What are the Health Benefits of Eating Rice?

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Rice is the most widely consumed grain in the world. As a commodity, rice is the third highest in production worldwide. Rice is a staple in most countries, particularly Asian countries. Although not exactly regarded as a superfood, rice is surprisingly nutritious. This goes especially for unrefined or unprocessed rice varieties. In today’s post, we are listing down the health and nutritional benefits of rice:

No Gluten

Rice contains no trace of gluten. This means, individuals who are sensitive to gluten can consume this grain safely. The fact is, millions of people are either sensitive or completely intolerant to gluten. Gluten triggers intestinal inflammation and gums up the digestion process. By eating rice, gluten-sensitive individuals could enjoy all the essential nutrients of rice (including vitamin B, D, and calcium), without any adverse effect.

Energizes the Body

Rice is a great source of energy. It is packed with carbohydrates that convert easily into energy. In addition, rice contains very little sugar and salt so it is incredibly heart-friendly too. A reasonable amount of rice should fill you up nicely and energize the body quickly.

Cholesterol Free

Unlike other grains, rice is not dependent on fatty seasonings to improve its flavor. The grain also contains zero fat, making it an important part of a balanced diet. A low fat or low cholesterol diet cuts the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases associated with sustained weight gain.

Regulates Blood Pressure

Salty foods tend to weaken the arteries, making the arterial wall sensitive to the rise and fall of blood pressure. Salt constrict and hardens the veins, adding intense stress on the cardiovascular system. Hypertension is associated with different types of heart disorders including atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Because it is low in sodium, rice is an ideal grain for those who are either vulnerable to or afflicted with hypertension.

Cuts the Risk of Cancer

Did you know that unrefined varieties of rice (such as brown and black rice), are packed with insoluble fiber that inhibits the growth of malignant tumors. This nutrient works by slowing down the development and metastasis of cancerous cells. Studies show that insoluble fiber cuts the risk of colorectal and intestinal cancer.

Apart from fiber, unrefined rice is also teeming with antioxidants like vitamin A, C, phenolic and flavonoid compounds. All these nutrients protect the cells from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a process wherein destructive ions, called free radicals, zero in on healthy cells, causing irreparable damage and mutation. Free radicals are a byproduct of cellular metabolisms and they are present in the air. Studies show that oxidative stress is the precursor to chronic diseases including cancer and heart disease.

Protects from Mental Disorders

That’s right, eating rice is one way to protect yourself from mental disease. Studies show that brown rice contains nutrients that stimulate the activity of neurotransmitters. Eating brown rice regularly cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Wild rice is also shown to stimulate neuroprotective enzymes in the brain. The production of neuroprotective enzymes in the brain neutralizes the effects of free radicals.