Which Rice is Nice?
More people eat rice than any other grain and with so many varieties out there to choose from there are a lot of contradicting arguments about what kind of rice to opt for when trying to make healthy choices. Some types of rice better fuel your energy needs and your health than others. Varieties of rice include:
- Short-grain riceis very starchy and cooks up soft and sticky. It’s used in things like sushi, paella, and risotto.
- Long-grain ricecontains less starch so the cooked grains are drier and more separate. It’s often used in dishes with a lot of sauce.
- Jasmine and basmatiare long-grain varieties that have been cultivated to bring out unique flavour profiles. They are very common in Asian cooking.
- Brown rice—which is also available in long and short grains—is a lot chewier and heartier than white rice and takes about twice as long to cook.
More importantly what are the nutritional differences between all the different types of rice? White rice is the most commonly eaten variety, but it is the least nutritious. This is because it is actually brown rice that has is processed to remove the bran and germ, which removes fibre and B vitamins. It is then bleached, thereby eliminating most of its nutrients. In contrast, brown rice is optimal as it contains far greater amounts of fibre, protein, phosphorous, magnesium (and other several minerals), and, vitamins E, B6 and B2. Varieties of brown rice include Jasmine and Basmati.
If you’re looking for a more nutritious kind of rice, you might want to consider adding wild rice to your diet. It looks like rice and grows like rice but, botanically speaking, wild rice is not rice at all. It can be a bit of an acquired taste, but it delivers an impressive range of nutrients: phosphorus, immune- and testosterone-boosting zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins – including folate.