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Importance Of Rice - Types and composition

Rice is a major food for more than half of the world’s population. It plays a grand role in supplying the body with nutrients and energy for the different daily activities. Rice is an oval cereal grain that varies in its content of nutrients according to the type, the color, the soil it was planted in and how it processed or treated before consuming.

There are different types of rice varying between white, brown, black, red and purple. Between each of them there is a slight difference in fiber containing and a big difference in the nutritional value.
The studies carried out on all rice types showed that each can’t be a complete nutrition source. They must be consumed with complementary elements to obtain the proper supplies.

Scientists have found that the color of rice is basically due to the compounds it contains. For example, the purple rice drives the beautiful color from substances called “anthocyanins” and “tocols”. They also discovered the amounts of antioxidants found in different types of rice, and for the purple rice hydrophilic antioxidants represent a greater portion than the lipophilic antioxidants. Furthermore, the studies showed that most of the useful substances are found in the inner part of the purple rice bran.
Other studies made on black and red rice assured a greater importance than that of white rice as both types contain pigments that reduce atherosclerosis development and cholesterol levels; such benefits are not offered by white rice for the absence of antioxidants found in the other types.

purple rice


The common/white rice cooked as a complementary meal, contains carbohydrates and tiny amount of vitamins. The recommended type of rice is the unrefined, known usually as brown rice or whole grain rice. The concept came from the high amount of vitamin B complex found in the shells of the grain. It can also contain a good supply of potassium, sodium and silicon minerals. The potassium is essential for high blood pressure patients, and the sodium is important in compensating the minerals lost with sweat during summer.

Rice is a healthy food as low in fats, cholesterol free, and rich in carbohydrates. It is easily digested and the carbohydrate supply works well for the brain and the muscles gets benefit from the proteins. In other words, rice is an important fuel for a balanced diet and for enhancing the body performance. It is also rich in proteins as they take the second portion directly after the majority of carbohydrates. It contains all essential 8 amino acids which the body needs for a well growth.

The bran layer or rice, especially the brown and other colored types of rice, is rich in fibers which keeps our digestive system in good working order. And a good amount of cooked brown rice - nearly 160gms – can provide 8% of a man’s daily fiber supply and 9.6% of a woman’s fiber supply.

rise bran diagram

The small amount of useful fats is found in the rice bran, and is known to contain vitamin E and reduce cholesterol level. Besides the antioxidants, I would recommend the colored type of rice as rich in vitamins and oils.

types of rice

In general, the whole grain rice, known as brown rice – unmilled rice – or unrefined rice, is the best type to consume. The unrefined colored rice is also recommended on the same level due to being rich in vitamins such as vitamin E, vitamin B group, and different minerals like potassium, magnesium and manganese; besides a slight amount of sodium that makes it suitable for blood pressure patients and those who need to watch their salt intake.
The useful fats in the bran plays a grand role with the fibers in keeping the well being and proper functioning of the organs, and they also fight many diseases.
Being a gluten-free grain makes it suitable for different kinds of diets, and a non-allergy food makes it suitable for all bodies in all ages.

More nutrition facts:
Benefits of water.
The importance of grains.
Benefits of cucumbers.
The importance of dates.
Benefits of honey.
Foods that lower cholesterol levels.
Rice bran oil.
Balanced nutrition essentials for kids.