Why Jasmine Rice Makes a Healthy Addition to Your Meal
As you rush through the grocery store aisles looking for something to make for dinner, you may come across jasmine rice and wonder if it would be a healthy side dish. This fragrant rice is a long-grain rice native to Thailand. When cooked, jasmine rice has a soft but sticky texture and gives off a sweet and flowery aroma. When it comes to health, jasmine rice isn't all that different from regular rice. But if you're looking to improve your health with better food choices, consider swapping white jasmine rice with brown. You can also add ingredients to your rice to up its nutritional value.
A Look at the Nutrition
A 1/4-cup serving of dry jasmine rice has 160 calories, 36 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of fat, which is about the same amount found in a 1/4-cup serving of dry long-grain white rice. They each also have only 1 gram of fiber and insignificant amounts of vitamins A, C and D, and iron. When it comes to health, you're not getting any extra benefits by switching to jasmine rice.
Benefits of Brown Jasmine Rice
One simple way to add a little extra nutrition to your diet is to use brown jasmine rice instead of white. As a whole grain, the brown rice version retains its bran and germ, which automatically ups the fiber and nutrient content. The same serving of brown jasmine rice has twice as much fiber and iron as the white. Brown rice is also a better source of magnesium. Additionally, brown jasmine rice has a lower glycemic index than the white. The glycemic index is a tool that ranks how food affects blood sugar. A low-glycemic good has less of an impact on your blood sugar, gives you more energy and is better at controlling hunger.
Tips for Making Jasmine Rice Healthy
Adding ingredients to your rice not only adds flavor but also boosts nutrition. Rice and peas are a popular combination. Adding green peas to cooked jasmine rice increases fiber, protein and vitamin A. Beans also make a good addition to rice. Mild-flavored beans such as chickpeas or black beans work well with jasmine's floral fragrance. Beans also add fiber, protein, folate and iron. Use jasmine rice as a base for a main dish vegetable stir-fry. Saute your cooked rice with tofu, carrots, onions, celery, garlic and ginger for a simple and nutritious meal.