Aug 13, 2012

Health Benefits of Red Rice


a bag of red rice

I mentioned awhile back that I add red rice into my white rice when I cook.  The ratio I use is 1 part red rice: 10 parts white rice.  Our rice now assumes a creamier texture, a more earthy aroma, a pleasant nutty crunch and of course, a most interesting color.
While white rice sells for about 40 pesos a kilo, red rice is being sold at about 70 pesos a kilo.  Cooking pure red rice is way beyond our family budget.  Besides, pure red rice when cooked seems too rich for me, almost like it competes with the main dish.  It also takes twice longer to cook red rice than white rice.  I’m quite content with my happy mix of red and white rice.  My kids love it, too.
cooked red and white rice mixture

Apart from improving the gustatory experience of eating rice, red rice also offers numerous health benefits.  The common knowledge is that, like other colored rice types, red rice is high in vitamins and minerals.  Aside from nutritional superiority, red rice packs other health-promoting and even therapeutic substances.
  • Red rice, just like most colored rice varieties, is high in fiber which means that it satiates more, helps regulate weight, cleanses the colon of toxins, soaks up cholesterol and feeds the good bacteria in the intestines.
  • Red rice contains angiotension II which lowers blood pressure and helps declog fat-coated arteries.
  • Red rice contains proanthocyanidins, plant pigments which impart to foods a reddish, purplish color.  These pigments also double up as antioxidants which have been found to reduce cholesterol and sugar levels in types 1 and 2 diabetic patients.  The study has been published in the Sep 2011 issue of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
  • Red rice, according to some pharmaceutical companies in the US, has monacolins, naturally-occurring statins which lower total cholesterol, bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Compared to other colored rice varieties, red rice has more of the blood-forming mineral iron and the immune-boosting zinc.
  • Red rice counters the allergy-inducing effect of histamine, making it an excellent part of a hypoallergenic diet for asthma and allergy sufferers.

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