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5 Different Types of Rice and their Benefits

For most people, rice is simply a side dish to complement meat or fish. Many people are amazed to discover that there are over forty thousand varieties of rice available across the world.

Here are five most popular types of rice across the world and why they are good for us:

Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is long grained and aromatic rice from India and Pakistan, which is completely gluten free. Basmati rice only swells lengthwise when it is cooked, forming long, slender grains which are completely dry, light and evenly separated. This means that they do not have a tendency to get sticky. In Urdu “basmati” means “queen of scents” or “pearl of scents”.

Basmati rice is said to be good for people who have diabetes, who usually cannot have an excess of carbohydrates. All the special dishes in the subcontinent are made using Basmati rice, such as the world-famous rice dish “Biryani”.

Black Rice

Black rice is uncooked grains which turns deep purple when it is cooked. It tastes nutty and is rich in iron and fibre content. Black rice is usually steamed plain or used to make pilaf. It is also stir-fried and used with salads. Black rice is full of antioxidants and fibre, which makes it very nutritious to consume. Black rice is a popular type of rice in the Far East.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is milled for the purpose of removing the hull from the kernel, retaining the rice bran layer and the germ. Brown rice has high fibre content and has a lower Glycemic index, which makes it more nutritious than other types of rice. Brown rice does not lose its nutrients while cooking, which include minerals, vitamins and fibres. These are chocked-full of nutrients within themselves and include the B-complex. However, out of all types of rice, they take the longest to cook.

White Rice

Among the most common types of rice worldwide, white rice is glutinous and is used to make cakes and rice dishes in several cultures. White rice is made by removing the bran and the germ, which makes the rice more tender and delicate. However, they have very little nutritional value and have a tendency to get sticky. White rice is also a pure carbohydrate which means that excessive consumption of white rice can make you gain weight.

Glutinous Rice

This type of rice is more commonly known as sticky rice. It is short-grained and becomes glue-like when cooked. Glutinous rice is used to make savoury dishes and desserts like rice pudding and small rice balls. Sticky rice is low in fat, which means that it can be used to make low-fat desserts.