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Nutrition Facts and Benefits of the Aromatic Basmati Rice

Chandramita Bora Nov 8, 2018
Basmati is a type of aromatic rice, prized for its unique and exotic aroma. Find out more about the nutrition facts and health benefits of basmati rice.

Did You Know?

In Hindi, the word basmati means 'queen of aroma', or 'the fragrant one'.
Rice is the staple food in many parts of the world. In fact, it is the staple food for almost half of the World's population. There are several varieties of rice, out of which a few are aromatic, like jasmine rice, Wehani rice, and basmati.
Basmati rice is becoming increasingly popular in the Western countries for its unique and appetizing aroma. This long-grain rice with nutty flavor actually hails from the Himalayan foothills of India and Pakistan.
The grains of basmati are much longer, as compared to other types of rice. The grains also remain firm and separate, even after cooking. Basmati rice usually comes in two varieties - white and brown basmati.

Basmati Rice Nutrition Facts

Basmati rice contains carbohydrates, proteins, a small amount of fats, fiber, and a few vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of energy, as 200g cooked basmati rice can provide about 238 calories.
The other nutrients and their amounts provided by 200 g basmati rice are given here:

Carbohydrate - 52 g
Protein - 5 g
Fats - 0.44 g
Dietary Fiber - 3 g
Iron - 1.9 mg
Thiamine - 0.26 mg
Niacin - 2.3 mg
Selenium - 11.8 mcg
The brown basmati rice is considered to be more nutritious than the white variety, due to the fact that it is minimally processed. It is prepared by removing only the outer husk, and so, it retains the bran layer that surrounds the kernel. This is the reason why brown basmati rice contains more vitamin B and fiber than the white variety.

Nutritional Benefits of Basmati Rice

An Excellent Source of Energy

Basmati rice is an excellent source of energy due to its high carbohydrate content. It contains a very small amount of fats and no cholesterol. Moreover, it is gluten-free, which makes it an ideal staple food for those who cannot tolerate gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in cereals and grains, like wheat, barley, and rye. Some people cannot tolerate this protein, and hence, cannot consume gluten containing food.

Provides B Vitamins

It contains some of the very important B vitamins, like thiamine and niacin. Thiamine takes parts in the carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. It is very important for the normal functioning of the heart, muscles, and the nervous system.
A deficiency of this vitamin can cause the disease, known as beriberi. Thiamine deficiency can also cause loss appetite, muscle pain, and tiredness. Niacin is another B vitamin found in basmati rice, and it is required for the normal functioning of the nervous and the digestive system.

A Good Source of Iron

Basmati rice contains a considerable amount of iron. 200 g of basmati rice can provide about 1.9 mg iron, which is approximately 11% of the daily recommended value for iron. Iron is required for the formation of hemoglobin.
As a component of hemoglobin, it helps transport oxygen in the blood to various parts of the body. Iron deficiency is one of the important causes of anemia.

Promotes Digestive Health

The brown basmati rice is a very good source of fiber. 200 g brown basmati rice can provide about 7.8 g fiber, which can help promote the health of the digestive tract. Fiber helps ensure regular bowel movement.
It can also lower the level of cholesterol in the body, and thereby reduce the risk of diseases, like atherosclerosis. Fiber can help stabilize the level of blood sugar, by ensuring that the sugar is released slowly into the bloodstream.

Reduces the Risk of Gallstones

Brown basmati rice contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber found in whole grains like brown rice can help accelerate the passage of food and waste in the intestine, and lower the secretion of bile acids. An excessive amount of bile is known to contribute towards the formation of gallstones.

A Rich Source of Manganese and Selenium

1 cup brown rice can provide almost 88% of the daily recommended value for manganese. Manganese is a trace mineral that plays a crucial role in the carbohydrate and protein metabolism. It is also required to maintain the health of the nervous system.
Basmati rice contains another trace mineral, known as selenium. This mineral is highly valued for being a powerful antioxidant. It can help protect the body cells from the damaging effects of the free radicals. Selenium is also believed to help lower the risk of colon and prostate cancer.
Basmati is a delicious, as well as a nutritious rice. The brown variety is, however, more nutritious and flavorful than the white one. Basmati rice has been in use for a long time in India and Pakistan, and thus, it more commonly features in Indian and Pakistani cuisines. Today, several varieties and hybrids of this rice are available throughout the world.