Monday, May 16, 2011

Rice is Nice.


Poor rice! Rice is getting replaced in meals by more recently popularized stand-ins like quinoa, farro, and wheat berries. I like all of them, but there are some meals where I really want rice and only rice with my meal. Veggie stir-fries would only match up with white jasmine or short-grain brown. Anything but basmati seems wrong to pair with Indian food, and for soups; only white or wild rice will do.

My mom bought me two other varieties of rice recently: red and black. Given that I already knew brown rice is more nutritious than white rice, I wondered if the red and black rice were even more nutritious. I started to look up the nutritional information.

Originally I started to look up multiple varieties of each “color” or rice, but it turns out that the short-grain and long-grain varieties of the same color had the same nutritional info. To simplify the data, I limited the chart to one variety of each color:

White Rice (Jasmine) Brown Rice (short grain) Red Cargo Rice Black Rice
Serving Size 1/4 cup dry 1/4 cup dry 1/4 dry 1/4 cup dry
Calories 160 170 175 170
Total Carb 36g 38g 36g 38g
Fiber .5g 3g 2g 3g
Protein 3g 3g 3g 5g
Magnesium no data 20% 32% no data
Iron 2% 2% 4% 6%

Yep! Turns out the black rice is the most nutritious, then the red, then the brown, and finally the white rice. I imagine it won't be long before we start seeing the black and red varieties popping up in supermarkets and restaurants.

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