One of the most common grains consumed regularly in many cuisines is rice. Many of us are aware of healthier rice alternatives like brown rice or unpolished rice. However, there is another variant of rice that is considered equally healthy – it is jasmine rice. This long-grained rice variant is popularized for its aroma that resembles that of popcorn. It is also known for its important health benefits. Here, we discuss jasmine rice nutrition, benefits, recipes, and potential downsides. Continue reading.
In This Article
Is Jasmine Rice Good for You?
Jasmine rice stands as a slightly healthier alternative than white rice, but only when consumed in its unprocessed form. Processed jasmine rice is very similar to white rice. Colored variants of jasmine rice, like black red, purple, and brown, can be labeled as healthier alternatives.
Jasmine rice contains important nutrients. We will explore them in the next section.
Jasmine Rice Nutrition Facts
100 grams of jasmine rice contain the following nutrients:
|Total lipid (fat)||0.46 g|
|Carbohydrate, by a difference||27.86 g|
|Fiber, total dietary||0.7 g|
|Calcium, Ca||14 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.26 mg|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||0.14 g|
- All values are sourced from USDA
Potential Health Benefits Of Jasmine Rice
1. May Help Maintain Digestive Health
Jasmine rice, especially the brown variant, is high in fiber. Studies have shown that dietary fiber intake can increase stool frequency in patients with constipation. It may also help maintain digestive health. Additionally, research states that soluble dietary fiber is fermented by bacteria in the large intestine. This eventually increases the stool bulk and aids the proper functioning of digestive health.
2. May Help Improve Immunity
The health benefits of jasmine rice can be attributed to the colored variants alone. Studies show that these pigmented varieties of rice are rich in phytochemicals. Additionally, these phytochemicals were found to be generally preserved even while cooking. Research suggests that phytochemicals play an important role in improving immunity. Jasmine rice contains other antioxidants like anthocyanins, flavones, flavonols, carotenoids, and g–oryzanols. Studies suggest that these play a significant role in enhancing immunity.
3. May Offer Additional Antioxidant Benefits
Jasmine rice is believed to have a high antioxidant profile. It is known that free radicals can lead to oxidative damage, which may further trigger cellular and tissue damage. Studies show that antioxidants play a vital role in controlling this phenomenon. Research also shows that pigmented rice, like black or red jasmine rice, is a source of antioxidant compounds like flavonoids, tocopherols, and phenols. Some studies also suggest that antioxidants help reduce risk of cancer and heart disease.
4. May Promote Heart Health
Jasmine rice is believed to promote heart health due to its high antioxidant profile. Studies show that the extract from brown jasmine rice may exhibit significant cardioprotective effects. It is believed that the antioxidant activity of jasmine rice may offer these cardioprotective benefits. However, further studies are needed to understand this mechanism.
5. Is Rich In Fiber
Jasmine rice is high in dietary fiber. This dietary fiber plays a major role in promoting overall health. Research shows that dietary fiber may effectively help manage body weight, improve gut mobility, insulin sensitivity, and reduce inflammation. Additional studies also state that high dietary fiber intake is associated with reduced risk of blood pressure, obesity, gastrointestinal disorders like GERD, duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, constipation, serum cholesterol levels. Fiber may also help improve insulin sensitivity.
6. May Minimize The Risk Of Cancer
Red jasmine rice is known to effectively inhibit tumor growth. The proanthocyanidin, γ-oryzanol, and γ-tocotrienol in red jasmine rice may help reduce the risk of cancer. Studies also state that proanthocyanidins (active compounds in red jasmine rice) significantly exhibit anti-cancer properties. They also may alter the expression of proteins associated with breast cancer.
7. Serves As A Modest Source Of Iron
Jasmine rice is a decent source of iron. The rice may help you meet 2% of your daily iron requirements. Studies show that dietary iron plays a vital role in oxygen transport, DNA synthesis, and electron transport. However, more studies are needed to understand the role of iron and its related health benefits in jasmine rice.
Jasmine Rice Vs. White Rice: Nutrition Comparison
The table compares the nutrients in 100 grams of jasmine rice and white rice.
|Nutrients||Jasmine Rice||White Rice|
|Fat||0.46 g||0 g|
|Fiber||0.7 g||0.7 g|
|Protein||2.86 g||2.86 g|
|Carbohydrates||27.86 g||25.71 g|
|Iron||0.26 g||0 g|
|Calcium||14 mg||14 mg|
|Cholesterol||0 g||0 g|
Jasmine rice can be cooked as regular rice. You may also make many delicious recipes using it. Check them out below.
Jasmine Rice Recipes
1. Yellow Jasmine Rice
What You Need
- 2 cups uncooked long-grain jasmine rice
- 3 cups chicken/vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- Add butter, garlic, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon to a medium saucepot.
- Sauté them over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic has softened.
- Add the dry rice to the pot. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes to slightly toast the rice.
- You can hear a crackling noise as the rice toasts.
- Add the chicken/vegetable broth to the pot.
- Cover it with a lid, increase the heat to high, and bring it to a rolling boil.
- As soon as it reaches a full boil, adjust the heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot.
2. Green peas Jasmine Rice
What You Need
- ¼ cup green peas
- 1 ½ cups dry jasmine rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 3 cups water
- Salt, to taste
- Place a saucepan over medium-low heat and warm the oil.
- Add the sliced onion and sauté it for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the green peas, jasmine rice, and bay leaf.
- Stir gently to coat the rice.
- Pour 3 cups of water into the saucepan and now add the salt.
- Increase the heat to medium and let the rice simmer for a while.
- Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer slowly. Keep it uncovered until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Cover the rice and remove it from heat. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
3. Toasted Jasmine Rice
What You Need
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium sliced onion
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 2 cups vegetable/chicken broth
- ½ tablespoon of salt
- ½ tablespoon of black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the chopped onions and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add the rice and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Keep stirring gently to coat.
- Add the broth, salt, pepper, and bay leaf to the pan with rice.
- Bring to a boil.
- Now reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Wait until the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove pan from heat and let it stand for 10 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf and sprinkle the chopped parsley.
Want to make your jasmine rice recipes healthier? Read the next section.
Tips for Making Jasmine Rice Healthy
- Choose healthier alternatives of jasmine rice like red or brown variants.
- Cooking jasmine rice in vegetable/ chicken broth instead of plain water enhances its nutrient content.
- Mix jasmine rice with spices and herbs like onion, ginger, garlic, etc. to reap the benefits.
- Be mindful of your portion size.
- Mix jasmine rice with green leafy vegetables like spinach or amaranth for a unique aroma and added benefits.
Jasmine rice is generally safe when consumed in moderation. However, some may experience certain side effects. We have listed them below.
Potential Risks of Jasmine Rice
1. May Result In Blood Sugar Spikes
Any rice variant is a carbohydrate. Ingestion of carbohydrates in excess may result in a spike in blood sugar levels. Studies show that the glycemic index of a few jasmine rice varieties is high. Consuming these varieties may cause an immediate spike in blood sugar levels. Hence, it is highly advised to consume jasmine rice in moderation.
2. The High Arsenic Levels May Exhibit Negative Effects
As per a study, increasing population and little rainfall is contributing to contamination of groundwater with arsenic. This eventually may also lead to arsenic contamination of rice irrigated with groundwater. While information about arsenic contamination of jasmine rice is limited, the possibility cannot be ignored.
3. May Aggravate Rice Allergy
Anecdotal evidence suggests that jasmine rice may aggravate existing rice allergy. Studies suggest that rice allergy is primarily caused by rice proteins. Hence, one must avoid all variants of jasmine rice if they have a history of rice allergy.
Even though it is considered a slightly healthier alternative than white rice, jasmine rice still has a similar nutritional profile as white rice. The brown, red, and black jasmine variants may exhibit better health benefits. But they still must be consumed in moderation.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Does jasmine rice make you gain weight?
Yes, jasmine rice can make you gain weight as it is high in calories. However, a diet including jasmine rice coupled with moderated exercise can help you maintain your weight.
Is jasmine rice a healthy carb?
Only the brown jasmine rice variant is a healthy carbohydrate. White jasmine rice is a refined carbohydrate.
What type of rice cooker can I use to prepare jasmine rice?
You can use either a regular steam rice cooker or an electric cooker to prepare jasmine rice. Maintain the water to rice ratio as 1:1 to get a perfect texture.
Is it bad to eat jasmine rice every day?
Not really. But moderation is advised if you want to consume jasmine rice every day. Excess intake of jasmine rice every day can lead to negative health effects.
Why do bodybuilders eat jasmine rice?
Jasmine rice variants are the most preferred meal choices for many bodybuilders as they are rich in many beneficial nutrients. They are a perfect balance of carbohydrates and nutrients (unlike white rice that is a simple carbohydrate).
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