Rice is one of the most common foods on our planet. It is the basis of daily food for as much as approx. 3.5 billion inhabitants of the Earth. Not everyone knows, however, that this extremely popular cereal has tens of thousands of varieties. Below is a short list of the most popular ones, which will allow you to make an informed choice during your next trip to the store.
White rice - the most popular
In Poland, white rice reigns on shop shelves and in homes. However, this is definitely not the healthiest choice. White rice is a grain devoid of husks and embryos, i.e. the most valuable parts of it. In what remains, i.e. white, we will find only small amounts of the best ingredients of rice, i.e. B vitamins, fibre and minerals such as potassium, zinc, magnesium, manga, iron, calcium, iodine and phosphorus. Purified white rice grains consist mainly of starch and are virtually worthless compared to other white rice grains.
A diet composed exclusively of white rice leads to beri-beri disease, which is caused by a deficiency of thiamine (i.e. vitamin B1). This variety of rice also has a high glycemic index, so it does not favour people at risk or already struggling with diabetes. Therefore, this product is not recommended also for slimming, for this purpose it is definitely worth putting on wholegrain rice.
White rice - how to cook
However, white rice has some advantages. Firstly, it is cheap. This is due, among other things, to the fact that the cleaned grains are practically not perishable. This allows this variety to be stored for a long time. Its advantage is also short cooking time. As a rule, it only takes 10-15 minutes to enjoy boiled white rice. Its unquestionable advantages also include easy digestion, so it is indicated for diarrhoea, stomach problems or other diseases requiring easily digestible products in the diet. Therefore, it is also suitable for babies.
Brown rice, or wholegrain rice
Brown rice is also easily accessible on store shelves. Unlike white rice, this is a full grain, so this variety is much healthier and much more nutritious. Like white rice, it is found in many different types of rice, mainly with the length of the grains, where these long grains result in a looser texture after cooking and a short sticky texture. Due to the content of valuable fatty acids that can become rancid brown rice has a shorter shelf life than white rice. It is also more expensive. Brown rice should also be cooked much longer, usually for 30 to 45 minutes.
Brown rice has a much better nutritional value than its purified cousin. It contains 3.5 times more fibre than white rice. Thanks to this, it is a product conducive to slimming. In addition, it reduces insulin resistance and the risk of type II diabetes, so it can also be consumed by diabetics. In brown rice we will find all the power of minerals (such as calcium, potassium, magnesium) and vitamins (mainly group B and vitamin E, called the vitamin of youth), making it an excellent food for people who are struggling with deficiencies of these substances.
Mysterious red rice is another variety that can be found more and more often in Polish supermarkets. The unique colour of its grains is due to the presence of anthocyanins in their casings, natural red-violet dyes (which can also be found in many fruits and vegetables - such as raspberries, plums, berries, grapes, aubergines or red cabbage), belonging to the group of flavonoids. These compounds have an exceptionally beneficial health effect. They have an antioxidant effect, preventing cancer, cardiovascular diseases and aging processes. Anthocyanins are also suspected of having beneficial effects on other areas of health and their properties are still being studied.
Red rice - how to cook
Red rice is one of the varieties that have a fairly long cooking time (approx. 35-40 minutes). This type of rice has a delicate crunchiness and a very pleasant, slightly nutty and sweet taste.
Black rice is a real superfood! It is the species which has the highest amount of valuable minerals and vitamins per kilocalories consumed. It also shows the strongest anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It has a whole range of phytosterols and a significant amount of vitamin E, so it is unrivalled in taking care of the beautiful, young and healthy look of our skin. This is a natural remedy against ageing! In addition, numerous antioxidants help to prevent the formation and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Black rice - how to cook
Cook black rice just like red rice - 35-40 minutes. Also this species is rather crunchy and slightly nutty in taste. It is also slightly more dry than sweet red rice.
Wild rice - the most expensive and valuable
What we see in the shops under the name "wild rice" is not really quite rice. The grains of this cereal belong to the same family as rice, but they are not. Its grains are also more elongated.
The taste of this cereal is also slightly different from traditional rice, and for many people it resembles artichokes. This species is also the most expensive. What distinguishes it above all is the highest protein content (about 15%) at the lowest carbohydrate content. Therefore, it is willingly chosen by people who train in a gym or follow a high-protein diet. It also has many minerals and vitamins of the B group, in terms of nutrient density it ranks between brown rice and red and black rice. It is often found on shop shelves in the form of mixtures with other varieties of rice (e.g. white rice with wild rice).
Wild rice - how to cook
Wild rice is a variety that needs to be cooked the longest - from 45 minutes to an hour. Due to its high price, hardly anyone can afford to have its permanent presence in the diet, however, it is advisable to include it in your menu at least from time to time. It is a great variety of meals and a source of many beneficial nutritional values.