White rice or brown basmati rice, which is healthier according to Ayurveda?
One of the things I appreciate most about Ayurveda is that this ancient mind-body health system takes into account the season, as well as the individual when it comes to food and nutrition. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to anything.
As a result, beliefs I’ve come to believe are true are often challenged. I love that! It’s eye-opening and fun to consider new perspectives when it comes to health and wellness.
Take rice, for example. I’ve always believed brown rice is the best because it has more fiber than white rice. For me, it’s always been a no-brainer what to order when I’m at a restaurant. (Brown rice, of course!?)
Ayurveda, however, takes into consideration the individual who is eating, when they’re eating, and what happens to the rice during digestion.
We are, after all, not what we eat, but what we absorb.
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According to Ayurveda, basmati rice is the king of all rice. Basmati rice is sattvic (pure), nourishing for the body tissues, balances all doshas (meaning, it’s beneficial for all), and it’s easy to digest.
White basmati rice has less fiber than brown basmati rice (because the outer shell has been removed), but it still has nutritional value and provides protein and energy.
White basmati rice, therefore, is much easier to digest. For this reason, white basmati rice (instead of brown) is recommended for those with a weaker digestive ability, as well as for those with more sensitive digestion (gas, bloating), or in the case of illness.
Ayurveda also takes into account the season, noting that our digestive ability tends to be lower in the summer and warm months. At this time of year, lighter foods that are easy to digest are best, making white basmati rice a better choice in summer.
What’s the key takeaway here? If your digestion is strong, enjoy brown basmati rice. If your digestion is a bit weaker, go with white basmati rice.
Who knew there was so much to consider when it comes to choosing the healthiest option in the world of rice?
Also published on Medium.