A special variety of rice that is red in color because it contains anthocyanins. It is generally un-hulled or partially hulled rice that has a red husk, rather than the much more common brown. Red rice possesses a nutty flavor and sweeter taste with a high nutritional value as the germ of the rice is left intact. It is a type of unpolished rice that has higher nutritional value than white rice or polished rice. Cooking time is usually longer than white rice. It is rich in fiber content, Vitamin B1 & B2, iron and calcium. Owing to high nutritive content and health benefits of red rice, it is highly recommended for heart patients and diabetics. It is also popular among health freaks and fitness enthusiasts as its high fiber content combats weight gain. Its health benefits are as follows:
- Fiber: in the same way as whole grain foods, it is loaded with fibers that are stored in the gastrointestinal passage for a long time, keeping our stomach full and supplying us with energy. With increased fiber intake, hunger pangs are less and calorie intake is automatically restricted therefore recommended for people on diet or weight loss regime. Fibers also help prevent cancer, gallstones, and childhood asthma and controls obesity.
- Three sorts of Anti-oxidants: water soluble, insoluble and fat soluble. These oxidants are multifunctional and keep releasing energy for a longer period of time. The fact that anti-oxidants guard our heart, consumption of red rice becomes more crucial to minimize the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Minerals: with a part of bran still inside, red rice contains magnesium and calcium in large quantities. Magnesium helps reduce asthma, migraine attacks, lower blood pressure, and lower risk of heart attacks. It also helps regulate the nervous system and tones our muscles. Magnesium together with calcium helps build strong bones and prevent arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Lignan: it is a source of plant lignin protecting from death as it gets converted to enterodiole and enterolactone. This is one of the lesser known benefits of red rice which cannot be ignored at any cost.
- Lowers Cholesterol, diabetes, reduces risk of cancer and fights obesity: red rice is a source of carbohydrate that supplies us energy as well as the nutrients of bran oil that is Omega-3 fatty acids since red rice has some part of bran left on it. Bran oil is believed to reduce cholesterol or LDL-low density lipoprotein, cholesterol which is the root cause of many diseases. Fibers present in red rice are extremely healthy for heart. Red rice helps keep blood sugar levels at normal and highly beneficial for diabetic patients.