Let’s Agree. We Indians love rice, it is our staple and we take pride in our delicious, earthy and aromatic rice-based dishes. It is not just in India, rice is that quintessential food in many South East Asian countries and it is the backbone of our agrarian society, helping the economy to flourish.

And if you are on a weight loss program and were asked to stop eating rice, don’t lose heart. According to a recent study presented at the European Congress On Obesity in Glasgow, UK, obesity levels are substantially lower in countries that consume high amounts of rice (150 grams per day, per person), even as countries with lesser intake of rice (14 grams per day, per person) record higher obesity levels.

Speaking at the Congress, Professor Tomoko Imai from Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts, Kyoto, Japan who led the research said, “Given the rising levels of obesity worldwide, eating more rice should be recommended to protect against obesity even in western countries.”

Varieties of rice

Well, this study gave us some hope that we are eating right. But do you know that there are more than 40,000 types of rice varieties and all these are divided under 2 two major subspecies.

In this article, we will tell you 4 popular varieties of rice that not only satisfy your craving for carbs but also help you in losing weight.

Popular Varieties Of Rice

Brown Rice:

Brown rice is the most recommended variety for those hoping to lose weight. Loaded with dietary fibre, brown rice boosts metabolism and has 111 calories for every 100 grams. Though it may take a little longer time to cook when compared to white rice, make it your staple to reduce bad cholesterol, improve gut health, for ample amounts of vitamin B and to prevent the risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes.

Brown rice recipes

Red Rice:

Red rice is quite similar to brown rice in colour but it is a minimally processed variety. Rich in manganese and antioxidants, this variety of rice is strongly recommended for diabetics and obesity patients. Studies reveal that regular consumption of red rice is highly beneficial for those suffering from asthma as it improves oxygen circulation. A powerhouse of soluble and insoluble fibre, eating red rice can keep away your hunger pangs for longer hours, thus contributing to your weight loss.

Black Rice:

Black rice may not be a popular variety in India, but the trend is catching up. Also known as wild rice, it is unpolished, and it is a storehouse of folate, zinc, phosphorous, niacin and vitamin B6. It is a natural detoxifier, loaded with fiber, prevents the risk of diabetes and obesity.

Bamboo Rice:

Bamboo rice is a rare product as it is harvested every 40 years. That’s right, it is mostly grown in the hilly terrains by the tribal community and it is their secret ingredient for maintaining good health. Low on the glycemic index and rich in vitamin B, this rice is grown out of dying bamboo shoot works as a miracle medicine for those suffering from joint pains. Add it to your dosa batter, stir into your payasam to get the best of its benefits.

How To Cook Rice To Keep Nutrients Intact?

The art of cooking rice plays a crucial role in justifying how much nutrients are actually getting inside the body. Several scientific researches conclude that slow cooking is one of the healthiest forms of cooking rather than pressure cooking. The way one cooks rice has led to several controversies leaving people divided in the approach of cooking it.

While some believe that the use of pressure cookers or rice cookers reduces the cooking time and thereby, minimise the destruction of nutrients, others have discouraged their use claiming that they destroy the food through increased pressure and temperature. In certain cases, the fast cooking method in the pressure cooker doesn’t cook all the rice particles properly, making it difficult to digest, whereas slow cooking not only retains the nutrients but also the vitamins and minerals in the food are easily available to the human body for digestion and assimilation.

Though both methods of cooking rice are safe and healthy for consumption, the slow cooking and straining the stock method removes the starch part from the rice making it less fatty and good for digestion. But if you have no problem consuming the starchy rice, you can very well go for the pressure-cooking method.

Health Benefits of Different Types Of Rice

Brown Rice:

Manages Diabetes

Several studies have disclosed that brown rice abundant in phytic acid, fibre and polyphenolic compounds helps to regulate blood sugar spikes. While the complex carbs aids in delaying gastric emptying time and release of sugars and control blood glucose levels.

Fortifies Bones

Being intrinsically rich in magnesium and calcium brown rice supports keeping the bones strong and averts the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Improves Heart Heath

The presence of selenium in brown rice aids in preventing the blockage of blood vessels and arteries, thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.

Red Rice:

Supports Weight Loss

Packed with both soluble and insoluble fibre adding red rice as part of the diet plan helps to keep you satiated, reduce overall calorie intake and control hunger pangs. Totally devoid of fat red rice is recommended by doctors to lower cholesterol levels and promote weight loss.

Healthy Skin

Rich in iron and vitamin B6, red rice promotes the production of RBC and maintain skin in good health. Aside from this, a storehouse of antioxidants averts the detrimental toxins from oxidising healthy skin cells and safeguards the skin from premature ageing.

Black Rice:

Prevents Cancer

Anthocyanins in black rice are credited for potent anti-cancer properties that are valuable in preventing the risk of colorectal cancer and lowering the spread of cancer.

Boosts Eye Health

A storehouse of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, black rice is well known to shield the retina from free radicals damage and lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration.