despite the fact that rice is considered to be one of the most versatile grains in the world, it is probably also one of the most important foods in the world. Rice supplies as much as half of the daily calorie intake for more than half of the world’s population. In countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, rich is highly valued and most people eat rice three times a dat. In Thailand, rice has such a high value in society that the translation of the term “to eat” actually means “to eat rice”. Most people are familiar with a few types of rice. Usually people refer to brown and white rice. However, there are more than 8000 different types of rice. Rice can be categorized in different ways. It is often categorized by size. This means that rice can either be long grain, medium grain or short grain. The rich which has the highest starch content is short grain rice. This type of rice is also the stickiest type of rice. Long grain rice, on the other hand, is lighter compared to short grain rice. Also, long grain rice tends to remain separate once it has been cooked. Medium grain rice is a combination of both small and long grain rice. Rice can also be classified according to its degree of milling. Milling is the process which eventually distinguishes brown rice from white rice. Brown rice is often referred to as cargo rice of whole rice. Brown rice is whole grain rice of which the inedible outer hull has been removed. Although the hull has been removes, this type of rice still retains its germ and healthy nutrients. White rice, on the other hand, is milled. Also, this type of rice is polishes. This means that during the milling process the germs and nutrients are removed. Thus, this implies that brown rice is actually healthier compared to white rice. Some of the most popular types of rice are Arborio, Basmati, Sweet rice, Jasmine, Forbidden rice and Bhutanese rice. Basmati rice is probably the type of rice which is most commonly consumed in Western countries. Basmati rice is an aromatic rice which has a delicate flavor and light texture. Also, the fragrance of this rice is often described to be nutlike. Sweet rice is the type of rice which is used to make sushi. This is due to the fact that this rice is very sticky once it has been cooked. Forbidden rice is not often consumed. It is a black colored type of rice which changes color once it has been cooked. The rice becomes purple and has a sticky texture.

History

Most people know that rice is an ancient type of food. However it has never been clear when rice was first consumed. Recently, it has been discovered that the first cultivation of rice was about 6,000 years ago. It is said that this first cultivation took place in China. Other archaeologists, on the other hand, found primitive rice seeds and ancient farm tools which actually date back more than 9,000 years ago. Thus, it can be said that no consensus has been reached about the first cultivation of rice. However, it becomes evident that rice has played an important role for many years. For the majority of its history, rice was only considered to be a staple food in various parts of Asia. Things changed when Arabs introduced rice to the ancient Greeks. Also, when Alexander the Great brought rice to India did rice become more popular in other parts of the world. The Moors were the first ones to bring rice to Spain. This happened in the 8th century when the Moors were going on their conquests. The Crusaders also played a role in introducing rice to countries outside of Asia since they were the first ones to bring rice to France. Currently, rice also plays an important role in South America. Interestingly, rice was only introduced to this parts of the world around the 17th century. It was during this time that the Spanish brought rice to South America during the colonization period. Since rice plays such an important role in Asia, is it not surprising that the majority of the world’s rice is grown on this continent. The three largest exporters of rice are China, Thailand and Vietnam. However, rice is also cultivated in other parts of the world but the abovementioned countries supply the majority of the world with rice.

Brown rice vs. White rice

Whether you are eating brown rice or white rice, both types consists for the most parts of carbohydrates. They do not contain fat and they contain a small amount of protein. Brown rice is considered to be a whole grain. This means that all parts of the rice are grain. This is true for its carb-rich endosperm, its bran and the nutritious germ. White rich, on the other hand, does not have the bran and germ. As mentioned, this is due to the fact that white rice has undergone the milling process which brown rice has not been exposed to. The bran and germ are considered to be the most nutritious parts of the grain. Since these have been removed from white rice, this type of rice is left with few essential nutrients. It is for this reason that brown rice is considered to be the healthier variant of rice. Brown rice does not only contain a larger amount of antioxidants and fiber compared to brown rice, but is also contains more minerals and vitamins. White rice is therefore often considered to be empty calories. All they contain are carbohydrates and only a few essential nutrients. For example, 100 grams of cooked brown rice will provide you with 1.8 grams of fiber. White rice, on the other hand, will only provide you with 0.4 grams of fiber. Another difference that distinguishes the two types of rice is the fact that brown rice is often considered to contain a higher amount of the toxic chemical called arsenic. Arsenic is naturally present in the environment which has recently been increasing due to the pollution. It is also a heavy metal. High amounts of arsenic have been identified in rice as well as products which are based on rice. Studies have indicated that the long-term consumption of brown rice could increase the risk of chronic diseases. These diseases could include type II diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Thus, in order to prevent the development of these diseases it is recommended to eat brown rice in moderation. It is especially important to pay attention to this fact when rice plays an important role in your everyday diet.


Benefits of brown rice

Since brown rice is the type of rice which contains the most important nutrients, this section will focus on the health benefits of  brown rice. Since brown rice is mainly carbohydrates, it is a great source of energy. One can say that it provides fuel for the body as well as the brain. The minerals, vitamins and other organic components contribute to the metabolic activity. This process in turn further increases energy levels. Another health benefit of brown rice is the fact that it does not contain any harmful fats, sodium or cholesterol. Brown rice is therefore a perfect addition to a balanced diet. Since it is low in fat, sodium and cholesterol, brown rice can help to reduce obesity and those conditions which are associated with obesity. Brown rice is also recommended for people who suffer from high blood pressure and hypertension. Products which contain sodium can increase levels of stress, they can put strain on the cardiovascular system and they can also cause arteries to constrict. Consuming brown rice can therefore prevent the abovementioned consequences of high blood pressure. A rather new health benefit of rice is that is can cure certain skin ailments. Various studies have been conducted on the effect of rice on the skin. In India, rice water is commonly used by ayurvedic practitioners who consider it to be an effective ointment in treating skin ailments. Researchers have stated that the phenolic compounds which are found in brown rice have anti-inflammatory properties. It is these anti-inflammatory properties which can help to sooth redness and irritation.

Health risks

While a few health risks have been mentioned before, there are a few other health risks one should keep in mind. White rice which has been defined has a higher glycemic index compared to brown rice. This means that the content found in white rice breaks down into glucose more quickly compared to brown rice after rice has been consumed. Food products which have a high glycemic index have been said to increase the risk of developing type II diabetes. The study which found these results was conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health. Brown rice does not break down as quick as white rice due to the fact that it contains more fiber. The study found that people who consume white rice more than five times a week increase their risk of developing type II diabetes with 17 percent. On the other hand, people who consume brown rice twice a week actually reduce this risk by 11 percent.

How to select and store

Rice can be purchased in various forms. While many supermarkets offer prepackaged rice, other stores sell rice in bulk containers or they allow you to choose your preferred amount of rice. If you choose to buy rice which is prepackaged, make sure that you check the expiry date. This is particularly important when buying brown rice. This is due to the fact that the natural oils found in brown rice can cause the rice to become rancid when it is kept for too long. If possible, it is also recommended to purchase rice which is organically grown. This is especially recommended after studies have recently suggested that rice which is not organically grown can contain almost five times more arsenic. As with other food which is purchases in bulk, make sure that the bins are covered and that the store has a high turnover. In this way you will ensure the maximal freshness of trice. It is recommended to store brown rice in the refrigerator. This is because of the oil-rich germs. These natural oil can cause the rice to become rancid sooner compared to white rice. When brown rice is stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it can last up to about six months. It is also recommended to store white rice in airtight containers. White rice does not necessarily have to be stored  in the refrigerator. It can be stored in a dark place where it can last up to one year.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1889x
Added: 01-02-2017 01:28
Last modified: 03-04-2017 20:48

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