You probably are in a fix. White rice – to go for it or not?
Maybe you want to lose those extra pounds. Or switch to a healthier lifestyle. Whatever the reason may be, we are sure you heard someone tell you about the ill effects of white rice and why you must keep away from it. But is that going to help? Why don’t you check for yourself? Scroll down!
What Is White Rice?
White rice is nothing but milled rice with its husk, bran, and the germ removed. This process changes the flavor and appearance of the rice but extends its storage life. After milling, the rice is finally polished – and you get the seed with a bright white, shiny appearance.
Simply put, white rice is processed. All white rice starts as brown rice. But when the husk, bran, and germ are removed, the white rice that we get is devoid of the essential nutrients like fiber and other vitamins and minerals.
Does this mean white rice is completely bad? Not really. Come on, white rice is not poison. There are certain good ways in which it can help you out.
What Are The Benefits Of White Rice?
1. May Treat Diarrhea
White rice acts as a binding agent, making your stools more solid. Since white rice contains very less fiber, it is easy to digest. And the abundance of carbs in white rice can give you energy.
White rice also contains iron, another essential nutrient that helps treat diarrhea.
2. Offers Energy
Since white rice is made of carbohydrates, it is a great source of energy.
3. White Rice Is Gluten-Free
This could be a big advantage, more so for people who are gluten-intolerant. All forms of rice are gluten-free. Though some rice-based products may contain gluten, white rice, in its natural form, is free of gluten.
4. Can Help Bodybuilders
White rice can be an excellent source of carbohydrates for bodybuilders. As bodybuilders usually eat 5 to 6 small meals every day, white rice can be a good source of carbs.
White rice can also work well as a pre and post-workout snack. This is because, before a workout, the carbs can be a great energy source. And after the workout, these fast-digesting carbs drive amino acids to your muscles and help you recover fast.
5. May Result In Healthy Weight Gain
Though there is less research, as white rice contains very little fiber, it sure can contribute to weight gain. But it can work well only for those who are excessively thin. People with a healthy weight or who are overweight must limit white rice intake as it can lead to weight gain.
For more information on this, we suggest you talk to your doctor.
6. Can Help Treat Gastritis
Since white rice is a bland food, it doesn’t irritate the stomach – something that is important to treat gastritis at the earliest. But some sources recommend avoiding processed foods during this time. As white rice is processed, it is better you take your doctor’s opinion before consuming it.
7. White Rice May Help Treat A Leaky Gut
This is probably where white rice has an edge over its healthy counterpart, brown rice. White rice doesn’t contain lectins like brown rice does, which are a type of anti-nutrients that can damage the gut wall and cause leaky gut.
Another significant difference is phytates, which white rice doesn’t have. Phytates are another type of anti-nutrients with similar detrimental effects on the gut lining.
These are some ways white rice may actually help you. But more than a lifestyle food, white rice is often used as a remedy for health issues. Now that proves a point, doesn’t it?
That said, white rice is not as healthy as brown rice. The former is just high in carbs and calories. It contains very little fiber, which is one reason it can spike blood sugar levels and invite further trouble. The glycemic index of white rice is 72 – which explains a lot.
But what if you really can’t do without white rice?
A Simple Way To Make White Rice A Little Healthier
Just cook the white rice as you normally do. But when the water is boiling and before you add the raw rice, simply add coconut oil – about 3% of the weight of the rice you will be cooking.
Once the rice is cooked, allow it to cool down in the refrigerator for 12 hours. And you’re good to go.
What’s the science behind this?
Adding a lipid (like coconut oil) before cooking the rice and then cooling it down once cooked can change its composition – for the better. Doing so can help reduce its calories (1). Coconut oil interacts with the starch in rice and changes its composition, thereby reducing calories. Even if you heat the rice again, it is still going to be healthier.
Though white rice has some benefits, we recommend you consume it only once in a while. Switch to brown rice if you are more of a rice lover.
Tell us how this post has helped you. Simply leave a comment in the box below.
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