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Rice: The perfect partner for family meals

rice recipe
In association with SunRice

 

Rice is far from boring – not only is it an affordable addition to meals, but this tiny grain contains a variety of nutrients.

Rice is not only versatile and easy to cook, it’s a great source of energy enjoyed by many across the world. But how healthy is it really? And which rice should you choose?

So, what is rice?

Rice is the edible seed of a grass and comes in wide variety of colours, textures and sizes, each with its own distinct flavour and health benefits. The nutritional value depends on which rice you choose, and specific types are better suited to some dishes than others. All natural forms of rice are, however, gluten-free, making them suitable for people with Coeliac disease or gluten sensitivities.

White vs Brown

Rice is categorised by its shape (short, long or medium grain) and colour (white or brown).

To produce white rice the nutrient-rich bran layer is removed. As a result, it has a longer shelf life, is quick to cook but, nutritionally, contains relatively lower levels of nutrients compared with its wholegrain equivalent.

Brown rice, on the other hand, is considered a whole grain because it contains the fibre rich outer layer and nutrient-rich core, making it higher in insoluble dietary fibre, B vitamins, iron, magnesium and many phytonutrients.

Rice nutritional information

Per 100g cooked*   Brown  White 
Energy (kJ)  1452  1422 
Protein  7.6g  7g 
Carbohydrate  33.5g  34.7g 
Fibre  3.5g  

(12% contribution to RDI) 

0.8g  

(3% contribution to RDI) 

Vitamin B3 (niacin)  5.8mg  

(58% contribution to RDI) 

1.2mg  

(12% contribution to RDI) 

(Source: Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council) 

 

Is white rice good for you?

Many people consider white rice an ‘empty’ carb but it is an affordable source of energy. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of fuel, particularly if you’re active, and rice is a rich source of these. Carbohydrates can keep you energised and satisfied, and are important for replenishing energy in muscles post-workout. The wholegrain variety is especially beneficial because it supplies higher levels of insoluble fibre, which may promote digestive wellness by providing fuel for beneficial gut bacteria.

White rice is a great addition to meals for fussy kids who aren’t fans of brown or mixed varieties. Plain white rice can also be used as fuel when battling stomach upsets, as it won’t irritate digestion and will provide much-needed energy when other foods might not be palatable.

Healthy ways to enjoy rice in family meals 

Medium grain – white   

medium grain rice

White Medium Grain is a round, tender and succulent rice, allowing it to lock in moisture when it is cooked. This rice is often used in dishes that require a bit more creaminess, like paella or risotto. It is also ideal in your favourite Middle Eastern, Korean and Spanish dishes.  

Dinner inspiration: 

 

Medium grain – brown 

Brown Medium Grain is known for its characteristic nutty flavour and firmer texture. Health-conscious cooks enjoy this wholesome rice in a wide variety of dishes. Try it as an alternative to your favourite meals, or for something new, try one of our delicious summer salads. 

 Dinner inspiration: 

 

Long grain 

White long grain rice is your go-to grain for a versatile dish. It has long, slender grains that, when cooked, remain separate. This results in a light and fluffy rice that absorbs the flavours of your cooking. It is the perfect partner in Southeast Asian-style stir-fries or curry dishes (eg. Jasmine and Basmati) 

Dinner inspiration: 

 

First published: Jul 2022
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