Why Brown Basmati Rice?
When we started planning the Px Plate menu, we wanted a menu that followed most of the principles of healthy eating: to be complete, balanced and varied. This is why we use different types of carbohydrate sources in our dishes, such as chickpeas, sweet potato and quinoa. Being in Singapore, we couldn’t omit rice. You will probably find it difficult to spot the rice that we use in any other food stall. As a clinical dietitian, I always get my patients to start eating brown Basmati rice, and the results are always visible. Hopefully after this post, you too will start cooking with this staple.
Did you know that…
Rice is probably the most important cereal in the world. Its origins are not clear though. While some believe that it came from the Eastern Himalayas and in the upper areas of the Irrawaddy and Mekong, other schools of thought believe that rice had its origins in southern India. It is believed to have spread to the north of the country and then onwards to China. In 2000 B.C. it arrived in Korea, then the Philippines; and rice cultivation spread into Japan and Indonesia (about 1000 B. C.). The Persians are known to have been importers of this grain to Mesopotamia and Turkestan. When Alexander the Great invaded India in 327 B. C., it is believed that he took rice back to Greece.
Basmati Rice is an aromatic long-grain rice grown in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It has a distinctive flavour and aroma and produces a tender, fluffy texture and the grains do not stick together. It is often used in curries and together with stir-fry dishes. It is also great as a side dish.
Brown Basmati Rice is a whole grain!
Whole grains have three components: the bran, which contains most of the fiber; the germ, which contains most of the vitamins, minerals and fat; and the endosperm, which contains the starch (carbohydrates). They are high in phytochemicals as well as several B vitamins, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, Folate, Copper and fibre.
Studies show that eating whole grains can help lower risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes, as well as help to maintain body weight. According to a 2010 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating just three servings of whole grains per day was found to decrease cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure.
It has a low Glycaemic Index (GI)
This aromatic rice is known to have a lower glycaemic index (GI) than regular brown rice. GI is the measure of the rise in blood sugar after eating a food that contains carbohydrates.
Low GI foods are digested slowly and absorbed gradually into the bloodstream. They release energy slowly and prevent blood sugar levels from rising too high, giving only a gentle rise in insulin. This helps to maintain satiety for longer periods and avoids energy drops [that usually happens after having a meal with white rice], making you feel more energetic and full for a longer time. Having low GI foods may help control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Also, choosing a diet with low GI may help prevent diabetes and reduce blood cholesterol.
Brown Basmati Rice at Home:
Keep the rice in an air-tight container, in a cool and dry place. If you want to keep the rice for longer, keep the rice in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. This will keep it free from odours and from turning rancid.
You can cook brown Basmati in big batches; it generally takes about 30 minutes (less than 20 minutes if you use the pressure cooker). Cooked brown rice can be stored, covered tightly, in a shallow container in the refrigerator for 4 days. It will maintain good quality in the freezer for 6 months.
Our Mediterranean inspired Chicken with Okra dish has brown Basmati rice and this is available on Mondays and Thursdays. There is so much goodness in this dish apart from the rice, but that will be for another post.
Brown Basmati Rice – it is packed with nutrients, it keeps you full for longer, keeps blood sugar level stable, and it’s delicious! Why don’t you substitute your regular white rice for brown Basmati rice today!
About the Author
Claudia Correia, Accredited Dietitian of Singapore (ADS)
Claudia has a degree in Dietetics and specializes in Nutrition Support, Weight Management, Nutritional Wellness & Mindful Eating as well as in Chronic Disease and Cancer Nutrition Therapy.
She is an accredited dietitian member of SNDA (Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association) and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Claudia is also recognized by the Portuguese Nutritionist Board. Claudia has been practicing as a dietitian since 2010 and she spent four years at Raffles Hospital before joining Px Plate.
With diversified experience from both Europe and Asia, coupled with the expertize of handling a variety of cuisines, Claudia caters to the most varied needs of an individual. When consulting her clients, she educates and creates awareness of the impact of food while emphasizing the enjoyment of food.