For many people around the world, rice is a staple part of the meal. It is affordable and is a great source of energy. It has a good nutrient profile, which makes it a healthy choice for many people. However, when you compare the types of rice, some varieties of rice are simply healthier than others. This is because of the various nutrients they contain and the ratio of macronutrients in them vary.
The nutritional value of the rice depends on your choice. There are so many varieties and blends of rice that buying rice often becomes an overwhelming task. You are here because you would like to know the healthiest types of rice, so you can make an informed purchase next time you go to buy rice.
Hence, without further adieu, let’s dive in to the various types of rice and try to understand which ones are the healthiest.
Varities of Healthiest Rice
There are so many choices of rice and so many varieties that it becomes difficult picking or choosing rice. If you are an informed purchaser, you want to ensure what you are consuming has the greatest value to your body in terms of nutrients. Hence, you are probably on the lookout for that healthy rice to include in all your meals and even make it a staple.
1. Medium-Grain Rice
Medium-grain rice is about two times as long as short-grain rice and becomes soft when cooked. It is popularly used in Asian cuisine.
It has a moist and tender texture which often causes the rice to stick together. Nutritionally, it contains more amylopectin. This polymer component of glucose is used for the storage of energy, which is why medium-grain rice is a reliable source of energy.
There are many types of medium grain rice, and some are healthier than others. However, overall, as a general category, when you compare medium-grain rice to short-grain rice, medium-grain rice comes out as the healthier option.
2. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a good example of medium-grain rice. Brown rice usually only has its husk removed leaving the bran and germ layer intact. As a result of this, it is much higher in fibre content and also contains a good portion of protein.
Brown rice also contains others types of valuable nutrients such as iron, vitamin B and magnesium. It has a slightly nutty taste with a chewy texture which is great for making sushi, salads and even stir-fries.
Brown rice is probably one of the healthier options of rice with many people praising it for its nutritional goodness.
3. Black Rice
Black rice is a very nutritionally dense wholegrain rice with plenty of iron and vitamin E. It is gluten-free which is good if you are trying to lose weight.
It has a better nutrient profile than white rice and is even considered better than brown rice. Though close to brown rice by way of flavour, black rice is simply a better source of antioxidants. It contains anthocyanin which is a useful plant compound and may work to boost heart health. It also has anti-cancer properties and is known to support eye health.
Black rice is one of the healthiest options available. It is for certain healthier than white rice and is even considered healthier than brown rice.
4. Basmati Rice
This is a staple rice native to Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Basmati is a long-grain rice which means it is low on the glycemic index (GI) in comparison to shorter rice grains.
Basmati has a beautiful aroma and works especially well with curries and pilafs. It is a healthier choice than short-grain and medium-grain rice for those who suffer from type 2 diabetes. The fibre in basmati rice is soluble, which works to add bulk and effectively move waste along the digestive tract. There is also a lower risk of heart disease if you eat basmati rice and it works to reduce cholesterol levels.
Hence, basmati rice is one of the healthiest choices that you can make when it comes to picking rice. Though it isn’t considered as healthy as black rice, it is still one of the healthier options.
5. Jasmine Rice
This is a fragrant, long-grain rice that contains less starch in comparison to short-grain rice. However, unlike other long-grain rice varieties, jasmine rice is relatively sticky. Hence, it is a popular choice in Asian curries and stir-fries.
Jasmine rice is slightly lower the glycemic index (GI) in comparison to white rice. It works to improve the immune system. It is packed with folic acid which is great for pregnant women. It also works to support digestive health.
All in all, jasmine rice is another healthy option to take. Though again, not as healthy as black rice, it can be an excellent selection of rice for pregnant women.
6. Red Rice
Red rice is loaded with iron and vitamins which work together to help the production of red blood corpuscles (RBC) in the body. A good RBC count is necessary for healthy respiratory health and can be valuable when it comes to the health of your skin.
Red rice is loaded with antioxidants, which makes it great for fighting cancer-causing free radicals and protects your skin from premature ageing. Like black rice, red rice is packed with antioxidants including anthocyanins apigenin, myricetin and quercetin. In fact, red rice has more potential to fight free radicals and contains a higher amount of antioxidants in comparison to brown rice.
It is comparable to black rice in terms of health benefits. Red rice is a healthier option than brown rice and ranks along with black rice on the healthiest types of rice.
7. Wild Rice
Wild rice is an excellent source of protein. In fact, when you compare varieties of rice, it is wild rice that provides the most protein content. Wild rice is actually a type of grass and not a rice.
It contains 30% fewer calories in comparison to other varieties of rice and is rich in magnesium, zinc and vitamin B. Wild rice is a more expensive variety of rice. However, it brings with it many health benefits.
Wild rice has no sodium which works to improve and reduce blood pressure. It is a heart-healthy type of rice that contains a high level of fibre. It is known to work to clear out bad cholesterol in the cardiovascular system and contains vitamins A, C and E all of which help boost the immune system.
In comparison to brown rice, wild rice is the healthier option. In comparison to black and red rice, wild rice still has a competitive edge and comes out as the healthier option.
Types of Rice That Didn’t Make the Cut
After having listed what we consider the 7 healthiest rice types, there are a few types of rice that didn’t quite make the cut. This is because, in comparison to other types of rice, it just doesn’t provide the same nutritional value. This does not go to say that these types of rice are not healthy. They can be a great source of nutrients. They simply didn’t make the cut for the healthiest types of rice.
White rice is the most common form of rice that is available in the market. It is typically served in Asian food and is processed.
It is the processing of white rice which makes it less valuable to the consumer. The processing of white rice lowers the amount of protein, fibre and other nutrients when compared to other types of rice such as brown rice.
White rice is refined, which means it is relatively high on the glycemic index (GI). It is packed with carbohydrates which can be great when you are looking for an affordable energy source.
All in all, white rice is healthy, it has some valuable nutrients. However, it isn’t the healthiest type of rice out there. If you don’t have access to other types of rice, white rice could work well.
These types of rice include sushi rice and Arborio rice. It is usually the sticky form of rice that becomes more glutinous when you cook it.
Short-grain rice is higher up the glycemic index (GI) and has a much higher carbohydrate content. Though is a great source of energy, it does come off as a less healthy option when you compare it to wholegrain and long-grain rice.
It does contain valuable nutrients that makes short-grain rice a healthy choice. However, is it the healthiest type of rice out there, probably not.
Which Type of Rice is the Healthiest?
Wild rice has to be the healthiest type of rice. It is packed with vitamins A, C and E which helps boost your immune system. It works to keep a healthy heart and contains a good amount of fibre which is great for your digestive tract. It also has no sodium which works to reduce blood pressure.
Amidst all the types of rice that we took into consideration, though all 7 that have been listed are healthier options (while the 2 that didn’t make the cut are still healthy options), wild rice takes the crown for being the healthiest type of rice.
The nutrient profile of wild rice is rich and better in comparison to other types of rice. Wild rice works to provide your body with a good amount of both healthy carbohydrates and proteins. Cooked wild rice contains about 30% fewer calories in comparison to brown rice and also contains 40% more protein.
Wild rice is a great choice to make when picking rice. It contains more fibre, potassium and zinc in comparison to brown rice and has six times as much manganese, which is an essential part of bone and metabolic health.
Though black and red rice came in as close seconds, wild rice takes the crown for the healthiest type of rice.
Is Basmati Rice Healthier Than Brown Rice?
Though basmati is a healthy option when it comes to rice, brown rice is considered the healthier option in comparison. Brown rice is higher in dietary fibre content and also contains more magnesium and phosphorus. The higher fibre and fat content of brown rice makes your feel full for a longer period of time, which reduces snacking and overeating.
The greater fibre content of brown rice also improves digestion and prevents constipation. Both brown rice and basmati rice is gluten-free and are high in carbohydrates and have no cholesterol. They are both great ways to provide your body with the energy it needs.
Though brown rice contains slightly more calories than basmati rice and has a higher fat content, it is considered the healthier option in general.
You can also find brown basmati rice which contains more fibre in comparison to white basmati rice. It also contains more phosphorus, zinc and vitamin B and is lower on the glycemic index (GI). That being the case, white basmati rice is much easier to digest.
Is Jasmine Rice Healthier Than Brown Rice?
Though jasmine rice is a healthy choice of rice, brown rice in comparison is considered the healthier option. It contains fewer calories in comparison to jasmine rice and contains more fibre.
Brown rice also contains fewer carbohydrates in comparison to jasmine rice. However, it is the fibre content of brown rice which makes it the healthier option. The fibre in brown rice helps regulate bowel movements and works to lower cholesterol levels. Brown rice also works to moderate blood sugar levels and control appetite.
Brown rice also contains more protein and fat in comparison to jasmine rice. Further to this, brown rice retains its germ which contains the majority of the rice’s vitamins and minerals.
You can even find brown jasmine rice which is known to have a higher fibre content than white jasmine rice. It brings with it the added benefits of brown rice and can be an excellent choice for pregnant women due to the folic acid content.
Healthiest Rice to Lose Weight
Brown rice is considered the most recommended variety of rice when trying to lose weight. Further to brown rice, wild rice has a high protein content, which makes it a great option when looking to lose weight. Wild rice is prefered to brown rice by those who are on a ketogenic (high protein, low carbohydrate) diet.
Brown rice is loaded with dietary fibre which means you are less likely to crave snacks between meals and are more likely to stay full for a longer period of time. It works to boost metabolism, which means you will be burning more fat and only contains about 111 calories in a 100-gram serving.
Red rice and black rice are also good options when trying to lose weight. They all contain a good amount of fibre and nutrients. However, if you are on a low carbohydrate diet and are looking for a rice to include in your meals, your best bet would be wild rice.
When picking rice for weight loss, you want to go with long-grain varieties for they contain less starch. Long-grain varieties of rice also tend to be less sweet.
What is the Healthiest Rice?
Wild rice takes the crown for the healthiest rice due to its antioxidant and nutrient profile. Wild rice has a greater percentage of protein in comparison to other rice and is also a reliable source of fibre. It brings with it many health benefits including better heart and digestive health.
With the number of varieties of rice out there, picking rice can become a complicated task for people with health in mind. Almost all types of rice are generally considered healthy, however, one is healthier than the other.
With white rice as the basic, we see that jasmine rice and basmati rice are healthier than white rice, while brown rice is healthier than both jasmine and basmati rice. Red rice and black rice is considered healthier than brown rice and wild rice takes the crown as the healthiest.
Healthy White Rice
Healthier Brown Rice
Healthiest Wild Rice
Well there you go, clarity with regards to which type of rice is healthier than the other and which type of rice is considered the healthiest.
We hope reading this word to word has helped you uncover the best type of rice for you and we hope that you took something of value from article. You now have the information at hand to make an informed purchase, the rest is up to you.