Rice is a staple food for people in many parts of the world. While some people would argue that rice is not the best food for weight loss and diabetic diet, there are various types of rice with different nutrient compositions. Basmati rice is one of the healthy types of rice. The rice has unique taste and smell, along with a bunch of important nutrients.Basmati rice is originated in India. It presents in many traditional Indian foods. Just like other types of rice, there are two varieties of basmati rice: brown and white. The color depends on the milling process.
Basmati rice has a uniquely pleasant aroma which comes from the chemical 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline. The concentration of the chemicalin basmati rice is 12 times higher than that in any other types of rice, making the aroma of basmati’s rice easily distinguishable. Besides the pleasant aroma that improves appetite and makes the rice tastes nicer, basmati rice is also sought after for its high nutritional value. Compared to any types of rice, brown basmati rice has 20% higher fiber content. Your regular white rice certainly can’t compete with the nutritional value of basmati rice. It is also low in calories. These, along with other nutrients in basmati, makes the rice possess a number of health benefits.
1. Has High Nutritional Value
Basmati rice contains a number of importantmacronutrients and micronutrients that will support your body functions, among those are:
- Carbohydrate : A ¾-cup serving of basmati rice has around 35 grams of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are also the primary content of all types of wheat and white flour.
- Fat : Basmati rice contains a certain amount of fat, albeit in a lower amount compared to other types of rice. Most of the fat in the rice is cleared in the milling process, therefore, the white variety has less fat than the brown one.
- Protein : Besides fat, basmati rice also contains a little amount of protein, at around 3 grams for each serving. However, the amount contributes greatly to our overall health. The protein of basmati rice also has a number of essential amino acids.
- Vitamin : The aromatic rice also has various important vitamins, namely vitamin B1, vitamin B6, riboflavin, vitamin E, vitamin K, and pantothenic acids.
- Fiber : Brown basmati rice has twice the fiber content of regular white rice. The fiber content is primarily found in the bran layers.
MineralsBasmati rice also contains important minerals. A single serving of basmati rice also contains 19,50 mg of calcium, 83,85 mg of potassium, 1,23 mg of zinc, 0,20 mg of copper, selenium, manganese, and 21 % of the recommended daily consumption of magnesium. A single serving of the rice also gives your body 6% of its daily recommended iron intake. Besides, it also has folate and biotin.
2. A Good Source of Energy
Basmati rice is a good source of the more complex type of carbohydrates, one of the most important things needed by human’s body to function. Carbohydrate is like the fuel of a car, it keeps your body going. This nutrient fuels the metabolic activities in your body which are the most important process to keep you alive. Without getting enough energy for cells’ metabolism, you won’t have enough energy to perform your daily activities or even to maintain the functions of your body organs.
Dieticians recommend people to get at least 50% of calorie intake from carbs. The metabolic activities of your brain and nervous system rely primarily on carbohydrates. Without carbs, you won’t survive. Some of the carbs you consume are immediately used for cellular metabolism. When your body has excess carbs, it will store it in the liver as glycogen. A part of the excess carbs is also stored as fat in the fat cells.
3. Helps Fat Oxidation
The fat that you consume every day cannot be processed without the help of carbs. When you eat thecarbohydrate-based product, such as basmati rice, your body will get oxoacetic acid as a breakdown product. This is an important compound to metabolize fats. When you don’t have this acid in your body, the fats will be turned into ketones, which may pose some danger to your body. This is why a carbohydrate-based diet is still important despite the fact that you still need to limit your intake to avoid obesity and diabetes.
4. Promotes Healthy Bones
Brown basmati rice is a good source of manganese, a mineral and powerful antioxidant that is also naturally occurring in the body. It’s an essential mineral for your body’s metabolism. Besides boosting metabolism and supporting the activities of thebrain and nervous system, one of the biggest benefits of manganese is its ability to promote healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis. The human bone structure needs manganese to grow properly. Manganese improves the density of the spinal bone, making it stronger. This may also prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis syndrome.
5. Lowers Blood Pressure
Eating brown basmati rice regularly may also help to stabilize the blood pressure. Basmati rice contains both potassium and magnesium. Potassium helps the blood flow better as it dilates the arteries and promotes relaxation of the smooth muscles. According to some studies, a diet rich inpotassium could ease high blood pressure and reduce its complications like stroke. In addition, taking a high dosage of magnesium everyday for a few months may also modestly lower high blood pressure.
6. Maintains Healthy Brain
The thiamine in basmati rice is known as an important vitamin that can improve memory and concentration. It has a positive impact on the function of nervous system and mental well-being. Moreover, it has been studied as a possible cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Based on a research, a regular high intake of thiamine may help to inhibit the progression of the disease.
7. Prevents The Development of Cancer
The outer layer of the rice that remains after the hull is removed, or also known as the bran layer, is where most of the nutrients of the rice are. Therefore, brown rice is considerably healthier than white rice because when the bran layers are milled off, the rice has lower nutrient content. When you consume brown basmati rice, you will enjoy the benefits of many important nutrients, including the high amount of dietary fiber. The fiber content of basmati rice is higher than that of other types of rice. Fiber works wonders in your body.
Dietary fiber that is found in the cell walls of rice is linked to the decrease of colorectal cancer’s risk. Scientists have long studied this subject. Based on experts’ observation, the ability of the fiber to protect your body against cancer is obtained by adding bulk to astool in the digestive system. More bulk means less travel time of the waste to get out of your body. The waste may contain a number of carcinogens, so the longer they remain in your digestive system, the higher is the risk for cancerous cells to develop.
Breast cancer is another type of cancer that can be prevented by eating foods with a lot of fiber, especially if those foods are whole grains like brown basmati rice. Basmati rice is also low in fat which will also reduce the risk of cancer. In addition, a high fiber content in food will also prevent breast cancer because it binds estrogen. When your body produces too much estrogen, your risk to suffer breast cancer increases. Fiber helps your body by binding the estrogen hormones that is filtered by the liver and escort it outside of your body.
8. Suitable Diet for Diabetic Patients
One of the foods that should be reduced when you suffer from diabetes is food high in carbohydrate content, including white rice. According to Canadian Diabetes Associaton, basmati rice is a safer rice alternative for people with diabetes because it has a lower glycemic index. The higher the glycemic index of a food item is, the more it will increase your blood sugar level.
Foods that belong to the category of low glycemic index range has an index less than 55, meanwhile, moderate levels of glycemic index are around 55-70. Higher than that is very bad because it will cause the blood sugar level to peak rapidly. Basmati rice has the glycemic index of 58 which still can be considered low for a carbohydrate-based energy source.
9. Improves Satiety
Because basmati rice contains a higher amount of fiber when compared to other types of rice, it will also make people feel full longer. This is why fibrous foods like vegetables and fruits are in every dietitian’s suggestions for a weight loss diet. When you feel full longer, you won’t think you need more foods. On the contrary, when your brain thinks you need more foods, the first things that come to your mind will tend to be sugary foods with high calories. Those foods are usually unhealthy for your body.
10. Low in Calorie
A serving of basmati rice at about ¾ cup contains only 150 calories. The calorie count is lower compared to other rice. Besides, most of the calories come from carbohydrates, with only a tiny fraction comes from fat. Calories from carbohydrates are definitely healthier than the ones come from fat and also easier to be processed into energy.
11. Supports Weight Loss Program
Basmati rice has a higher amount of amylose compared to other types of rice. Amylose is important for your diet program because it is the type of carbs that does not get digested very quickly. As a result, you will feel full longer when you eat foods high in amylose content. Basmati rice is full of amylose that should give you the benefits.
When you feel full for a longer time, you are also less likely to snack before your planned meal time. In addition, basmati rice also contains fiber. Fiber can disrupt the absorption of fat into your body and reduce your calorie intake. Combining basmati rice with other sources of fiber like vegetable will help you control your food craving and be successful in your weight loss program.
12. Promotes Regular Bowel Movement
As mentioned above, fiber adds bulk to the stool in your digestive system. Because of this, your bowel movement will be easier and more regular. When the waste inside your digestive system doesn’t reach the necessary volume, your system won’t be able to get it out of your body. The longer the waste stays in your body, the harder it becomes. The water content is absorbed back by your body which will make it more and more difficult to expel the waste from your digestive system. If this condition is prolonged, you are at risk from constipation and hemorrhoid.
13. Improve Your Daily Fiber Intake
Fiber is an important source of nutrient that is every needed by your body, especially for a healthy digestive system. Basmati rice is a good source of dietary fiber. Compared to other types of rice, it even has at least 20% higher amount of fiber. In 200-gram of cooked brown basmati rice, at least 7,8-gram fiber can be found. For adults, it is recommended to consume around 20 to 35 gram of fiber every day. In countries with common white rice as the staple food, many people only meet no more than a third of their daily recommended fiber intake. Because of this, it will be easier to meet your body’s supply by changing your regular rice to the ones with high fiber content like basmati rice.
14. Eases Constipation
One of the most common disorder for people who eat white grains as astaple food is constipation. Constipation is a digestion problem when somebody experiences a difficulty to expel the stool. When not taken care of properly, constipation can be very painful.The fiber in brown basmati rice will add bulk to your stool and retain the water level in your track so the stool will be softer. Because of this, the risk of constipation is reduced and constipation gets less severe.
15. Prevents Hemorrhoids
Prolonged constipation, along with a sedentary lifestyle, will lead you to hemorrhoids. A hemorrhoid is a swollen vein in the area of lower anus and rectum. It is very painful because each time you try to excrete feces,you will be in pain. You can also lose someblood because of it.Hemorrhoid should be treated by changing overall lifestyle, but the lack of fiber and excessive consumption of simple carbs arecontributing factors thatmake it even more severe. Because basmati rice contains a high fiber content, you can switch from white rice to this type of rice if you want to prevent and treat your hemorrhoid without surgery.