Rice. The grain which is there on our diet evenbefore wheat. Rice comes in variety of shapes and sizes. Sometime it is white, other time purple (Yes!). Some rice has a size of a spherical shape just like quinoa and cooked sticky, others have a long, wheat like shape and is cooked freely. Rice varieties differ not only in appearance, their nutritional value and thus their health benefits are often different. You choose the variety that best suits your personal purpose and taste. We will introduce you to the most famous rice varieties and will also discuss the difference between brown rice, white rice, and black rice.
Although different varieties of rice have different nutritional properties by themselves, the types of brown and black rice share some similarities. Both black and brown rice (whole grain) are low in fat and rich in carbohydrates so they can be a good option if you try to support an active lifestyle or if you have restrictions to ingest fats for dietary reasons.
White rice vs Brown Rice vs Black Rice:
The most common known rice variant is Long Grain Rice (Oryza Sativa Ssp Indica). It is from 6 to 8 millimeters. It is cooked loose, and are grainy. The long grain rice varieties include Basmati Rice, which means Fragrant in Hindi. It is mostly produced and consumed in the Indian Subcontinent and is known worldwide for its taste. But this type of rice is stripped off from its bran and husk, resulting in less fiber and nutrients than black or brown rice.
Brown rice is famous for its reputation as a healthy variant and is common in people which supports an active lifestyle. This type of rice is not as polished as the white rice, which helps it to protect its nutrient value. While in the milling process, only the hull(the protective outer layer) is removed so the nutrition value is kept intact. Brown rice tastes more on the nutty way compared to the delicate taste of white rice.
Black rice is a type of sticky rice and one of the best variants of all. Actually closer to purple in color (and sometimes called purple rice for that reason), black rice has a nutty/earthy taste and is a great accompaniment to other meals, either sweet or spicy. In China, it was once called “forbidden rice” because no one except the emperor was allowed for consumption.
Discussing these rice variants with respect to Taste and Textures:
White Rice : white rice is more on a delicate part, more starchy, comparing to other two variants. It has more starch, mild flavor and is used mostly as a staple food since ancient times. White rice is also famous for its stickiness, as it is easier to consume it using chopsticks.
Brown Rice : Brown rice has its husk intact, so it has more fiber than the white rice which makes its taste almost nutty and is mild to medium firm. Pairing of Brown rice can be done with flavorful dishes that can neutralize the tough taste of brown rice. Switching from the white rice to brown rice is not easier as it seems, as the white rice has mild flavor and brown rice falls in to chewy side. It takes more time to chew brown rice than to chew white rice.
Black Rice : These forbidden rice almost taste entirely different than white rice, but it is a bit closer to the brown rice. It tastes nuttier than brown rice and is delicately flavored with earthy taste. Texture of the rice is denser than the brown rice, which makes it more tasty with every bite. Although your heart will not be filled much after eating this magic rice, but your tummy will be full even if you eat less than compared to white rice or brown rice, as it has more fiber and protein intake than white or brown rice.
Let us discuss all the three variants, nutrition-wise:
- Calories:Brown rice is more dense in calories than black rice, since the former contains 216 calories per cup, while the latter contains 160. Because brown rice is so dense in calories, they are not optimal options for diets to lose weight, but black rice would be the preferable option due to the lower amount of calories. White rice has lower calories compared to brown rice, but because of the milling process, all the nutrition and minerals are washed off, which makes it unhealthy comparatively to brown and black rice. It consists of 204 Calories.
- Carbohydrates: Both black and whole grain rice are rich in carbohydrates. Each cup of cooked brown rice contains 145 grams of carbohydrates, while a cup of black rice provides 96 grams. Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy so these foods may be suitable for eating before exercising. The White Rice such as Basmati Rice, once cooked contains 52 grams of carbohydrate, which makes our body crave to eat this rice more than the black and brown rice. You can also eat brown or black rice after exercise, since a research of the
December 2010 edition of the “International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Metabolism During Exercise” indicates that carbohydrates are necessary for optimal post-workout recovery.
- Fiber: We can see that black and brown rice are considerably rich in Carbohydrate content, but both are relatively low in fiber. A cup of black rice would provide about 6 grams of fiber, and brown rice contains 3.5 grams of fiber. Whereas, white rice only contains 0.5 grams of fiber per cup. Fiber is a nutrient vital to overall health. Fiber promotes the stability of blood sugar levels, aids in the feeling of fullness and can help keep your digestive tract healthy. As Fiber content helps
us to feel full, the less content provided in the white rice makes us feel hungry too often.
- Protein: Black rice and whole grain are moderately rich in protein if you consume large quantities that are sufficient. Each cup of black rice contains 6 grams of protein, which has 2 grams less protein than a serving of a half cup of cottage cheese that has 90 calories. Brown rice is the first runner up, with 5 grams of protein per cup and white rice has 3.5 grams of protein. As protein is complex, our body takes more time to digest it and makes our metabolism better so
we could feel fuller for a long period of time.
- Fat: Black rice and wholemeal differ in fat content. One cup of cooked brown rice contains 5 grams of fat, while one cup of raw black rice contains 8 grams. Brown rice contains 1 gram of saturated fat, while black rice contains none. White Rice contains a considerably lower amount of fat, which is 0.8 grams per cup.
- Sodium: Brown rice and black rice are very different in sodium content. One cup of uncooked brown rice contains only 8 milligrams of sodium, while one cup of uncooked black rice contains 1,177 milligrams. The recommended daily intake of sodium is 2,300 milligrams and consistently if you exceed that amount you can increase the risk of high blood pressure. Whereas white rice has a moderate amount of sodium, about 800 milligrams per cup.
The real reason many people eat black rice (despite the slightly higher price) is the many health benefits that make it one of the most popular super foods on the market today.
- Inflammation: One of the reputed benefits of black rice is in fighting inflammation, which can help because of the high levels of anthocyanins that have been proven to help fight swelling and associated pain. In fact, black rice has more of these anthocyanins than any other food.
- Asthma: Black rice can be an effective ingredient to cure or reduce asthma as it has the anti inflammatory factor which helps to prevent mucus secretion and airway inflammation, which facilitate breathing and reduce the likelihood of an attack.
- Anticancer: Anthocyanins, known for preventing swelling, are also great for fighting cancer that causes free radicals. Yes, they are a form of antioxidant, but they also have “chemotherapeutic properties” after some research and have been shown to help inhibit and in some cases even destroy the growth of colon cancer cells.
- Heart Health: Anthocyanins, as if they are not doing much, are also able to reduce
cholesterol, thereby improving heart health and reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Compact Diet: Black rice is rich in iron, which means that it can help the blood to carry oxygen and nutrients in the body, and it is ideal for people who may be anemic. Meanwhile, it has also been found to contain large amounts of zinc, copper, carotene and other beneficial vitamins.
So the conclusion is, black and brown rice are highly nutritious, and healthy superfood we can get our hands on, whereas the white rice is actually not in the race of being a superfood. We can consider white rice as a staple food for the average people who doesn’t want to be at the prime of their fit and healthy life.Brown rice is more on the path of healthy way, and is better than the white rice in terms of nutrients value. Fiber intake gets better if you eat brown rice instead of white rice, which keeps you full for a longer period of time. Additional nutritional values are not provided by the
brown rice, but it is a midway if we look at black rice and white rice. Black rice beats the brown rice with a considerable amount of goodness in every nutritious demand we need to fulfill in order to sustain a healthy life. Not only it has the dietary fiber and
anti inflammatory properties, but it is also rich in antioxidants which helps us to fight diseases such as Cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and even weight gain.
I guess Black Rice is our Champion here!