With the popularity of fad diets that cut carbs left and right, you’ve probably heard at least a few people shout from the mountain tops that rice is bad for you. While not all carbs are created equal, we need them to survive. Rice happens to be a healthy option for those looking for starch options.
Most experts recommend that carbohydrates make up 45-65% of your total daily calories. Your body uses carbs to make energy, and therefore you need to eat them to survive. While fruits and other plant foods contain carbohydrates, grains like rice are an important part of the carbohydrate family.
Starches — especially whole grains like brown and wild rice — fill you up and provide nourishment and energy as you go about your day. Rice is a longtime staple of cuisines around the world, and it offers so many benefits.
There are so many healthy carbs to choose from, and rice is a food composed almost entirely of carbohydrates — accounting for almost 80% of its dry weight. Whole grains provide antioxidants, which are anti-inflammatory and can help prevent cancer, so brown and wild rice are great options.
Of course, grain based carbs offer energy while filling you up and keeping you satiated, and rice is one of the most pure sources of carbohydrates found in a grain.
Brown rice contains more fiber than white rice due to the bran in it, which is stripped from white rice during processing. However, many kinds of rice contain ample amounts of fiber, with wild rice containing a hearty 10g of fiber per cup. Brown rice contains 3.5g of fiber per cup. Suffice it to say, if you’re looking to pack in more fiber, rice might be a good inclusion in your diet.
Unlike many other foods in the grain family, rice is fat-free and sugar-free. As a result, you get all the benefits of the carbohydrate energy and fiber-rich grain without contributing to your daily value of fat. Often, fat is one of the hardest macronutrients to keep under control in modern diets, especially with the nature of processed foods.
All carbs boost energy, and since rice is especially filling, it can keep you going for longer. In order to create energy, your body breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars, which turn into glucose in your bloodstream and power the body. Since rice is nearly 80% carbohydrate, it packs a big punch.
Many athletes even believe in eating higher quantities of carbohydrates before games or competitions in order to boost their energy levels and help them feel enlivened, and rice is a high quality, nutrient dense grain that can do the job.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
This idea might seem like common sense, as rice is low in fat and high in fiber and antioxidants. However, studies show that the consumption of whole grains like brown rice is associated with a lowered risk for heart disease and increased overall body health.
Vitamins and Minerals
While there is some variation depending on the kind of rice you choose, there are so many vitamins and minerals found in rice. Often, rice contains folic acid, B vitamins, zinc and magnesium in addition to the antioxidant energy boost. Eating rice can be a great way to get these nutrients regularly.
Despite the carb fear many people have, rice — and plenty of other grains — offer abundant benefits. From the energy lift to the vitamins and nutrients, it’s no wonder that rice is a long-standing staple in so many global diets.