Rice: The ultra-healthy grain

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

rice meal
Rice is a healthy addition to any meal.

Did you know that rice is the most popular grain in the world? Yep! In fact, this tiny food is responsible for feeding almost half of the people on the planet, according to the USA Rice Federation, and its reputation is well-earned. See, numerous studies have found that rice is an excellent meal for individuals who wish to lead healthy lifestyles!

Just why is rice so awesome? Well, for starters, it doesn’t contain any fat, cholesterol, or simple sugars! What it does have is lots of energy-packed carbohydrates, a whole bunch of vitamins, and solid nutrients. If you’re eating white rice, chances are it has been enriched with B vitamins, which the body generally uses to extract energy from food. If your plate is piled with brown rice, each little granule is covered in a vitamin-rich shell that’s usually removed from white rice. These outer layers also contain fiber, a type of carbohydrate used to clean the digestive system.

Researchers have also found that individuals who consume either white or brown rice are likely to eat more fiber, more veggies, less fat, and have high levels of certain vitamins and minerals. Additionally, rice-eaters tend to eat less sugar, and have better eating habits overall than those who eat relatively less rice! Now, don’t get me wrong, downing a few spoonfuls of this grain won’t magically turn you into a health pro. However, making an effort to add rice to your diet may open the door to other smart eating habits.

Featured image courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr. Image of rice, meat, and veggies courtesy of Sean Dreilinger on Flickr.