The types of rice grains, both processed and unprocessed, available in the grocery store are many. These types include brown, white, long-grain, medium-grain, short-grain, wild, basmati and many other kinds. There are other types of grains, like couscous, that fall near the rice group.
In general, the healthier the rice, the darker it will be. Brown rice is a strong choice in the healthy rice department, having many times more nutrients than processed white rice, which is white due to the fiber stripping and lightening process. White rice offers 1 gram of fiber per one-cup serving. Brown rice serves up four grams per one-cup serving. Brown rice is higher in vitamins B6, B2, and E. It also has many minerals such as potassium and niacin. Brown rice is also a fair source for protein. For those reasons, it’s thought of as a good breakfast food in many cultures.
Wild rice, also called Indian rice, is largely a product of North America. Wild rice has a nuttier taste and texture, but it offers even more nutritive value. It’s also lower than white rice on the glycemic index, making it a good choice for those needing to control their blood sugar. Wild rice also contains Omega 3 fatty acids. It’s another fair protein source too.
If blood sugar levels are a concern, but the flavor of wild rice is too herbal for one’s taste, brown rice itself is a good choice for pulling a lower glycemic load. Long grain is kinder to blood sugar than is short or medium grain too. Long grain brown rice is an excellent health choice for those who don’t like the more raw taste of wild types of rice.
Many other exotic forms of rice, such as basmati and jasmine, are equally healthful. Basmati is a middle-eastern rice rated medium on the glycemic index. It also has a nutty flavor, but becomes light-colored when cooked long enough, so it may be a good alternate health choice for white rice lovers. While cooking, basmati is known to imbue a kitchen with a warm and wonderful aroma.
There are healthier and less healthy means of cooking rice too. The Asian method of boiling with water, draining, and then cooking on low flame is said to be an excellent one. However one cooks their rice, the best rule of all is still the browner it is, the better it is.
Thank you to A. Summers for providing this guest post!