Rice is very much nutritious and contains loads of nutrients to give energy and vitality to our body. Rice is a rich source of carbohydrates as well as an important source of storing the energy inside the body for its proper growth. Rice is also low on fat, salt and cholesterol, and thus helps in keeping the heart healthy. It is also a rich source of a number of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D, fiber, niacin, thiamine, iron, etc. Because rice is free of gluten, it’s excellent for people who are advised to stay off gluten rich diet. It also keeps the bowel healthy as it contains resistant starch, which helps in the growth of beneficial bacteria, when it reaches the bowel in an undigested form.
The nutritional value of rice can be measured by the facts given below :
Rice, a staple in any kitchen, is an important part of diet world around. India produces some of the best quality rice in the world. With more than 80,000 varieties, it lends itself to a limitless number of recipes. Each type of rice has its own texture, colour, taste and unique property.
Rice can be broadly classified into three categories depending upon the Length & Shape of each grain :
Long Grain Rice is long, thin and about four or five times as long as it is wide. The grains have a firm, dry texture that stay fluffy and separate after cooking.
Medium Grain Rice is short, wide and about two to three times as long as it is wide. Due to its moistness and tenderness, the grains stick to each other after cooking.
Short Grain Rice is usually more wide than it is long. The grains are soft and tender that clump & stick together after cooking.
1. Aroma of Rice : Fragrance is considered one of the most important grain quality traits in rice. Aromatic varieties have comparable or superior nutritional values and better amino acid profiles.
Basmati Rice is a type of Long-grain rice. Remarkably long, it has a distinct aroma & nutty taste. When cooked it is lighter, longer & fluffier than any other rice and does not stick together. Just like wine, it gets better & better with age.
Jasmine Rice Also known as “Thai Fragrant Rice” is also a type of Long-grain rice with a long kernel. The grains are shorter & thicker than Basmati rice. It has a subtle floral aroma and soft, sticky texture when cooked.
2. Colour of Rice : Rice growing in fields and paddies has three edible parts – the bran, the germ & the endosperm. When germ & bran are removed, what one gets is White rice. The most common bran layer is Brown rice. Other varieties are Red and Black rice.
When husk, bran & germ of rice are removed by milling process, it becomes white rice. After milling, the rice is polished, resulting in a seed that is shiny & bright.
The process that removes only the outermost layer, the hull, of the rice kernel produces brown rice. Brown rice is a highly nutritious grain.
Also known as Forbidden rice, this has a mild nutty flavour. It is a very ancient grain that has more impressive health benefits than most other closely related rice varieties. It has powerful disease fighting anti-oxidants, fiber and anti-inflammatory properties.
Wild Rice is not a rice at all but a grass. Its harvested from the aquatic seed Zizania aquatic. It is very high in fiber & protein while being low in fat & calories. When cooked, it has a rich nutty-smoky flavour with a chewy texture.
3. Texture : The starch content varies from one rice type to another. It can make rice sticky, fluffy or light.
Also known as Glutinous Rice, this is especially sticky & little sweet when cooked. Grains are opaque.
Also called as Converted rice, this rice is partially boiled in the husk. The traditional parboiling process involves soaking rough rice overnight or longer in water followed by boiling or steaming to gelatinize the starch. The parboiled rice is then cooled & sun-dried before storage or milling. The grains are light & fluffy when cooked.