Basmati Rice: Nutritional Content and Health Benefits

Health benefits of basmati rice

Basmati rice is easily recognisable by sight, because of its long grains, and also by smell, due to its nice aroma. It also has its taste, compared to regular rice, and does not stick together. It is a common dish in Asian cuisine but Basmati rice has made its way to other parts of the world where it is enjoyed as a special delicacy. It comes in two varieties; brown and a more processed white. Many Nigerians have started buying and cooking basmati rice, because of it’s delicious aroma and taste.

But besides its delectable aroma and taste, basmati rice is also eaten because of its nutritional benefits. Basmati rice contains a lot of nutrients that make it a healthy addition to your regular diet. It has a lower calorie content, compared to regular rice, and is also rich in nutrients like magnesium, zinc, niacin, phosphorous, copper, fibre, and more.

Here, we would be looking at the nutritional content and health benefits of basmati rice.

Nutritional Content of Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is high in carbohydrates and calories. 1 cup of cooked basmati rice contains 210 calories. It also contains proteins, fiber, sodium and magnesium. Other micronutrients present in basmati rice include folate, niacine, copper, thiamine, vitamin B6 and selenium. [1]

Health benefits of basmati rice

Health Benefits of Basmati Rice

Basmati rice has so many amazing health benefits, not just because it contains many powerful nutrients, but because it lacks some harmful substances too.

1. It Aids Digestion

Basmati rice contains a healthy amount of soluble fibre that would aid the digestion process, preventing constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). With soluble fibre in your daily diet, it would be easier to digest food without having any upset. [2]

2. It Is Good For Diabetes

While people with diabetes are advised to stay away from rice, basmati rice has a lower glycemic index (between 50 and 58). It is also lower in arsenic, making it healthy and safe to consume for people with diabetes so long they eat it in smaller portions. [3]

3. It is Low In Arsenic

Arsenic is a kind of heavy metal that is usually present in rice that poses serious health risks. It could lead to things like diabetes. cancer, and even heart problems. Basmati rice is lower in arsenic compared to other types of rice. This makes it healthier to eat, especially for people with heart problems and diabetes. [4]

4. It Leads To Better Heart Health

Besides being low in arsenic, brown basmati rice is a typical example of a whole grain, which is safe for the heart. It would reduce cholesterol levels, due to its unsaturated fat content and lack of saturated fats, and also help lower the risks of developing high blood pressure. All these would help to keep your heart safe and healthy. [5]

5. It Is Good For Weight Loss

Those who are looking for a way to reduce their weight can substitute basmati rice for regular rice to achieve the best results. This is because of its high fibre content which makes you fuller for longer and also increases digestion time. Besides its fibre content, it also contains amylose, a kind of carbohydrate that is much difficult to break down. So, you can go hours on a small portion of basmati rice. Another whole grain that can be used to aid weight loss is the Nigerian brown rice (ofada rice).

6. It Controls Blood Pressure

Basmati rice contains magnesium and potassium, which helps control blood pressure and reduces the risks of hypertension and other problems associated with high or irregular blood pressure.

The brown type of basmati rice is much more healthy, because it is whole grain and is unprocessed. The white one, which has been processed, would have had some of its nutrients removed. So the brown type of basmati rice is the one you should eat more of, if you want to get all the health benefits of basmati rice.



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