Rice is consumed in almost every state of India. In States like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Odisha and Maharashtra, rice is consumed as a staple diet while as in the rest part of the country, it just forms a part of the diet.
There are hundreds of varieties of rice grown in this country, but the most consumed ones are Brown Rice, White Rice and Basmati Rice.
Why these three types of rice are consumed widely in the country, let us know their benefits here one by one. Let us begin with White Rice.
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The white rice contains naturally some most essential vitamins and nutrients, but processing removes them all and reduces it to a mere starch. To make it nutritious, WHO has issued a guideline for all white rice consuming countries to fortify it with some essential minerals and vitamins to make it fit for consumption. WHO has also requested these nations to conduct more and more fortified experiments on White rice to make it more nutritious.
Health Benefits of White rice
- Due to its low fiber content, it is an easily digestible food that takes less than an hour to digest completely.
- Due to its efficient digestive property, it helps in getting rid of disorders like diarrhoea, dysentery, colitis and even morning sickness;
- Since it takes less time for digestions, it is fit for all age categories ranging from a baby to the octogenarians.
- It is a tremendous source of energy-yielding carbohydrates
- It is also a good source of protein. It has been found that 150 grams of rice contain about 5 grams of protein.
- Apart from food, white rice is beneficial in treating multiple skin problems like inflammation, smallpox, measles, prickly heat, burns and scalds.
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Brown rice is much more nutritious than white rice, but being costlier and unawareness about its health benefits, most people in India prefer White rice over it
Its benefits include:
- Unlike White Rice, brown rice has a very rich fibre, which removes bad cholesterol from the blood, hence lowers blood pressure
- The oil present in the Brown rice increases healthy HDL cholesterol in the body.
- Due to high fibre content, its digestion process is slow which means sugar will be released in the blood bit by bit for hours together.
- It contains essential nutrients and minerals, unlike white rice whose nutrients are lost during processing.
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Basmati Rice is one of the expensive rice varieties of India. Though expensive than white and Brown rice, its unique flavour makes it the No.1 choice for marriages and parties. Basmati Pulao is one of the most popular dishes of India made of this rice. There are different varieties of Basmati Rice grown in India. Among which most popular are its brown and white varieties.
In nutrition, it is almost equivalent to Brown rice with a slightly high fibre content.
- Health benefits are almost same as of Brown rice.
- Basmati rice is popular because of its unique flavour.
- It is used to make Pulao when cooked with ghee, butter and Jeera or vegetables.
Note: The aroma in the Basmati rice is because of a chemical called 2-acetyl-1-proline. This chemical is present in other types of rice as well, but in Basmati, it is 12 times more than others. The abundance of this chemical in Basmati can be guessed from the fact that it is found about 90 parts per billion.