Let's unravel what makes this traditional variety such a huge topic of debate in the health and fitness circle. White rice is the highly refined version of raw rice, which is hulled and milled. What makes this variety a not-so-healthy one despite it being widely consumed throughout the world is the fact that processing and milling takes away significant parts of the grain - bran and germ. Bran and germ are rich in dietary fibre as well as nutrients that are beneficial for human health.
According to a Delhi based weight management expert, Dr. Gargi Sharma, "If white rice undergoes further process of polishing then its aleurone layer gets removed leading to loss of nutrients. This layer is rich in B vitamins, other nutrients and essential fats."
White rice is primarily starch. Due to processing, it falls short on some essential nutrients like thiamine, also known as B1 as well other B Vitamins. Consuming un-enriched white rice can lead to a condition called beriberi, which occurs due to thiamine deficiency. White rice is also treated with additives that can - in certain cases - harm human body and trigger metabolic disorders like diabetes, obesity and so on.
The milling and polishing destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, all of the dietary fibre as well the essential fatty acids present in the raw variety.As alarming as these facts may seem, doing away with white rice completely may be a tough choice for most people. This is where healthier alternatives like coloured rice step in
The healthier alternatives: Brown, red and black
.Both brown and red rice have similar nutritional profiles including harvesting process. These are either un-hulled or partially hulled types of rice, which means you get to chew on the bran and germ that are known to have various beneficial properties. Brown rice is easily available across the globe whereas the red one is specifically typical to Himalayan Mountains, southern Tibet, Bhutan, as well as southern India.
Brown rice and red rice are quite similar when we talk about them on the nutritional front. Both are great sources of fibre, B vitamins, calcium, zinc and iron, manganese, selenium, magnesium and other nutrients. One thing that sets the red variety apart from its brown counterpart is it being enriched with antioxidants that can help fight damaging free radicals in our body