New Year’s resolutions always include watching what we eat. I purchased one of Healthy Choice’s Healthy Power Bowls for lunch and it contained red rice. Who knew rice could be red? None of my colleagues did either. So I did a little research and this post is about its benefits.
We all know that rice is a staple ingredient in many kitchens around the world. It is a delicious and versatile grain that comes in many different types. In fact, some types of rice are healthier than the other types. Red rice is one such variety. Red rice is either partially hulled or unhulled.
The variety derives its eye-grabbing color due to the presence of a component known as anthocyanin and has a higher nutrient value compared to most of the other varieties available. The red husk of the grain contains the goodness of nature and offers a wide variety of health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Red Rice
Even though there are more than 40,000 varieties of rice in the world, we know of only a very few variants – and red rice is one of the most popular for its health benefits.
This variety is loaded with magnesium and antioxidants to help prevent and cure several diseases.
Since red rice retains its bran and red husk, it has a higher fiber content compared to traditional white rice.
The variety can meet about 10% of your daily fiber requirement. It will keep you satiated longer and improve the digestive health over time. Hence, red rice is excellent for weight management and will lower one’s risk of obesity.
The nutty tasting red rice is a great source of iron, calcium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B6, selenium, potassium, and protein – all of which are essential for the optimal functioning of your mind-body system.
Is Red Rice Healthy?
The main reason why the rice gets its red color is the presence of a flavonoid known as anthocyanin and it:
- Acts as an antioxidant to protect you from the actions of free radicals
- Is said to help reduce the spread of cancer cells and reduce the risk of tumor formation
- Has 10% antioxidants compared to brown rice due to the presence of anthocyanin
- Is considered a good food choice for diabetic patients
- Has a lower glycemic index compared to white rice – 55 vs 70, respectively
This is why you need to add more red rice to your diet and stay healthier over time.
What Distinguishes Red Rice From Traditional Rice?
The red color is the main factor that distinguishes red rice from traditional white rice. On the other hand, the higher fiber and nutrient content is also a major difference between the two varieties of rice. You should opt for the healthier version of rice – which is red rice.
Savannah or Charleston Red Rice?
You may have heard of Savannah or Charleston Red Rice. This is different from the rice we are presenting here. This refers to a dish made from white rice mixed with a rich tomato sauce. It is very popular in South Carolina and Georgia.
Of course, you could be adventurous and cook this dish with the healthier red rice!
How To Cook Red Rice?
You can use traditional methods to cook red rice which typically takes an hour. We recommend cooking in a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot which reduces the time to 30 minutes.
If you want more information about Instant Pots:
For example, red rice is simple to prepare in the Instant Pot. Since water doesn’t cook off in the Instant Pot, you need to add only what you need – a 1:1 ratio is recommended. You need 1 1/2 cups of red rice and 1 1/2 cups of water to cook the rice.
. Rinse the rice thoroughly and drain through a strainer
. Place the rice in the inner pot or the non-stick ceramic inner pot
. Pour the water
. Cover and set the pressure valve seal
. Set the timer to 20 minutes
. Once the pressure valve drops down – remove the lid and fluff the red rice using a fork.