Rice Facts
Rice Facts

36 Healthy Rice Nutrition Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published March 16, 2020
  • All rice begins as brown rice, which is a "whole grain," containing a bran, germ, and endosperm. White rice is produced by removing the husk, bran, and germ of each grain.[7]
  • In addition to being removed from its husk, white rice is also polished to appear more palatable.[7]
  • Both brown and white rice can contain small amounts of arsenic, which is lethal in large doses.[7]
  • Rice is different from other staple foods, such as wheat, in that it can be cooked and consumed once it has been milled, instead of needing to be ground into flour.[4]
  • Rice is used in a variety of processed foods, such as breakfast cereals. It is also used in alcoholic beverages, such as sake (rice wine) and some beers, as well as in pet foods.[3]
  • White rice usually contains nutrients that have been artificially added, such as calcium and iron.[7]
  • Brown rice contains more protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, and fiber than white rice does because it includes a bran (seed coat) and germ (embryo).[7]
  • Rice History
    Rice is one of the oldest and most enduring human staples
  • It is generally believed that human beings have been growing rice for over 5000 years.[1]
  • White rice is consumed more often than brown, although brown rice is becoming more popular in the West.[1]
  • More than half of the world’s population regularly eats rice as a staple food.[1]
  • Brown rice can actually come in a variety of shades, including red, purple, and black.[1]
  • Rice is grown from seeds in separate beds; once the seedlings appear, the plants are moved to flooded rice paddies.[4]
  • Rice cultivation requires more labor to produce than either corn or wheat.[4]
  • Whole grains, such as brown rice, can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.[1]
  • There is virtually no fat in rice and only a small bit of protein—the rest of rice is composed of carbs.[1]
  • In Vietnam, some forms of ancestor worship involve placing cans of uncooked rice before altars with images of the ancestors. It is believed that these ancestors rely on their descendants to feed them, and will otherwise roam the Earth as hungry ghosts.[2]
  • Throwing rice over newlyweds is a tradition dating back to the Roman Empire, symbolizing wishes for the fertility and prosperity of the couple.[5]
  • Some rice, such as Basmati, does not stick together after cooking. Sticky rices are more popular in Asia and are easier to eat with chopsticks.[1]
  • Rice Stomach
    One of the potential benefits of rice consumption is a healthy gut
  • Rice contains resistant starch, which is important for helping the gut grow healthy bacteria.[1]
  • Rice consumption may help to reduce the risk of colon cancer.[1]
  • In general, white rice is a poor source of vitamins and minerals.[1]
  • White rice is highly refined, sacrificing nutritional value for shelf life, taste, and ease of cooking.[1]
  • White rice can have an adverse effect on blood sugar levels and should be avoided by people with diabetes. Brown rice, on the other hand, can be beneficial for blood-sugar control.[1]
  • Most rice in the world is grown in East and Southeast Asia, with China and India producing the most.[4]
  • After Asia, Brazil and the United States are the largest growers of rice.[4]
  • There are two main species of domesticated rice: indica is also known as long-grain rice, and japonica is the shorter, stickier form.[4]
  • According to ancient Japanese mythology, rice had a soul and was used in many ritual ceremonies.[4]
  • Rice straw is used in the production of Japanese Bizen pottery, where it is wrapped around clay pots during firing and used to imprint designs on the clay.[4]
  • Studies indicate that regularly eating brown rice instead of white may help reduce the risk of diabetes.[1]
  • Brown Rice
    As it is not treated like white rice, brown rice retains more healthy vitamins and minerals
  • Brown rice is considered to be more healthy than white rice.[1]
  • Brown rice may contain high levels of heavy metals, which are not good for the body, due to being grown in areas with high levels of industrial activity.[1]
  • Rice originated in Asia, although scholars have not yet reached a consensus as to where exactly in Asia, with some arguing for equatorial India and others for the mountainous regions in sub-tropical India.[4]
  • Rice does not contain gluten. Even "glutinous rice," or sticky rice, is gluten-free.[3]
  • Rice is used to make rice bran, rice bran oil, and rice milk, a good alternative to milk for people who are lactose intolerant.[3]
  • In many rural areas of Asia, water buffalo are used for rice farming instead of machines.[2]
  • Popular types of rice include arborio, which is often used in risotto; basmati, which features prominently in Indian cuisine; and glutinous, or sticky, rice.[6]

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