Jasmine rice is an exotic type of fragrant rice with a specific scent of jasmine. You may be wondering how this new addition to your kitchen will influence your kitchen and your health? Is jasmine rice healthy? It is grown in Southeast Asia – primarily in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Being so specific, jasmine rice has its own specific influence on human health that we will address in this article.
General Information About Jasmine Rice
Jasmine rice is a long grained rice that is not synthetically fragrant but rather secrets natural aromatic compounds. With a slightly sweet flavor and a soft texture, this rice has specific ways of being prepared that are typical for the southeastern kitchen.
There are different types of this rice mainly depending on the region where they are grown. Cambodian jasmine rice, for example, is processed as white rice by being polished and milled. It is originally grown as brown rice and all the brown rice on the market has not gone through a process of refinement and polishing.
White jasmine rice has a flowery aroma and is sticky in texture when cooked. Brown rice, on the other hand, has a slight tan with its bran still on itself. This type of rice retains all of its nutritional value.
Items Contained in Jasmine Rice
Besides being an excellent source of energy, jasmine rice also has a specific nutritional value. A cup of jasmine rice has a total of 160 calories. Most of these calories are in the form of carbohydrates, but there are some protein and a little fat as well. The nutritional values of a cup of jasmine rice are:
- 4.2 grams of protein;
- 44.5 grams of carbohydrates;
- 0.63 grams of fiber;
- 2.3 mg niacin;
- 0.26 mg thiamine;
- 1.9 mg iron;
- 11.8 mg selenium;
- 0.44 grams of fat;
- Vitamin B1 and D.
Brown rice is more nutritious than the white rice even when the last is enriched. The brown type has double the amount of fiber, five times more vitamin E, and three times more magnesium.
Risk Factors of Jasmine Rice
So is jasmine rice healthy? There are different factors that must be considered.
Brown Is Better than White
Jasmine rice is available to westerners now as a long and smooth pearly white grain. For the most part, people are more familiar with white rice. Brown rice, however, retains its bran or the outer husk of the rice grain. This husk holds most of the important nutrients of the grain. Therefore, brown rice is more nutritious and has a higher fiber content than white jasmine rice.
Starch and Refinement
White jasmine rice, in particular, is starchy and has gone through a process of refinement. As all starchy foods, it raises insulin and blood sugar levels for a short period of time after eating. A diet that is too high on refined foods like white rice may increase the risk of diabetes. On the other hand, brown rice poses no such risk because of its preserved wholeness.
Contamination of the jasmine rice product can occur if it is grown in areas with higher contamination. Rice from those places should be avoided as it can contain trace amounts of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, or lead.
Low Vitamins and Minerals
Rice is not a food that contains many vitamins and minerals. Only small amounts are found in jasmine rice. A diet solely on rice is poor and not enough to sustain the nutritional needs of the human body.
What Are Its Benefits?
Rice is a staple food that has been extremely popular for at least 5000 years. More than half of the world’s population consumes rice as its main food source. It is a non-expensive and easily available nutritional source that can feed large populations. Rice can be made into many other products including flour, oil, and syrup.
Jasmine rice, especially the brown type, is good for consumption all year round and in large quantities as it is a good source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are our main source of energy for the body. The low content of fat makes it good for keeping cholesterol levels in check.
Vitamins and minerals are found in the bran of the brown rice. It contains trace amounts of manganese, selenium, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, and copper.
Brown rice has also been found to contain many elements that are beneficial to the heart and the cardiovascular system.
Bottom line is that jasmine rice, like all foods, has both its positives and negatives. So is jasmine rice healthy? If you consume it wisely and measure its pros and cons, you can enjoy this wonderful and delicious food on your table. Do your own research on the subject to know how is jasmine rice healthy, and share any comments and experiences you might have about this staple food with others.
Image source: depositphotos.com