Is Basmati Rice Healthy?—Unveiling the Facts

cover image representing the health quoitent of Basmati rice

Basmati rice is a common rice variety found in the Indian and South Asian culinary world. Several brands of basmati rice are available in the market nowadays, with mainly two varieties, brown and white. Basmati rice comes with long grains, and it is said to have many health benefits such as a low glycemic index, and it contains several minerals like zinc, iron, and calcium. 

A wide array of dishes is prepared with basmati rice due to its nutty flavor, but many people still doubt its quality and benefits. Is Basmati rice healthy? This needs to be answered. Read the article to understand more about basmati rice and its health benefits. 

Nutritional Profile of Basmati Rice

One cup of cooked basmati rice contains:

Calories208 Cal
Fat0.5 grams
Protein3 grams
Carbohydrates45 grams
Sugar0.6 grams
Fiber0.7 grams

These factors may change according to the variety you choose and with the preparation method. Hence, it is essential to follow a pattern while cooking basmati rice to benefit from the same. Some of the important nutrients present are iron, zinc, magnesium, folate, B vitamins, etc. 

These are some of the common nutrients present in almost all rice varieties. But in the brown basmati rice, you may find extra fiber, zinc, etc. White basmati rice is also good, so it digests easily.  

image representing a plate full of basmati rice

Protein Content in Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is not rich in protein, however, a decent amount of protein is included. A cup of cooked basmati rice provides 3 grams of protein, which can be beneficial if consumed with a well-balanced diet. The processing method and preparation influence certain nutritional values, hence, the protein content may vary with processing and preparation. 

How Many Calories?

Comparing the caloric value of basmati rice with other rice varieties. 

One cup of cooked basmati rice contains approximately 208 Calories. 

Long grains of rice contain almost 230 calories.

Quinoa is a popular rice incorporated into several diet meals. It has around 220 calories in one cup.

Therefore, basmati rice contains slightly less amount of calories when compared to other rice varieties.

How to Include It for Calorie Management?

With its moderate calories, it is easy for you to manage overall caloric intake if incorporated with other meals. It is also essential to control the number of times and quantity of consuming rice. 

The rich nutrient profile of basmati rice, with vitamins and other essential nutrients, helps you to consume a sufficient amount along with the rice. In addition, it is important to balance your meals with nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean protein, etc. 

image representing a bowl full of basmati rice

Health Benefits of Basmati Rice

Weight Management

Typically, rice is said to be a weight gain component. But, basmati rice with its dietary fiber content helps you to maintain weight. The dietary fiber helps to generate a feeling of fullness and controls the overall food intake.

Brain Health

Thiamine found in basmati rice helps in maintaining brain health and prevents several diseases that can risk the proper functioning of the brain.

Fiber Content

Dietary fiber is beneficial for type 2 diabetes patients by reducing the risk of further effects of diabetes. It is the component that makes basmati rice low in glycemic index, which in turn makes it healthy and a good choice of rice for diabetics.

Digestive Health

The primary duty of digestive fiber is to keep the digestive system healthy. It helps in a regular and smooth bowel movement. Hence, basmati rice also promotes easy digestion with the presence of digestive fibers. 

Mineral Content

Due to the presence of minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, etc., it is suggested to include basmati rice in your well-balanced diet. 

How Does It Help in Digestion?

Easy to digest is a quality of basmati rice. But what makes it so?

  • The considerable amount of fiber in basmati rice makes it suitable for a balanced diet. These fibers are dietary fibers, which help in easy digestion and other digestive functions.
  • It has a soft and slightly sticky texture, which makes it easy to chew. 
  • The long structure of the rice cooks very fast and makes the rice soft. 

Risks of Consuming Basmati Rice

  • The refining process may drain its nutritional content.
  • It may increase the blood sugar level if consumed in excess amounts.
  • Consuming it without a diet pattern may increase weight.
  • Though there is a considerable amount of fiber, the overall fiber content is low compared to other rice varieties. It can affect proper digestion and other diseases. 
image representing basmati rice

The Bottom Line

Basmati rice is a healthy and tasty rice variety. It will benefit you when consumed moderately and paired with other nutrient-rich foods. Among the two varieties, brown basmati rice contains more fiber and nutrients than white rice. Hence, it is suggested to choose brown basmati rice for a better result. If you have not tried it yet, give it a try and enjoy the flavor along with its health benefits. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I eat basmati rice if I have a gluten allergy?

Rice varieties do not contain gluten. It is mostly found in wheat, barley, and other grains. Hence, basmati rice is gluten-free, and it is suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivity. 

Is Basmati rice healthy?

Though the same nutritional profile is shown by all rice varieties, some variations make basmati rice healthier than others. It is low in carbohydrates and fats, and also contributes to a lower amount of glycemic index, making it suitable for diabetics. 

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