In many cultures all over the world, rice is a dietary staple. Unfortunately, Americans tend to favor white rice, which is the least healthy variety of this inexpensive food.
White rice has been milled and polished to produce familiar white kernels. During this process, the majority of vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese, phosphorus and iron are removed. All of the fiber and essential fatty acids are lost in the milling process. On the other hand, brown rice has only had the inedible hull removed and retains most of the vital nutrients that make rice so healthy.
Eating brown rice is a great way to manage your appetite, and therefore your weight loss. It also provides your body with nutrients used by your nervous system, protects against free radicals and helps prevent certain types of cancer. Brown rice may also reduce your risk of high blood pressure, migraines, muscle cramps, fatigue, asthma and arthritis.
Popular varieties of include:
- Arborio: round grain rice traditionally used in risotto.
- Basmati: nut-like fragrance and light texture, often used in Indian dishes.
- Sweet rice: almost translucent when cooked and very sticky. Often the "sticky rice" used to make sushi.
- Jasmine: long grain and available in both brown and white varieties.
- Bhutanese red rice: red colored rice with a nutty flavor.
- Forbidden rice: black colored rice that turns purple when cooked.