Rice is such a classic food recognized throughout the world. It’s also one of those same foods where there is a debate regarding its health benefits. Rice is a reliable source of simple and complex carbohydrates. It’s also a great starch for any endurance athletes or highly active individuals who avoid wheat and gluten. Rice burns clean! To really turn things up a notch there are the more exotic and lesser-known varieties like black rice and wild rice known for its high concentration of anti-oxidants like anthocyanins. So you’re probably asking yourself why there is another article on rice. Bear with me as you will soon understand what I’m writing about rice.
I recently discovered this little so-called “rice hack” while reading through some research on this hot topic that goes by the name of resistant starch. Resistant starch is a carbohydrate, but acts more like fiber. This resistant starch does not get broken down into glucose in the small intestine. To put this into perspective when you eat a resistant starch containing food like green bananas, beans, certain grains or artichokes you stay in fat burning mode without spiking blood sugars because of how slow a resistant starch gets into the blood stream. Pretty sweet! Huh?
Now to the juicy details about what all this means for your health, gut biome and how you can incorporate more resistant starch into your daily lives. The first step is to simply cook the rice by bringing to a boil. Then simmer till the rice absorbs the liquid. Once the rice is done the cooking, you have a couple options. You can add a healthy fat like coconut oil to the rice then refrigerate it or you can let the rice cool and place in the refrigerator. The rice will then toughen once cooled and form into a resistant starch type 3 form. A resistant type 3 refers to cooking and cooling a starch, which makes it more resistant to digestion. I would like to mention that not adding coconut oil will still enhance the RS content of the cooked rice. It really comes down to personal preference!
What’s interesting about this rice “hack” is that the rice form has the ability to form this rice-like energy bar or ball depending on what. This energy source provides a whole new dimension to making whole food energy bars if one gets tired of using dates and nuts/seeds all the time. Some wonderful health benefits of consuming cooled rice is improved lipid metabolism, more stabilized blood sugar regulation and a more optimized and primed immune system (Stoya, 2015). Not only that, but also cooking and cooling the rice in this fashion lowers total calorie content. So it’s a win-win especially for those individuals looking to lose weight or is watching their calorie intake. It also acts as a prebiotic and feeds the good bacteria in your gut. There is this delicate balance between prebiotics and probiotics in nourishing the gastrointestinal tract and promoting health and vitality.
To wrap it up, what is even cooler about this rice hack is that allows you to stay in fat burning mode without interfering with your insulin levels. So for all those who follow a low carb/high fat diet, this could most definitely be an option to have in your cooking arsenal and also a food to take on your long endurance training sessions or competitions (Higgins, 2004).
Higgins, Janine A et al. “Resistant Starch Consumption Promotes Lipid Oxidation. “ Nutrition & Metabolism. BioMed Central Ltd, 6 Oct. 2004. Web. 24 Sept 2015.
Stoya, Emily. “Simple Cooking Changes Make a Healthier Rice.” RSC RSS.
23 Mar. 2015 Web 7 Sept 2015.
- 25 Aug 2015
- Optimized Nutrition