Types of Rice for Your Diet

· 7th October 2018
Beyond its popularity, rice has a wide variety of presentations and nutritional values. There are different types of rice that any person can use in their diet, depending on their needs.

Rice is one of the most versatile and used ingredients in kitchens all around the world. Due to its adaptability you can use it to make breakfast, lunch, tapas, snacks, main dishes and desserts.

Versatile and practical

Although it’s important that you combine different kinds of food in your diet, rice is something you can eat without many restrictions. The key is cooking it the right way, pairing it with vegetables and meats.

Besides its use in dishes such as, paella, it’s a really versatile grain. Outside of the kitchen rice is also used in beauty and skin care products.

Only positive properties

The number of benefits that you get from eating rice are huge. This cereal is rich in fiber, magnesium, vitamin B and tryptophan, all of these are very beneficial to your health.

It’s also a great energy source for your body, thanks to its high levels of carbohydrates. In addition it contains many proteins, it’s low-fat and helps to maintain optimum levels of cholesterol.

As an extra fact, in its natural state, rice doesn’t contain gluten. People who are intolerant to this substance must be very careful when they consume it; sometimes, refined rice can become ‘contaminated’ with other substances, that may include gluten.

Types of rice

There are two factors that define what type of rice it is. First, its geographical origin and second, the refining process it went through.

Round rice (short-grain rice)

This type of rice is one of the most popular around the world. It’s main characteristic is that it absorbs the taste of the broths in which you cook it. This is many experts’ favorite way to cook rice when they make paellas or stews.

Currently, the best variety of round rice is cultivated in the Albufera Natural Park in Valencia. Its cooking time is around 17 minutes, until it has a soft and loose consistency.

Some of the recipes that are made with this grain are: rice with seafood, mixed paella, rice with chicken and vegetables, and even some desserts, such as rice pudding.

Black rice

Also known as ‘venere’, ‘nerone’ or ‘imperial’ rice. It’s a Chinese rice, popular all around the world as ‘the forbidden rice’. That’s because in ancient times, only the Chinese noble classes could afford to eat it. It was forbidden for the rest of the population.

It’s rich in antioxidants, natural fibers and iron. It’s also used as a treatment for anemia, because it prevents heart conditions and controls your cholesterol levels. Additionally, it helps to reduce anxiety and makes you feel full for longer. Some people even say it’s an aphrodisiac.

Brown rice

It’s one of the most liked types of rice within popular opinion; especially when talking about a balanced diet, health benefits and a source of vitamins and proteins.

A bowl of brown rice.

The list of benefits that you can enjoy from this rice when you eat it, comes mostly from the amount of natural fibers that help your body to assimilate fats correctly. It also prevents the increase of cholesterol and triglycerides.

Although there’s a certain stigma about its cooking time, with some patience you can make plenty of delicious and nutritional recipes using this whole-grain ingredient.

Parboiled rice

This type of rice gets its characteristic yellow color after going through a steam treatment. It stands out because of its finish and because you can’t overcook it.

Nutrition-wise, it has around 80 percent more vitamin B2 than brown rice. In addition, you just have to cook it for 20 minutes. Less than half of time you need to cook brown rice.

Healthy man eating rice.

Bomba rice

It’s a Japanese rice that looks almost spherical, very similar to round rice. It’s called that because it enlarges during the cooking process. It also stands out because you can’t overcook it and it’ll give your dishes a fluffy and fancy appearance. It’s also a fundamental ingredient in the Mediterranean diet.