Rice is a staple food in most countries, especially in Asia. Most of Jasmine rice is grown in Thailand. It is also known as Thai fragrant rice maybe because its origin can be traced back to Thailand. The rice is long grained with a nutty taste and a flowery aroma. The flowery aroma is produced by 2-acetyl-1-pyrolline as it evaporates during cooking. Jasmine rice works well with various recipes and is mostly eaten as an accompaniment for seafood. However, rice dishes could vary depending on where you come from. Jasmine rice has many nutritional values as compared to other types of rice. It is more nutritious if it is steamed instead of boiling.
Types of Jasmine Rice
Jasmine rice can either be white or brown in colour. The white one does not have the outer husk and it has a smooth texture when cooked. The grains often tend to stick together because it is starchier than other types of rice. However, if the rice is stored for a long time without cooking, the flowery aroma is lost. Therefore, most people prefer buying the one that has been harvested within the season. In fact, it is best to consume it within six months after harvest.
The brown jasmine rice, on the other hand, has a brown tan because when processing it, the outer husk is retained. The brown rice tastes like oats and takes longer to cook. It is healthier because it contains gamma oryzanol that helps reduce the amount of cholesterol in blood vessels. It also has antioxidants that improve the nervous system. Brown jasmine rice also contains vitamins A, B and Beta Carotene which are necessary for the human body. The glycemic index of the brown jasmine rice is low hence preferred for people with high blood sugar levels. Glycemic index helps in slow absorption of nutrients into the body, therefore, ensuring that blood sugar levels are not spiked by fast absorption. It has more fibre and iron when compared with the white one.
Carbohydrates and Caloric Count
A quarter cup of dried jasmine rice gives three-quarter cups of cooked rice that contains 35 grams of carbohydrates translating into 160 calories. Out of the 35 grams of carbohydrates, 2 are from the fibre in the rice. The sugars in the carbohydrates are broken down by the body to produce energy. Carbohydrates are a source of energy to your body especially for athletes who require high energy levels when exercising. If you need energy, then jasmine rice is a good bet. About 45 to 60 per cent of the daily requirement of calories in your body should come from carbohydrates.
The human body cannot digest fibre. Fibres are mainly found in plants and offer some health benefits to your body. Fibre helps to control and lower blood sugar levels and blood cholesterol levels. Fibre also helps to prevent constipation and aids in digestion. Brown Jasmine rice in a quarter cup serving offers your body with about 3.5 grams of fibre while white jasmine rice gives 0.6 grams of fibre. The brown rice has more fibre hence preferred for people with digestion problems.
Iron in Jasmine Rice
Iron is required by your body to supply tissues with oxygen through the production of the red blood cells. Iron also strengthens the immune system and can, therefore, be helpful in the prevention of ailments such as cold, flu and many more. Men require an intake of 14 per cent of iron while women require about 6 per cent daily. A quarter cup serving of brown jasmine rice gives about 1.1 milligrams of iron-supplying the required amount in a day. If you don’t take sufficient iron in your body, you risk getting anaemia which affects many people each year worldwide.
Proteins and Fats in Jasmine Rice
Proteins are necessary for bodybuilding through the breakdown of amino acids. The food does not offer all the essential amino acids, and it is, therefore, advisable to combine with other food types so that they can complement each other. A quarter cup serving of uncooked jasmine rice offers about 3 grams of proteins. Jasmine rice is not as high in proteins compared to other types of rice. It offers a low protein diet for people with kidney and liver problems. The white variety does not contain fats but the brown type contains a small amount of fat. This fat is unsaturated, meaning it is healthy for people on a weight loss program.
Jasmine rice also contains polyphenols and phytic acid which are healthy for people with type 2 diabetes. However, caution should be taken because 5-6 servings of white jasmine rice can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, while 2-3 servings of brown jasmine rice can reduce the risk of type2 -diabetes. Jasmine rice also contains sodium in low quantities of about 0 t0 10 milligrams per serving. High intake of sodium is risky for your health and can cause high blood pressure and heart disorders. Brown jasmine rice is also rich in manganese that helps produce energy from carbohydrates and proteins. The brown jasmine rice also contains selenium that works together with fibre to lower the risk of colon cancer.
Niacin is also present in jasmine rice and is essential for converting carbohydrates into glucose for easier absorption by the body. Carbohydrates can be complex for absorption in the body and niacin aids in the process.
Jasmine rice can be white or brown, depending on whether the husk is removed or not. The brown rice takes longer to cook but contains more unsaturated fats when compared with the white type. It is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, iron, fibre, manganese, selenium and niacin. It is a healthy diet for people with type 2– diabetes due to its low glycemic index and people with liver and heart problems since it contains low amounts of sodium. Several servings of jasmine rice per week are therefore necessary for a healthier body.