Healthy Side of Basmati Rice
Posted on August 09 2020
Basmati rice is cooked usually in Indian and South Asian kitchens and is a complementary dish with many other dishes. In many homes, Basmati rice is a compulsory dish during meal times.
Either they are cooked with all the spices and recipes or they are boiled, in both cases, one cannot resist their delicious flavor and mouth watering aroma. It is a common trend in South Asian countries to send cooked Basmati rice to the neighbors as a gesture of friendship and care. Cooked Basmati Rice, using a variety of recipes, are a compulsory part of many events in South Asian countries like wedding ceremonies, religious festivals etc. A lot of people get Basmati Rice cooked by expert chefs and then distribute these rice among poor and hungry people, in the name of their gods. In many homes, even today, a girl who is good at cooking Basmati Rice is considered a good cook and that is why they are asked to cook rice as a first dish after their marriage in the kitchen of their In-laws.
Apparently, Basmati Rice are long-grain rice as compared to other types of rice. Let’s have a look at the nutritional value and benefits of consuming rice.
Nutritional facts about Basmati Rice:
Although the exact amount of nutrients varies according to the types of Basmati rice but they usually contain a high amount of carbohydrates and calories and micronutrients including thiamine (Vitamin B1, plays an important role in the functioning of nerves, muscles and heart), folate (Vitamin B, required in production of red and white blood cells, DNA and RNA and for proper growth of body parts) and selenium (a kind of mineral that helps in protection of body cells from damage).
Cooked white Basmati rice of an amount of one cup may contain 210 calories, 4.4 grams of proteins, 0.5 grams of fats, 45.6 grams of carbohydrates, 0.7 grams of fiber, 399 milligram of Sodium, 24% of the Daily Value (DV) of folate, 22% of DV of thiamine, 22% of DV of selenium, 15% of the DV of niacin, 12% of the DV of copper, 11% of the DV of iron, 9% of the DV of vitamin B6, 7% of the DV of zinc, 6% of the DV of phosphorus, and 5% of the DV of magnesium.
In comparison to white Basmati rice, brown Basmati rice has a higher percentage of carbohydrates and fiber. It also has an increased percentage of magnesium, vitamin E, phosphorus, zinc and potassium.
Health Benefits of Basmati Rice:
Basmati rice can have the following health benefits:
Low percentage of Arsenic:
Basmati rice has a low percentage of arsenic generally, as compared to other types of rice. Arsenic, a heavy metal, can prove fatal for your health. It may increase risk of heart diseases, diabetes and certain types of cancers like skin cancer, bladder cancer etc.
Rice has a higher tendency of accumulating arsenic as compared to other types of grains.
But it has been observed that Basmati rice from Pakistan, California and India have low levels of Arsenic as compared to other varieties of rice.
It should also be noted that brown rice accumulates more Arsenic as compared to white rice.
Enriched White Basmati Rice:
White Basmati rice is also enriched i.e some nutrients are added while processing for boosting the nutritional value.
This helps in acquiring a variety of essential minerals and vitamins.
To be more specific, rice grains are often rich in iron and vitamin B like thiamine, niacin etc.
Brown Basmati rice – a whole grain:
Brown Basmati rice is also considered a whole grain which means that all the three parts of kernel are present in it – germ, bran and endosperm.
There are various health benefits of eating whole grains. Their intake lowers the risk of heart diseases, cancer and premature death. Type 2 diabetes can also be fought by intake of whole grains specially brown rice.
Basmati Rice versus Other types of rice:
There is a little difference between nutritional value of Basmati rice and other types of brown or white rice.
There is not a lot of difference among the nutritional value of different types of rice.
Basmati rice usually accumulates less amount of arsenic due to which it is a good choice if rice is your favorite staple food.
Helps in loosing weight:
Basmati rice has a type of carbohydrate (amylose) that is hard to digest for our body. So intake of Basmati rice keeps us full and helps us in avoidance of leisure snacking. It reduces our food intake.
Helps in digestion:
Fiber in Basmati rice aids the food in our intestine to move quickly and in turn prevents constipation. It catalyzes the movement of food in small and large intestine. It also helps in sustaining the water level in digestive system and helps in easy excretion of stool. Therefore, people who have got problem of constipation can benefit from intake of Basmati rice and making it a part of their diet, as constipation is ‘the mother of all diseases”.
Hemorrhoids, also called piles, is a result of swollen veins in anus and in lower part of rectum. It is very painful and may cause bleeding while passing of stool. Intake of fiber helps in reducing hemorrhoid and since Basmati rice is rich in fiber therefore consumption of Basmati rice is highly effective in fighting hemorrhoids. It reduces the pressure on the muscles of rectum.
Effective in fighting Celiac disease:
In Celiac disease, one cannot eat gluten (a family of proteins) as it damages small intestine. For patients of Celiac disease, Basmati rice is a wonderful choice. Gluten free property of Basmati rice makes it a great choice for those who have got gluten sensitivity, without losing flavor.
Ameliorates brain functioning:
Basmati rice is rich in thiamine that is known as ‘brain vitamin’. This vitamin boosts memory and focusing abilities.
In another research, it has been proved that intake of thiamine is effective for fighting against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Improved thiamine levels are good for effective brain functioning.
Good for heart health:
Basmati rice, in comparison to other types of rice, has a lower quantity of saturated fats. Saturated fats are not good for heart health and cholesterol. Unsaturated fats are good for health. They prevent blood clotting and heart diseases. Therefore, Basmati rice due to its unsaturated fats, is good for our heart and our body in general.
Maintaining normal blood pressure:
Brown Basmati rice helps in maintaining a normal blood pressure by reducing hypertension. Potassium and magnesium, both of which are good for maintaining blood pressure, are present in Basmati rice. Both of these minerals relax blood vessels and in turn reduce blood pressure.
Prevention of cancer:
Basmati rice has 20% more fiber than any other rice. And fiber is good for stopping the formation of cancerous cells. Especially in case of colon cancer, Basmati rice is highly effective as it speeds up digestion and prevents exposure to cancer causing elements. Not only this, brown Basmati rice is also effective in preventing breast cancer as it maintains the levels of estrogen in the body. High amounts estrogen can cause breast and ovarian cancer in addition to blood clots and heart strokes.
Because of being rich in fiber, basmati rice is very good for skin. It has got anti ageing properties and helps in getting a glowing skin. People use Basmati rice in different ways for making beauty products. Not only this, water obtained from fermented Basmati rice or boiled Basmati rice is also used for effective hair growth and getting long and shiny hair. This water is known for its hair growing qualities and for fresh and young looking skin. Using the water after boiling Basmati rice or water in which Basmati rice has been soaked overnight, can bring wonderful results in case of hair growth and glowing skin. The starch present in that water helps in healing split ends and falling hair. Fermented Basmati rice water is as effective as any other expensive beaut product available in the market.
Basmati rice water as a fertilizer for plants:
Because Basmati rice is rich in minerals especially phosphorous and magnesium, its water is also effective in promoting plant growth. Rather than throwing the water in which Basmati rice has been boiled, it is better to store that water and use it as a plant fertilizer later on.
The benefits of eating Basmati rice are endless. It is good for almost all parts of the body including heart, brain, digestive system and formation of blood by forming red and white blood cells. It is famous for its flavor and aroma and can turn any recipe delicious. Its health benefits can be reaped by making it a part of our food and consuming it in the right amount. Internet is full of recipes of how to cook Basmati rice? How to make fried Basmati rice? How to use Basmati rice in a Chinese cooking? Even a beginner can cook Basmati rice by watching recipes on internet.