Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice).
- Rice has always been known as one of the healthiest foods in the world. Combined with various vegetables and spices, rice can really make an incredible meal. there are various health tips available which raise controversy about eating rice. However, the fact that you can prepare rice in many different ways is not its best feature – but it is that eating rice is beneficial for our health. Whether it is brown or white rice, the health benefits of this food are priceless. This being said we will talk about the top four health benefits of eating rice.
- Great Source of Energy: Since rice is abundant in carbohydrates, it acts as fuel for the body and aids in the normal functioning of the brain. Carbohydrates are essential to be metabolized by the body and turned into functional, usable energy. The vitamins, minerals, and various organic components increase the functioning and metabolic activity of all your organ systems, which further increases energy levels.
- Cholesterol Free: Eating rice is extremely beneficial for your health, simply because it does not contain harmful fats, cholesterol or sodium. It forms an integral part of balanced diet. Any food that can provide nutrients without having any negative impacts on health is a bonus! Low levels of fat, cholesterol, and sodium will also help reduce obesity and the health conditions associated with being overweight. It is one of the most widely used and eaten foods in the world because it can keep people healthy and alive, even in very small quantities.
- Blood Pressure Management: Rice is low in sodium, so it is considered one of the best foods for those suffering from high blood pressure and hypertension. Sodium can cause veins and arteries to constrict, increasing the stress and strain on the cardiovascular system as the blood pressure increases. This is also associated with heart conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes, so avoiding excess sodium is always a good idea.
- Cancer Prevention: Whole grain rice like brown rice is rich in insoluble fiber that can protect against many types of cancer. Many scientists and researchers believe that such insoluble fibers are vital for protecting the body against the development and metastasis of cancerous cells. Fiber, specifically is beneficial in defending against colorectal and intestinal cancer. However, besides fiber, it also has natural antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin-A, phenolic and flavonoid compounds, which also act as or stimulate antioxidants to scour the body for free radicals. Free radicals are byproducts of cellular metabolism that can do serious damage to your organ systems and cause the mutation of healthy cells into cancerous ones. Boosting your antioxidant levels is a great idea, and eating more rice is a wonderful way to do that.
- Skin care: Medical experts say that powdered rice can be applied topically to cure certain skin ailments. On the Indian subcontinent, rice water is readily prescribed by ayurvedic practitioners as an effective ointment to cool off inflamed skin surfaces. The phenolic compounds that are found in it, particularly in brown or wild rice, have anti-inflammatory properties, so they are also good for soothing irritation and redness. Whether consumed or topically applied, substance derived from rice tend to relieve a number of skin conditions. The antioxidant capacity also helps delay the appearance of wrinkles and other premature signs of aging that can affect the skin.
- Alzheimer’s Disease: Brown rice is said to contain high levels of nutrients that stimulate the growth and activity of neurotransmitters, subsequently helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease to a considerable extent. Various species of wild rice have been shown to stimulate neuroprotective enzymes in the brain, which inhibit the effects of free radicals and other dangerous toxins that can cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Diuretic and Digestive Qualities: The husk part of rice is considered to be an effective medicine to treat dysentery, and some people say that a three month old rice plant’s husks are said to have diuretic properties. Chinese people believe that rice considerably increases appetite, cures stomach ailments and reduces all digestive problems. As a diuretic, rice husk can help you lose excess water weight, eliminate toxins from the body like uric acid, and even lose weight, since approximately 4% of urine is actually made up of body fat! The high fiber content also increases bowel movement regularity and protects against various types of cancer, as well as reducing the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
- Rich in Vitamins: An excellent source of vitamins and minerals like niacin, vitamin D, calcium, fiber, iron, thiamine and riboflavin. These vitamins provide the foundation for body metabolism, immune system health, and general functioning of the organ systems, since vitamins are commonly consumed in the most essential activities in the body.
- Cardiovascular Health: Rice bran oil is known to have antioxidant properties that promote cardiovascular strength by reducing cholesterol levels in the body. We have already spoken about the cardiovascular benefits of fiber, and low levels of fat and sodium. Wild rice and brown rice varieties are far better than white rice in this category, since the husk of the grain is where much of the nutrients are; the husk is removed in white rice preparation.
- Refined white rice has a higher glycemic index than brown rice, meaning it breaks down into glucose much more quickly after being eaten than brown rice. Foods with a high glycemic index can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Brown rice takes longer to break down because it contains more fiber. A Harvard study showed that eating five or more helpings of white rice per week increased the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 17 percent, while those who ate two servings of brown rice per week reduced their risk by 11 percent.
Oryza sativa, Oryza glaberrima
Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice