Rice is the seed of a type of grass called Oryza Sativa which grows in Asia, and Oryza Glaberrima which grows in Africa.
It is the most cultivated and consumed cereal grain on the planet, especially in Asia. According to The Food and Agricultural Organization rice accounts for 19 percent of the available calories in the world.
The outer covering of rice is called the husk, it is hard and not edible. If only the husk is removed it is now called
whole grain rice.
The next layer bran is retained in whole grain rice and it is usually brown in color, hence the name brown rice.
Red rice is another type of whole grain rice which is red in color due to the high amount of a red colored compound called anthocyanin.
One of the major nutrients in bran is fat, but the fat in rice bran is mostly unsaturated. The unsaturated type is the one that lowers cholesterol levels in the body.
Bran also contains carbohydrates, protein, and is rich in vitamins B1, B3, B5, and B6. It also contains minerals like iron, zinc, manganese, and phosphorus.
Thanks to its high fiber content rice bran can further reduce cholesterol levels and calorie intake. Like the bran, the germ of the rice grain also contains fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fibers.
Since the bran and the germ is rich in fats it can become rancid quickly, therefore, whole grain rice is not very durable for long-term storage. So to keep rice longer the manufacturers remove the bran and the germ by a process called polishing. What's left is now your typical white rice, it is the remaining endosperm of the grain so it lasts longer and easy to chew. It is rich in starch but it lacks most of the other nutrients of the bran and the germ.
There is a way to make white rice more nutritious.
That is parboiled rice. Up to 50 percent of the rice paddy production is parboiled. This method of treating rice is practiced in many countries around the world including the USA.
It is made by partially boiling rice while it is still in the husk. This way the nutrients in the bran are diffused into the endosperm of the white rice. Parboiled rice is 80% nutritionally similar to brown rice. Also, it makes the rice bigger, therefore, a small amount is enough to make you feel full. This makes parboiled rice an excellent meal for staying healthy and losing weight.
How To Cook Parboiled Rice
Of course, there are many ways that parboiled rice can be prepared. The following recipe will serve as a general guide and cooking times may need to be adjusted to individual preference. Make sure that the package that you purchase is clearly marked “parboiled” because trying to cook regular white rice like parboiled rice will lead to overcooking.
On a stovetop:
1. In a saucepan combine water, rice, and butter.
2. Allow it come to a boil. Reduce to low-medium heat and with the cover on simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Move pan to a cool burner and let stand covered for five minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.
4. Fluff with a fork and serve.
For optimum results use more water and increased cooking time for softer rice, and less water and decreased cooking time for firmer rice.
To your health and prosperity!
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Sources: Simple Daily Recipes, Wikipedia, Livestrong, Wonnapob, Shopee Malaysia, and The Alliance For Natural Health