If you are looking to make a healthy addition to your diet, red rice would be the best choice. Red rice gets its name due to the red hue it has, thanks to the anthocyanin content in it. Red rice comes packed with nutritional benefits, has a nutty flavor and goes well with most meats and vegetables.
Red Rice Health Benefits
Rice forms the staple food for many civilizations across the globe.Just like brown rice, red rice too offers a good deal of fiber, coupled with iron and is classified as a whole grain because it retains the germ. It is eaten either unhulled or partially hulled. For people who are looking to include some healthy food item on their menu, red rice can be an excellent choice. Often recommended by fitness gurus and patients of heart and high-blood sugar levels, consumption of red rice can have the following health benefits –
1. Rich in fiber
Being a whole grain, red rice is rich in fiber and can be helpful for people who have frequent constipation and face trouble in passing the bowels. Unlike white rice that is loaded with carbohydrates, red rice offers the much-useful fiber and also provides the body energy to carry regular functioning.
2. Keeps cholesterol levels low
Red yeast rice with exercise and diet moderation can help in reducing high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Red rice contains monacolin K, which is close in composition to the prescription drugs prescribed for lowering cholesterol. However, red yeast rice is not a supplement and should not replace the medicines.
3. Helps in preventing heart diseases
Like a plague, heart diseases have taken mankind like a storm. In a study, it has been found that heart patients who received red yeast rice reported lower levels of LDL cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein. The lower the LDL levels, the lesser the chances of having a heart attack.
4. Red Rice Benefits for Diabetes
Diabetes is a major health issue that many of us are facing. Diabetes or high blood sugar level is also linked to glaucoma or the loss of eyesight. However, these side-effects of diabetes can be largely avoided by regularly eating red rice to its low glycemic index of 55.
5. Helps in Weight Loss
Being completely fat-free, red rice is a boon for people looking to lose weight and gain fitness. Plus, it provides one energy without loading on unnecessary carbohydrates. People who eat red rice regularly have been seen to have a lower risk of obesity too.
6. Contains antioxidants
Red rice contains the antioxidants such as Zinc, iron, and manganese. Antioxidants help to fight free radicals released from the body and also help to maintain the body’s defense mechanism to function effectively. Free radicals can be damaging to body tissues and cells, and consumption of red yeast rice helps to fight them. Red rice also contains compounds that accelerate the body’s healing properties.
7. Boosts Digestion
Red yeast rice contains magnesium, the mineral responsible for relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract. In a study conducted in Japan, it was found that low magnesium levels were related to higher prevalence of constipation. (Source) Hence, red rice can help fight constipation issues and help boost digestion.
8. Helps prevent Anemia
Iron is found in plenty in red rice, with 21% iron in about 100gm of this grain. Iron is essential for the body to produce hemoglobin, which makes the red blood cells to transport oxygen and other important nutrients to various parts of the body. People with anemia can use red rice to effectively boost iron intake and fight the condition.
9. Good for Skin
Red rice is packed with antioxidants which helps in keeping skin healthy. Wrinkles and fine lines that are a part of the aging process could be delayed by its usage. It also minimizes the effect of UV rays on the skin which is one of the primary cause of wrinkles. It also helps in tightening of the skin and makes it firm and supple.
10. Good for Bone Health
Magnesium is very important mineral that keeps bone healthy and is considered as a inexpensive method to control osteoporosis and low bone density. However, too much of Magnesium do harm the body. Red rice gives right amount of Mg to the body. In addition, regular use of red rice helps in prevention of joint problems later in life.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Red Rice?
Though red rice yeast boasts many nutritional benefits, yet it is best to exercise caution when it comes to consuming the same. Owing to the recent popularity of red rice as a health food, red rice yeast is offered as a herbal supplement across many stores. In the absence of any manufacturing regularities, the possibility of contamination cannot be ruled out. Red rice is not recommended for people who have liver disorders, are younger than 18 or women who are pregnant. Seek your doctor’s advice if you notice any of the following symptoms –
- Muscle pain or tenderness
- Unusual tiredness
- Gas, bloating or an upset stomach
- Mild headache or dizziness
- Not urinating at all or passing a dark color urine
These could be signs of an allergic reaction and warrants immediate medical help.
Can I Eat Red Rice If I Am Pregnant?
Red rice should not be consumed by women who are pregnant or plan to conceive as it can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. It is not yet known if red rice yeast affects breast milk composition; hence do speak to your doctor if you have red rice during the lactation period.
Which is better – Red rice or Brown rice?
Both red rice and brown rice have a close nutrient profile, and it can be confusing for someone who is trying to live a healthy life. Though closely related, red rice and brown rice do have some unique properties that differentiate them. Red rice is mainly cultivated in India, Europe, and Southeast Asia, whereas brown rice is grown in almost every country. So, geography can be one parameter for you to judge. If you are looking for weight management and antioxidant properties, go for red rice.
Red rice also enhances immunity and builds resistance. If you wish to have a nutrient-dense grain, then go for brown rice. Brown rice also has the properties of maintaining overall wellness. Both brown rice and red rice have a similar reputation as health foods, but if one is clear for what one is targeting, the choice can be easier. They also have similar nutrient composition largely, and it may be healthier to opt for both, though if one is very clear on what is desired, he may decide on one.
Why Red Rice Is Good For You?
Red rice finds acceptance with most people who are looking to add some natural grains to their diet. Red rice does not go through the process of polishing and milling, thereby retaining their goodness. Red rice is also not genetically modified, lending it a better taste with loads of nutritional value. The nutty flavor of red rice and the immense health benefits for diabetics and heart patients, make it an ideal choice for many people. It also has cancer-fighting properties and improves bone health. Red rice may also be helpful if you suffer from stomach problems regularly and help alleviate constipation.
However, it may not be readily available in many countries. It may be available as a herbal supplement, but then the possibility of toxicity cannot be ruled out. Always exercise caution in case you go for red rice yeast supplements. Just like everything else that concerns your health, if you opt for consuming red rice, it may as well help to consult a doctor before starting off. –
How To Cook Red Rice?
Cooking red rice is fairly easy. All you need is a cup of red rice, and 3 cups of water. Essentially, for every cup of red rice, you would need thrice the amount of water. Red rice and water, along with a little salt can be boiled and then simmered on medium heat till the rice is tender and t=most of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let the rice rest for about 5 minutes. Serve it with cooked vegetables, meat or curry of your choice.