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Health Benefits, Healthy Nutrition, Nutrition, Red Rice


Red Rice - The Nutritional Powerhouse You've Been Missing


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Today's red-hot topic is - Red rice. Like Black rice and Brown rice, Red rice is also in the limelight now. Despite being around for many years, it is again being reintroduced into our diets. This is due to the fact that it is better than white rice in nutrients. It has been prominently used in Kerala than in other states in India.

Red rice can be prepared just like white rice in Indian cooking and pairs well with stews, daal, rasam, and meat curries. Rice dishes like biryani and pulao can be prepared with it. The international cuisine scene features a lot of Thai and Burmese cuisine and accompanies their curries. The rice flour is used in the batter for idli, dosa, and appam preparation.

For people with a sweet tooth, there is porridge, payasam/kheer, and pudding made with red rice. One of my childhood favorite dishes is boiled red rice tossed with sugar/jaggery, powdered elaichi, and shaved coconut. Simple, yet absolutely delicious and the chewy texture makes it all the more interesting.

Facts About Red Rice:

  • Red rice is said to have origins that date back as far as white rice does

  • Oryza long staminate/Oryza punctata is the botanical name for red rice

  • Varieties of red rice are consumed across the globe - Africa, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, the Philippines, southern France, Northeastern Brazil, and the United States

  • It is referred to as Rakthashali in Indian Ayurveda and Hindu scriptures

  • This rice cures ailments related to vaata, pitta, and kapha doshas

  • Red rice is called 'Matta rice', 'Kerala red rice', or 'Palakkadan Matta' rice in Kerala where it is consumed the most. It is also consumed in the Udupi district and the Dakshina Kannada region of Karnataka and known by the name 'Matta'

  • Other than these two states, red rice is grown and consumed in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh

  • Anthocyanin - the same chemical compound that gives the color to the black rice is present in the red rice

  • Red rice has an earthy, nutty taste and chewy texture

  • It is partially or fully hulled

  • Some types of this rice contain citrinin, which is harmful to kidneys - so take precautions

  • It is advisable to soak red rice for at least two hours and then cook it like normal rice with the rice to water ratio of 1:2.5 for around 40 minutes

Health Benefits of Red Rice:

Red rice has ten times more antioxidants than brown rice, making it a better choice than brown and white rice. It is loaded with nutrients like dietary fiber, iron, phosphorous, and vitamins.

Free Radical Fighter:

Red rice being a rich source of antioxidants, fights against free radicals in the human body. Free radicals cause oxidative stress that can lead to many ailments such as heart issues, Alzheimer's, and some types of cancer. Consuming red rice filled with anti-oxidants can thus help prevent such diseases.

Healthy for Your Skin:

The same anti-oxidants help keep your skin healthy and glowing. They help in firming your skin by reducing wrinkles and fine lines due to dehydration and aging. Red rice also plays a role to a certain extent in fighting against the harmful UV rays of the sun. Also, it increases the production of red blood cells in the bloodstream.

Foe of Anemia:

Red rice's iron can help prevent anemia or reduce symptoms. Just a small cup of cooked red rice for a meal can provide 2% of your daily iron supply.

Heart Healer:

A plate of cooked red rice mixed with green peas and garnished with bits of white cheese, displayed on a wooden table, showcasing a delicious and nutritious meal

Fighting bad cholesterol, red rice keeps the heart healthy. It prevents plaque from accumulating in the blood vessels, preventing heart-related fatalities.

It's Excellent for Your Lungs:

Consuming red rice regularly helps boost your lung strength and health. The magnesium present in red rice increases oxygen consumption and circulation.

Low Glycemic Index:

Red rice has a low glycemic index and is indeed, safe for diabetics. This variety of rice keeps you fuller for a longer time, reducing your hunger cravings. This, in turn, assists with weight loss.

Other Uses:

  • Helps protect against bone-related problems such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and other bone disorders with the high calcium and magnesium content.

  • Supports healthy bowel movements and digestion. In turn, it prevents diarrhea and constipation.

  • Boosts immunity with the selenium present in it.

  • Being rich in Vitamin B6, red rice is vital for DNA synthesis and red blood cell production.

  • May help with alopecia as it has high iron content.

Hope you have learned more about Red rice now.

We hope you start adding it to your diet and reap the various benefits.

Stay tuned for more superfoods articles.

Happy parenting.

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